Jan 9, 2024

What’s in heated tobacco devices and consumables?

Tobacco heating devices should be designed to heat tobacco to a controlled temperature instead of burning it. This method avoids combustion – a problematic factor in cigarettes. Of course, it is a matter of scientific assessment of each particular product to see if this is actually the case. The absence of combustion could be behind an adult smoker’s decision to switch from cigarettes. Those considering the switch from cigarettes to a heated tobacco product are bound to have questions about what goes into making them.


What’s in heated tobacco products?


Generally, the most crucial ingredient of a heated tobacco experience – tobacco – comes from one of two consumables: either loose tobacco or heated tobacco sticks. Each is slightly different, but they both provide a tobacco experience. It is important to understand how each consumable works within its respective device.


Loose tobacco devices


Typically contained within a sealed segment of the device, loose tobacco is usually directly heated to provide an aerosol – not smoke – for the user.


Tobacco stick devices


Devices of this design make use of tobacco sticks. An adult smoker will typically insert these sticks into the tobacco heating device. The device heats the tobacco stick to provide a tobacco experience.

Smoke-free products are not risk-free and deliver nicotine, which is addictive. It is also important to note that smoke-free products are not alternatives to quitting and are not designed as cessation aids.


Nicotine in heated tobacco products


Heated tobacco products still contain nicotine, which is addictive, and therefore they are by no means risk-free. However, for an adult smoker who would otherwise continue to smoke, an innovative tobacco heating system like IQOS emits 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.*


Important information: it does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. IQOS is not risk-free.  


* "95% less" represents the average reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette (3R4F). See Important Information on


What makes IQOS a better alternative to cigarettes? 


IQOS presents convenience and hygiene improvements for an adult smoker switching from cigarettes. IQOS produces no ash, and, unlike cigarettes, IQOS has no risk of burning others around you, pets, clothes and furniture, as there is no lit end. In addition, IQOS leaves less lingering smell on hands, hair and clothes than cigarettes. Find IQOS tobacco heaters in the online store. It is important to note that IQOS is not risk-free and provides nicotine, which is addictive.


IQOS provides cigarette-like satisfaction.* IQOS makes use of tobacco sticks to deliver a tobacco experience. With different flavours, aromas and intensities to choose from, there are various options available, and something for every adult smoker.


* Three-month clinical studies conducted in the US and Japan with 160 adult smokers each under real conditions (ambulatory).


Heated tobacco devices are a better alternative to continued cigarette smoking. However, the best decision any adult smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. Smoke-free products are not alternatives to quitting and are not designed as cessation aids.


If you are interested in learning more about the differences between heated tobacco and cigarettes beyond harm reduction, read the article on heated tobacco vs cigarettes.


This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources, and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information.