Heated tobacco product
There are various types of heat-not-burn products.[notes 1] Heat-not-burn tobacco products heat up tobacco using a battery-powered heating system. As it starts to heat the tobacco, it generates an aerosol that contains nicotine and other chemicals, that is inhaled. They also generate smoke. Gases, liquid and solid particles, and tar are found in the emissions. They contain nicotine, which is the reason these products are highly addictive. They also contain additives not found in tobacco, and are frequently flavored. It heats tobacco leaves at a lower temperature than traditional cigarettes, which is about 250–350 °C (around 500 °F.). These products provide some of the behavioral aspects of smoking. The heat source may be embedded; external; or a heated sealed chamber; to deliver nicotine using tobacco leaf. Some use product-specific customized cigarettes. Without using an electrically controlled heating system, there is a device that uses a carbon heat source that, once lit, passes heat to a processed tobacco plug. There are devices that use cannabis. They are not electronic cigarettes. They can overlap with e-cigarettes such as a combination of an e-cigarette and a heat-not-burn tobacco product, for the use of tobacco or e-liquid.
A 2016 World Health Organization report found no compelling evidence has been presented for the claims of lowered risk or health benefits compared with traditional cigarettes, which are based on industry-funded research for these products. A 2018 Public Health England report states that the evidence indicates that heat-not-burn tobacco products may be much safer than traditional cigarettes but less safe than e-cigarettes. The aerosol contains levels of nicotine and cancer-causing chemicals comparable to regular cigarettes. Another source found, some of the substances inhaled from using these products are carcinogens. Although heat-not-burn tobacco products are probably less dangerous than smoking, it would be better for smokers to completely stop, according to the Committee on Toxicity. There is a lack of evidence on the possible effects of second-hand exposure. The limited evidence on air emissions from the use of heat-not-burn tobacco products indicates that toxic exposure from these products is greater than that of e-cigarettes. There is insufficient evidence on the efficacy of such products on quitting smoking.
As early as the 1960s, tobacco companies developed alternative tobacco products with the goal of supplementing the cigarette market. Heat-not-burn tobacco products first came to market in 1988, however they were not a commercial success. There has been a global decline in tobacco consumption that, if continued, will negatively impact the tobacco industry's profits. This decline led the industry to invent and market new products, such as heat-not-burn tobacco products. Smokers regularly reported heat-not-burn tobacco product use to be less satisfying than smoking a cigarette. These products have been introduced by large tobacco companies. The latest generation of heat-not-burn tobacco products appears to be the most recent presentation to the old tobacco industry strategy of working to create partnerships with governments and health advocates, presenting claimed 'harm reduction' products as an option to address the tobacco epidemic. Current smoking bans may or may not apply to heat-not-burn products.
A 2016 Cochrane review found that it was unclear whether using heat-not-burn tobacco products instead of traditional cigarettes would "substantially alter the risk of harm". As of December 2017[update], it is impossible to quantify the health risk from using these products. There is very limited information available on their health effects and the available research on their harmfulness is limited. It is not clear what the adverse effects are in the short-term. The long-term effects are unclear. There is a lack of long-term studies. Studies over one year on the effects of exposure to heat-not-burn tobacco products have not been conducted, as of 2019. A limited amount of independent studies have been conducted on heat-not-burn tobacco products, as of 2019.
There are different kinds of heat-not-burn tobacco products available and therefore the effects each kind produces will vary. This creates a challenge for researchers. It is not known how users evaluate the safety of these products. Among those who have tried such products, approximately 50% believe they are safer than traditional cigarettes and the other 50% believe they are just as unsafe as traditional cigarettes.
A 2016 World Health Organization report stated that claims of lowered risk or health benefits for heat-not-burn tobacco products compared with traditional cigarettes are based on industry-funded research, while compelling independent research was not available to support these claims. Studies on human use were wide-ranging and largely affiliated with the manufacturers, as of 2018. Action on Smoking and Health in the UK stated in 2016 that due to "the tobacco industry's long record of deceit" regarding the health risks involving smoking, it is important to conduct independent studies into the health effects of these products.
With an assorted range of electronic cigarettes devices in the UK, it is unclear whether heat-not-burn tobacco products will offer any favorable benefit as another plausible harm reduction product. A 2016 World Health Organization reported noted that some scientists believe that heat-not-burn tobacco products to be as dangerous as traditional cigarettes. A 2018 Public Health England report states that the evidence indicates that heat-not-burn tobacco products may be much safer than traditional cigarettes but less safe than e-cigarettes. Although heat-not-burn tobacco products are probably less dangerous than smoking, it would be better for smokers to completely stop, according to the Committee on Toxicity in 2017.
The aerosol contains levels of nicotine and cancer-causing chemicals comparable to regular cigarettes. They contain comparable levels of many volatile organic compounds and greater amounts of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon acenaphthene than regular cigarettes. The substances in the emissions of traditional cigarettes such as tar, nicotine, carbonyl compounds (including acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde), and nitrosamines are also found in emissions of heat-not-burn tobacco products. A 2017 study found a 10% rise in carbon monoxide and formaldehyde air levels than compared to the background during heat-not-burn tobacco product use. A 2017 study found heat-not-burn tobacco products generated emissions of particulate metals and organic compounds as well as aldehydes. Research suggests that heat-not-burn tobacco products generate less concentrations of airborne contaminates in indoor places in comparison to a traditional cigarette. Indoor air quality is reduced from the use of heat-not-burn tobacco products.
A 2018 Public Health England report found "Compared with cigarettes, heated tobacco products are likely to expose users and bystanders to lower levels of particulate matter and harmful and potentially harmful compounds (HPHC). The extent of the reduction found varies between studies." They also noted that the evidence indicates that the levels of nicotine inhaled from heat-not-burn tobacco products is less than that of cigarette smoke. Exposure to mutagenic and other harmful substances is lower than with traditional cigarettes. However, reduced exposure to harmful substances does not mean that health risks are equally reduced. Even low exposure increases the risks for cancers, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases compared to non-smokers. It is still unclear to what extent the reduced levels lead to lowered health risks. Lower levels of harmful emissions has been shown, but lowering the risk to the smoker who transitions to using them has not been shown, as of 2018. Heat-not-burn tobacco products do not reduce being exposed to nicotine or the risk for the potential addiction to nicotine, according to the Committee on Toxicity in 2017. Some of the substances inhaled from using these products are carcinogens.
The physiological changes, such as inflammation in multiple organ systems, energy metabolism, and carcinogenesis, in responses to heat-not-burn tobacco emissions has not been well characterized due to limited research in this area, especially in animal models. A 2018 in vitro study suggested a less harmful pathophysiological response in human organotypic oral epithelial cultures when exposed to such emissions. A 2016 animal study showed that heat-not-burn tobacco emissions did not increase surfactant lipids, surfactant proteins, surfactant metabolizing proteins, inflammatory eicosanoids and their metabolic enzymes, and several ceramide classes, compared with tobacco cigarette smoke-exposed mice. A 2016 study found that even with reduced toxicants in heat-not-burn tobacco emissions, overuse (40 tobacco sticks per day) can still lead to eosinophilic pneumonia in humans.
The impact on the overall population is unclear. Studies on heat-not-burn second-hand emissions were diverse and largely affiliated with the manufacturers, as of 2018. There is disagreement to the extent to which heat-not-burn tobacco products generate air emissions. There is also disagreement regarding the composition of the emissions. There is a lack of evidence on the possible effects of second-hand exposure. There is anticipated to be a reduced risk to bystanders where smokers were using heat-not-burn tobacco products instead of smoking. The limited evidence on air emissions from the use of heat-not-burn tobacco products indicates that toxic exposure from these products is greater than that of e-cigarettes.
Addiction and quitting
These products contain nicotine, which is the reason these products are highly addictive. The nicotine content in the emissions of heat-not-burn tobacco products is in the same range as the nicotine emissions of traditional cigarettes, which suggests a similar addictiveness and dependence potential. There is insufficient evidence on the efficacy of heat-not-burn tobacco products on quitting smoking.
A 2018 World Health Organization report states that "Conclusions cannot yet be drawn about their ability to assist with quitting smoking (cessation), their potential to attract new youth tobacco users (gateway effect), or the interaction in dual use with other conventional tobacco products and e-cigarettes." In 2017, Ministry of Health in New Zealand stated "There is limited information on product use, including whether smokers are likely to switch completely from tobacco smoking or use both types of product, as well as initiation by non-smokers (including young people)." In 2017, the Committee on Toxicity stated "The Committees were concerned over the potential for non-smokers including children and young people, who would not otherwise start to smoke cigarettes, to take up using these products as they are not without risk." Compared to not using heat-not-burn tobacco products, there is an increase in risk for non-smokers who begin using them. It is possible that these products could appeal to non-smokers, especially since they are available in various flavors. A growing body of evidence shows that never-users of tobacco products, especially children and adolescents, could be susceptible to new products and that this could result in later use of traditional cigarettes. In 2017, the Committee on Toxicity "Committees were particularly concerned for young people, who do not smoke, starting to use these products, due to the potential for longer exposure over the remainder of their lives compared to adults and to possible differences in sensitivity."
They are commonly used instead of or along with combustible tobacco products. Dual use among heat-not-burn tobacco regular users with combustible products is common. Trying a heat-not burn-tobacco product was more frequent among adults below the age of 30 and regular traditional cigarette users. A 2015 online survey found 6.6% of 8240 respondents had tried a heat-not-burn tobacco product at least once. Research demonstrated that users of heat-not-burn tobacco products is greater among women who smoke. 10 to 45% of non-smokers use these products, according to 4 epidemiological papers. This shows the effectiveness of the marketing of the tobacco industry. In this regard, the heated tobacco product called IQOS is more a gateway to traditional cigarette use (20% of users) than quitting (11% of users). Further, it is not anticipated to have a lowered risk among dual users who make up the remaining 69%. In 2016 Philip Morris International acknowledged that IQOS is probably as addictive as tobacco smoking. IQOS is sold with a warning that states the best option is to avoid tobacco use altogether.
IQOS can collect personal data in regard to the smoking habits of the user. Philip Morris International stated it only retrieves the data when the product is not working properly. "What they're going to have is a mega database of how Americans smoke," said Gregory Connolly, a professor at Northeastern University who has studied IQOS, "Then they’ll be able to reprogram the current puffing delivery pattern of the iQOS to one that may be more reinforcing and with a higher addiction potential".
As of July 2017, not many US adults had tried using a heat-not-burn tobacco product. As of July 2017, approximately one in 20 US adults have heard of heat-not-burn tobacco products. This includes one in ten traditional cigarette users. Use in Italy was 1.4% among the people and 3.1% among regular tobacco users. A 2018 survey in Italy found that 45% of those who experimented with the IQOS product were never-smokers. The same survey found 51% of those interested in the IQOS product were never-smokers. Therefore, such a product may represent, at least in Italy, a gateway for nicotine addiction among never-smokers rather than a harm reduction substitution for current smokers. In Germany, heat-not-burn tobacco product use is not common and is generally more frequent among smokers who have been educated longer and who make more money. Use in Japan, where that have been sold since 2014, is much higher. A 2017 survey in Japan found that of those who used the IQOS product within the last month, 20% were never-smokers. These products did not satisfy 86% of users, and they did not quit using traditional cigarettes; they used both, according to a 2017 survey in Japan. Youth use of heat-not-burn tobacco products is unknown, but monitoring is underway, as of March 2019.
The limited data on heat-not-burn tobacco product users show that they take short puffs, and that the time between puffs is very short. Experimental tests show that there is a higher volume of puffs at shorter intervals than with traditional cigarettes. A 2018 clinical trial found that tests of smokers switching to an IQOS product showed a tendency to take more puffs at shorter intervals.
Users experience blood nicotine levels reaching a peak at about 6 to 7 minutes for both a heat-not-burn tobacco product and a traditional cigarette. The IQOS product delivers slightly less blood nicotine overall than a traditional cigarette, but a higher amount than a nicotine gum. A 2016 study found that smokers were less satisfied and had a lower reduction in cravings with using an IQOS product than with traditional cigarettes. In 2016, smoking trial volunteers switching to a heat-not-burn tobacco product, after an initial adjustment period, usually smoked more traditional cigarettes than those not switching, while reporting that they were less satisfying and rewarding than with regular cigarettes.
Sharper peaks in blood nicotine levels from inhalation causes greater nicotine dependence than oral consumption. Nicotine replacement products, for instance, deliver nicotine in a slow, stable manner, and are thus less addictive. Inhaling nicotine reaches the blood quicker than oral consumption. Blood nicotine levels drop fairly quickly, halving every 1 to 2 hours. Nicotine withdrawal causes deteriorating mood, driving craving for nicotine consumption.
Pregnant women who wish to quit smoking but are unable, are left with few options. As nicotine replacement products is often ineffective for quitting smoking, pregnant women turn to alternatives such as heat-not-burn tobacco. There is no information available on potential impact of maternal inhalation of heat-not-burn tobacco emissions during pregnancy on fetal outcomes, as of 2018. The risk to the fetus from heat-not-burn tobacco products during pregnancy is hard to quantify. Although the risk to the fetus is probably less than smoking during pregnancy, the Committee on Toxicity recommends to completely stop smoking. Nicotine is harmful to the infant and the growing adolescent brain. Nicotine is metabolized much faster while a women is pregnant and with ease goes through the placental barrier, and collects in breast milk. Further, there is growing evidence that nicotine exposure during pregnancy is linked to early birth, stillbirth, and abnormal brain growth. Nicotine may result in adverse effects to the neurological growth of the fetus.
Nicotine can lead to vasoconstriction of uteroplacental vessels, reducing the delivery of both nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. As a result, nutrition is re-distributed to prioritize vital organs, such as the heart and the brain, at the cost of less vital organs, such as the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, and pancreas, leading to underdevelopment and functional disorders later in life. Animal research using maternal nicotine exposure showed a direct adverse impact on pancreas development by reducing endocrine pancreatic islet size and number. This was accompanied by a decrease in gene expression of specific transcription factors and blood glucose regulating hormones such as insulin and glucagon. As a result, rats exhibited significant pancreatic dysfunction and glucose intolerance. Moreover, several animal studies have reported insulin resistance in adult offspring due to maternal nicotine exposure. In animal models, nicotine has also been shown to activate nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the brain, which are important in regulating brain development. Nicotine exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy (2 mg/kg/d) leads to structural changes in the hippocampus and somatosensory cortex in rats.
Tobacco stick; above, disassembled, below, intact. A: Reconstituted tobacco film, made of dried tobacco suspension. 70% tobacco, humectants (water and glycerin) to encourage aerosol formation, binding agents, and aroma agents. B: Hollow acetate tube. C: Polymer film filter cools the aerosol. D: Soft cellulose acetate mouthpiece, which mimics the feel of a traditional cigarette.
Nicotine is released from tobacco heated above 150 °C. Combustible tobacco cigarettes reach about 900 °C during a puff and smoulder at about 400 °C between puffs. The burning process, substances emitted and their levels vary at different temperatures. Distillation, the process during which nicotine and aromas are transferred from tobacco to smoke, occurs below 300 °C; pyrolysis occurs at about 300 °C–700 °C, entails the decomposition of biopolymers, proteins, and other organic materials and generates the majority of substances emitted in smoke; and combustion occurs above 750 °C and results in the generation of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and water. The temperature the tobacco reaches greatly varies among heat-not-burn tobacco products. It depends on the process used to heat the tobacco. HeatSticks are heated to a maximum of 350 °C, a temperature sufficient to enable pyrolytic decomposition of some organic materials, while the glo iFuse heats tobacco to around 35 °C. Formation of toxic volatile organic compounds, including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein, via dehydration and oxidation of the humectants, propylene glycol and glycerin, have been reported in e-cigarette aerosols at similar temperatures as IQOS. In addition, flavoring chemicals in e-cigarettes undergo thermal degradation and contribute significantly to levels of toxic aldehydes emitted in e-cigarette aerosol. Carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides, soot or tars, and aldehydes in the emissions demonstrate that these products undergo thermal degradation. The solids in the emissions have been called nicotine-free dry particulate matter rather than tar in papers written by people connected to the tobacco industry. Gases, liquid and solid particles are also found in the emissions.
Since the constituents of HeatSticks may be different from that of combustible cigarettes, including flavorants and additives, it is plausible that the IQOS aerosol may contain substances not present in tobacco smoke. The emissions of the IQOS HeatSticks and the IQOS menthol mini-cigarettes contains about three times the amount of water and about half the amount of tar found in the emissions of traditional cigarettes. The IQOS HeatSticks do not generate a flame, they are charred following use. Heat-not-burn tobacco products including IQOS generate smoke. Up until 2016, Phillip Morris International researchers stated their IQOS product produces smoke.
The heat-not-burn tobacco product consists of 3 components with different functions. These include the tobacco stick with processed tobacco, a pen-like heater (holder), in which the tobacco stick is inserted, which is then heated by means of an electrically controlled heating element, and a charger (the charger), which recharges the heater after use. The heat-not-burn tobacco products automatically stops the heating process after 6 minutes or 14 moves, so that pyrolysis products and pollutant release are limited in time as well as by a maximum number of puffs per stick. Heat-not-burn tobacco products may not generate side-stream smoke because they do not fully combust, but the temperatures reached are sufficient for pyrolytic reactions to happen. There are devices that demonstrate pyrolysis or combustion, but research has not determined whether it is pyrolysis or combustion. The tobacco stick contains a compressed tobacco film as well as several filter elements. The tobacco film consists of a dried tobacco suspension that has been rolled up into a paper-thin brown tobacco foil. This consists of about 70% tobacco as well as humectants, binders and flavorings. Water and glycerin are used as humectants to prevent drying out and to promote aerosol formation upon heating. The filter elements consist of 2 independent systems: A polymer film filter that cools the aerosol, followed by a soft cellulose acetate mouthpiece filter that mimics the sensory aspects of a traditional cigarette.
Heat-not-burn tobacco products are a battery-powered systems that produce nicotine-containing emissions by heating tobacco. For this purpose, tobacco sticks are placed in a corresponding heater and heated to about 250–350 °C (around 500 °F.). This results in nicotine-containing emissions, which are inhaled via a mouthpiece with a filter segment. They are hybrids between electronic and conventional cigarettes: on one hand, they are equipped with a device that heats the product, without reaching combustion, to generate aerosol (i.e., a sort of "cold smoke"); on the other hand, the product used is not a liquid containing nicotine, but "real" tobacco. There are products that have a time limit, so that the user is forced to inhale the nicotine within 3.5 minutes to 10 minutes prior to the device turning off. This function helps support peaks of blood nicotine, resulting in an increased nicotine dependence.
There are three general types of heat-not-burn tobacco products. One immediately heats processed tobacco to generate aerosol. Another uses processed tobacco that is heated in an aerosol. Then there are ones where the aerosol goes over processed tobacco to give a flavor to the aerosol. Heat-not-burn tobacco products heat tobacco leaves at a lower temperature than traditional cigarettes. Heat-not-burn tobacco products usually heat up tobacco, rather than use liquids. In contrast, e-cigarettes heat liquids that can contain nicotine. Another type of heat-not-burn tobacco product is the loose-leaf tobacco vaporizer that entails putting loose-leaf tobacco into a chamber, which is electrically heated using an element. Some use product-specific customized cigarettes. There are devices that use cannabis. They are not e-cigarettes. They can overlap with e-cigarettes such as combining an e-cigarette and a heat-not-burn tobacco product, for using tobacco or e-liquid.
As early as the 1960s, the tobacco companies developed alternative tobacco products with the goal of supplementing the cigarette market with products. The first commercial heat-not-burn product was the R. J. Reynolds Premier, a smokeless cigarette launched in 1988 and described as difficult to use. Many smokers disliked the taste. It was not popular with users when it was test-marketed in Arizona and Missouri. It was shaped like a traditional cigarette, and when heated the smoldered charcoal moved past processed tobacco containing more than 50 percent glycerin to create an aerosol of nicotine. It did require some combustion. In 1989, after spending $325 million, R. J. Reynolds pulled it from the market months later after the American Medical Association and other organizations recommended to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to restrict it or classify it as a drug.
The Premier product concept went on to be further developed and re-launched as Eclipse in the mid-1990s, and was available in limited distribution as of 2015. Eclipse was promoted using viral marketing. Reynolds American also introduced a brand called Revo and stated that the Revo was a "repositioning" of its Eclipse. R. J. Reynolds' Revo was withdrawn in 2015. The Steam Hot One was sold in Japan by Japan Tobacco.
In October 1998, Philip Morris launched the Accord in the US. A specialized cigarette was designed to be used with the electric heating system. Also in 1998, the company launched Accord in Osaka, Japan, calling it Oasis. The battery-powered product was the size of a pager. The product was marketed as "low-smoke". Advertisements stating reduced risk were drafted for Accord in the US, but were never released. An attempt was made in 2007 by Kenneth Podraza, who was the Vice President of Research and Development at Philip Morris in the US, to get the Surgeon General of the United States to endorse it. It has not been shown that the Surgeon General replied to Podraza's letter. Few people started using the Accord, and most users also continued to use traditional cigarettes. The Accord ceased production in 2006, eight years after it came on the market.
In 2007 Philip Morris International launched Heatbar, which was very similar to the Accord. The Heatbar was around the size of a mobile phone and was said to heat specifically designed cigarettes rather than burning them. The only benefit was to lower second-hand smoke, which led to Heatbar being discontinued. Heatbar did not obtain any significant user reception. Accord and Heatbar are predecessors of Philip Morris International's current heat-not-burn tobacco products. Heat-not-burn tobacco products were not a commercial success, and most of them were quickly taken off the market following their debut.
In years leading up to 2018, increased tobacco control measures have directed the tobacco industry to develop alternative tobacco products, such as heat-not-burn tobacco products. There has been a global decline in tobacco consumption that, if continued, will negatively impact the tobacco industry's profits. This decline led the industry to invent and market new products, such as heat-not-burn tobacco products. The introduction of these heat-not-burn tobacco products may also have been a response to the growing popularity of e-cigarettes beginning around 2007 after independent companies introduced them before the major multinational tobacco companies entered the e-cigarettes market. Furthermore, the global decline of cigarette consumption and decrease in adult smoking prevalence (from 24% in 2007 to 21% in 2015), combined with the success of tobacco control, including implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, may also have led the tobacco companies to consider alternative products to protect their profits and political interests. The ubiquitousness of e-cigarettes and growing dissatisfaction with not providing a throat-hit may present an opportunity for heat-not-burn tobacco products. These products have been introduced by large tobacco companies. They are developed by several tobacco companies. Philip Morris International anticipates a future without traditional cigarettes, but campaigners and industry analysts call into question the probability of traditional cigarettes being dissolved, by either e-cigarettes or other products like IQOS.
Heat-not-burn tobacco system. a) Charger (left) and holder (right), b) Tobacco stick (left) and holder with tobacco stick inserted (right), c) Disassembled holder, with heating element visible (left) and the holder's lid (right).
The products use a heating system where the tobacco is heated and aerosolized. In addition to nicotine, they contain additives not derived from tobacco, and are frequently flavored. The evidence indicates that the concentrations of nicotine in mainstream heat-not-burn tobacco products aerosol are less than what is found in cigarette smoke. Smokers regularly reported heat-not-burn tobacco product use to be less satisfying than smoking a cigarette. The heat-not-burn tobacco products that were tested provided more nicotine in the aerosol than a cigalike e-cigarette but not as much nicotine compared with a tank style e-cigarette. They are designed to be similar to their combustible counterparts and they provide some of the behavioral aspects of smoking. These products replicate the oral inhalation and exhalation, taste, rapid systemic delivery of nicotine, hand-to-mouth feel and throat hit sensations (depending on the temperature) that are similar to smoking traditional cigarettes. Heat-not-burn products aim for a niche between combustible tobacco smoking and e-cigarettes that aerosolize nicotine suspended in humectants. There are different types of heat-not-burn tobacco products in the marketplace. Some examples include products that use tobacco sticks such as glo and IQOS, or products that use loose-leaf tobacco such as Pax and Ploom.
The eTron 3T was initially launched as a disposable e-cigarette by Vapor Tobacco Manufacturing in December 2014. The product employs a patented system whereby tobacco is ground and used to make a water-based extract. The liquid and tobacco extract is mixed with glycerin and aerosolized by an electronic heating system. Their organic liquids are made from organic tobacco, organic glycerin, and water. They are sold in 15 ml bottles. The heat-not-burn device uses nicotine and tobacco. The taste is similar to tobacco, according to the company. They also sell rechargeable e-cigarettes that contain the patented tobacco extract.
The Firefly developed the Firefly 2, which heats loose-leaf plant material and concentrates and is often used to aerosolize cannabis. Firefly 2 is more compact than the original Firefly vaporizer. Firefly 2+ can use either dry herbs or extracts. The temperature can be adjusted from 22-500 °F. It uses a patented heating technology. The heating technology heats the device up to the desired temperature with each puff rather than a preset temperature setting from the beginning.
In 2016, British American Tobacco launched a battery-powered heat-not-burn product called glo in Japan. It is also sold in South Korea, Switzerland, Russia, and Ukraine. glo uses tobacco sticks called Neostiks in France. It uses a heating element with a tobacco stick, which is described as a mini-cigarette. glo heats up to 240 °C. The nicotine emissions are approximately 50% less in glo than in IQOS. In May 2017 they released i-glo in Canada. Bonnie Herzog, a senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities stated that the proposed acquisition of R. J. Reynolds by British American Tobacco in 2016 would let them catch up in the technology competition. The data on glo is limited. glo is marketed as being easier to operate than IQOS.
The glo iFuse debuted in Romania by British American Tobacco in 2015. It is referred to as a heat-not-burn device. It uses a cartridge with a tobacco stick and a flavored nicotine liquid. It is a hybrid of a heat-not-burn tobacco product and an e-cigarette. It consists of a heating element, a liquid tank (like e-cigarettes) and a tobacco cavity through which the e-cigarette-like aerosol passes and is infused with tobacco flavor. It uses cartridges called Neopods. It heats tobacco to approximately 35 °C. This close to being unheated tobacco product is unlike heated tobacco products.
The introduction of IQOS (// EYE-kohs) was announced in June 2014. The product is marketed by Philip Morris International under the Marlboro and Parliament brands. Although it is marketed as a novel product, it is very similar to the "Accord" product released by the same company in 1998; however, the IQOS sticks have more nicotine, more tar, and less tobacco. They are heated to a lower temperature, and the kit costs about US$40 more in 2018 dollars.
Initially launched in 2014 in Nagoya, Japan, and Milan, Italy, IQOS is being gradually rolled out to other countries. As of October 2019, IQOS is available in 49 countries. Philip Morris International has projected that when 30 billions units are sold, IQOS would increase profits by $700 million. In October 2018, Philip Morris International introduced a less expensive version of IQOS called IQOS 3 in Tokyo, Japan. The IQOS 3 Multi was also launched, which is capable of multiple consecutive uses.
The IQOS product consists of a charger around the size of a mobile phone and a holder that looks like a pen. The packaging of IQOS is similar to iPhones and other upscale smartphones. The disposable tobacco stick called HeatSticks or HEETS in some places they are sold, is described as a mini-cigarette. The sticks contain processed tobacco and has been soaked in propylene glycol. The stick is inserted into the holder which then heats it to temperatures up to 350 °C. The amount of nicotine provided may be a little strong for light cigarette smokers. The sticks are available in regular, balanced regular, menthol and mint flavor. Users have reported less smell and odor on clothing. There is a limited amount of research on the effect of IQOS on the user's health. A 2017 review found "little research on what substances are released after the device heats the tobacco-based paste. The physical effects on users are also not yet known." The emissions generated by IQOS contains the identical harmful constituents as tobacco cigarette smoke, including volatile organic compounds at comparable levels to cigarette smoke, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at vast various ranges, and carbon monoxide. Each of these substances, on the basis of rigorous research of cigarette smoke, are known to result in significant harms to health. According to Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, IQOS is "harmful to health, but probably less harmful than smoking tobacco cigarettes."
On December 5, 2016, Philip Morris International submitted a multi-million page application to the US FDA for IQOS to be authorized as a modified risk tobacco product. The advisory panel appointed by the US FDA reviewed Philip Morris International's application in January 2018. The advisory panel made recommendations about the application to the FDA in January 2018, though the review for these applications is still ongoing. In March 2017, Philip Morris International submitted to the US FDA for a premarket tobacco product application regarding its IQOS product. In December 2017, Reuters published documents and testimonies of former employees detailing irregularities in the clinical trials conducted by Philip Morris International for the approval of the IQOS product by the US FDA. The FDA announced permission for the sale of IQOS in the US on April 30, 2019. This permission also requires the company to follow strict marketing restrictions. IQOS formally launched in the US in October 2019.
iSmoke OneHitter by iSmoke can be used as a loose-leaf tobacco vaporizer or for use with waxy oils. It is described as a "heat, not burn" tobacco vaporizer. It was launched in 2015. It has a chamber that can be filled with up to 800-milligrams of tobacco.
IUOC 2 is marketed by Shenzhen Yukan Technology Co., Limited, of China. The heat-not-burn device can be used with any brand of cigarettes. A user inserts the entire cigarette into the device. It does not use a tobacco-filled cartridge. IUOC 2.0 can use a regular pack of 20 cigarettes on a single battery charge. IUOC is an acronym for "I Use Ordinary Cigarette." An updated version over the original IUOC, it was formally launched in 2018 at InterTabac in Germany.
The lil is a heat-not-burn cigarette product. It heats a cigarette stick with a circular blade. According to the company, a two-hour battery charge will last for up to 20 cigarette sticks. Its refills are cheaper than those of the IQOS and glo, and will fit in the IQOS product, although the manufacturer does not recommend this for safety reasons. The lil was formally launched by Korea Tobacco & Ginseng Corporation on November 20, 2017.
China Tobacco debuted the Mok heat-not-burn device in Korea in May 2019. According to the company, Mok is more compact and weighs less than other products such as glo, IQOS, and lil. The Coo sticks are longer and wider than tobacco sticks from other companies.
In 2010 Ploom launched a butane-powered product used for the heating tobacco or botanical products. Later models replaced butane heating with an electric system. After its initial partnership with Japan Tobacco was abandoned, the company became known as Pax Labs.
PAX vaporizers referred to as heat-not-burn vaporizers, are sold by Pax Labs (formerly known as Ploom). The Pax 2 uses loose plant material such as tobacco or cannabis. The surface of the Pax 2 remains cool, while the oven heats to temperatures up to 455 °F. It has four temperature options. Pax Era uses cannabis concentrates. Pax 3 can be used to heat cannabis flower. It takes 15 seconds to heat up.
In January 2016, Japan Tobacco released Ploom Tech. Japan Tobacco's Ploom has been withdrawn from the US. The Ploom brand, however, remained with Japan Tobacco and the product itself has been replaced with a different product called Ploom Tech, in which an aerosol passes through a capsule of granulated tobacco leaves. The Ploom brand uses capsules called Vapodes. The capsules are aluminum and the tobacco heats up to 180 °C. The Ploom Tech product heats up more and thus may generate more harmful emissions. It is referred to as a heat-not-burn device. In January 2019, they introduced Ploom TECH+ and Ploom S in Tokyo, Japan.
Sales are being expanded throughout Japan in 2017. They intend to spend $500 million to increase their heated tobacco manufacturing capacity by late 2018. Studies have not been conducted on Japan Tobacco International's Ploom product, as of 2017.
In December 2017, Philip Morris International launched TEEPS in the Dominican Republic. It is a heat-not-burn product that looks similar to a traditional cigarette. Without using an electrically controlled heating system, it uses a carbon heat source that, once lit, passes heat to a processed tobacco plug.
Comparison to mainstream smoke of traditional cigarettes
|Contents of selected analytes in the mainstream aerosol of a heat-not-burn tobacco product compared to the mainstream smoke of traditional cigarettes. The highest and lowest values given by Mallock et al. in 2 different types of tobacco sticks and Counts et al. were found in traditional cigarettes. Column 5 shows the reduction of the analytes in the mainstream aerosol of the heat-not-burn tobacco product compared to traditional cigarettes in % shown. |
Tobacco stick, d. h. for heat-not-burn tobacco products: a tobacco stick; for traditional cigarette: a cigarette
Heat-not-burn tobacco products are being introduced in markets around the world, as of 2017. Since October 2019, heat-not-burn tobacco products were sold in at least 49 countries. As of 2017, the market for such products is anticipated to expand by 60% over the next 10 to 15 years. They are globally not as popular as the e-cigarette. As of 2018, the IQOS is the most popular product. The IQOS is allowed to be sold in the US, as of April 30, 2019.
As of April 2018, the industry was rapidly introducing new heat-not-burn tobacco products. As of January 2018, British American Tobacco's iFuse is available in Romania, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, South Korea, and Russia. As of January 2018, Japan Tobacco International's Ploom TECH's is available in Japan and Switzerland. As of January 2018, KT&G Corp.'s lil is available in South Korea. As of January 2018, Philip Morris International's IQOS is available in Canada, Guatemala, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, UK, South Africa, South Korea, Japan, and New Zealand. Heat-not-burn tobacco products were first sold in Japan. Several heat-not-burn tobacco brands are marketed in Japan since 2014. Japan is the largest market for heat-not-burn tobacco products. The share of the market in South Korea for heat-not-burn products has surged at least five-fold during the last two years leading up to 2019. As of early 2018, these products are not sold in France.
Tobacco industry leaders have predicted heat-not-burn tobacco products are poised to further displace traditional cigarette smoking and, by extension, tobacco control strategies typically framed around cigarettes. Yet, little is known about the popularity of these products.
Heat-not-burn (heated tobacco) searches originating in Japan have experienced tremendous growth. Since the introduction of Philip Morris International's IQOS brand in select Japanese cities in November 2014, searches for heat-not-burn (heated tobacco) products have increased substantially. Average monthly searches rose 1,426% (95%CI: 746–3,574) between the first (2015) and second (2016) complete years heat-not-burn tobacco (heated tobacco) was marketed. Queries for heat-not-burn (heated tobacco) products continued to grow an additional 100% (95%CI: 60–173) between the products second (2016) and third years on the market (Jan-Sep 2017). In practical terms, there are now between 5.9 and 7.5 million heat-not-burn (heated tobacco) related Google searches in Japan each month based on the latest search estimates for September 2017. Moreover, forecasts relying on the historical trend suggest heat-not-burn (heated tobacco) searches will increase an additional 32% (95%CI: -4 to 79) during 2018, compared to current estimates for 2017 (January–September), with further growth expected.
Queries for heat-not-burn (heated tobacco) in Japan occur more frequently than queries for e-cigarettes in the United States, with the Japanese heat-not-burn queries first eclipsing e-cigarette queries in April 2016. Further, the change in average monthly queries for heat-not-burn (heated tobacco) in Japan between 2015 and 2017 was 399 (95% CI: 184–1,490) times larger than the change in average monthly queries for e-cigarettes in the Unites States over the same time period, increasing by 2,956% (95%CI: 1,729–7,304) compared to only 7% (95%CI: 3–13). These results indicate that interest in heat-not-burn (heated tobacco) may outpace interest in e-cigarettes (in areas where they are introduced) not just now but for years to come.
Google searches for heat-not-burn tobacco (heated tobacco) outpace past rise of electronic cigarettes. The above figure shows the Relative Search Volume (scaled from 0–100 and adjusted for number of total Google search volumes per month in Japan and the USA) for heat-not-burn (heated tobacco) and e-cigarette products.
Demand for heat-not-burn tobacco products presents a host of tobacco control challenges similar to e-cigarettes and new challenges specific to these products. Heat-not-burn tobacco products have been advertised as reduced-risk tobacco products in their Japanese test market, and these marketing messages will undoubtedly contaminate other markets even where such messaging is banned. Tobacco control advocates will have to develop strategies to both discover and then disseminate messages about the health risks associated with these products. Further, tobacco control advocates will have to consider making adjustments to existing tobacco control policies so that they apply to heat-not-burn tobacco products. For example, policy makers want to extend existing indoor smoking bans to include the emissions from heat-not-burn tobacco products, whether to stigmatize their use or protect bystanders from potentially hazardous emissions.
The term "heat-not-burn" refers to tobacco heated (at ~350 °C) by an electrically-powered element or carbon, not combusted (at ~800 °C). Terms used in marketing of cigarette-like products that "heat rather than burn" are referring to the product as "reduced risk" and "innovative". Marketing slogans like "heat-not-burn" cannot be a substitute for science. The tobacco industry has described them as "not-burned" (heat-not-burn), although it has backtracked from this claim, as of 2018. Heat-not-burn tobacco products are not typically marketed as a harmless substitute to smoking. The IQOS product has been advertised as emitting "no smoke". This advertisement claim is not a replacement for science. These products are marketed as a "smoke-free" alternative to traditional cigarettes, and promoted as a way to lower risk from smoking. It is expected that the promotion associated with these products will worsen the worldwide tobacco risk.
Companies are using similar strategies previously used for traditional cigarettes. They are marketed through a variety of outlets. This includes celebrities endorsing them. "The tobacco industry has opened heat-not-burn product flagship stores, cafes and sponsored public events such as concerts and car races around the world, which is alarming," said Judith Mackay, director of the Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control.
Internal documents and statements by Philip Morris International researchers have contradicted Philip Morris International's claims about reduced harm in regard to the IQOS product. For example, in 2018, four Philip Morris International researchers who no longer work for the company stated that the lowered levels of certain substances produced by the IQOS product does not automatically translated into the product being safer, but Philip Morris International states the IQOS is safer than traditional cigarettes in part as a result of levels of 58 substances were lower in the IQOS aerosol than found in cigarette smoke.
The tobacco industry claims that smokers will switch to heated tobacco products. However IQOS users are more likely to smoke and/or use e-cigarettes as well. Among those who have tried or intend to try IQOS, never-smokers equal or outnumber smokers. A review of Philip Morris's own research found that smokers did not understand "switching completely" and that IQOS users are not likely to switch completely.
Philip Morris International has been intensively promoting its IQOS product in Europe and Asia, as of 2017. Outside of an IQOS retail shop in Canada, marketing included a display sign with the message, 'Building a Smoke-Free Future'. Philip Morris International intends to convert its customers in Japan to using heat-not-burn products. The IQOS products are sold as an alternative to regular cigarettes.
There has been significant controversy surrounding the marketing and use of these products. The tobacco companies are using a series of claims in the marketing of heat-not-burn tobacco products. Both in websites and statements to the media and investors, heat-not-burn tobacco products are presented as less harmful but not risk-free. In a few instances, marketing materials claim that heat-not-burn tobacco products are potentially helpful to smokers who want to quit. Some media accounts of product launches state that heat-not-burn tobacco products reduce the levels of harmful tobacco components by 90%–95% compared with traditional cigarettes, while others emphasise the lack of odor or visible emissions as part of marketing campaigns. As of April 2018, there is no evidence to confirm this claimed 90%–95% lower level of harm. However the public can perceive "lower exposure" claims as lower risk, even if no lower risk claim was made explicitly. Other marketing claims highlight that these products produce no smoke, that is, are smoke-free. Implied in these claims, in advertisements and stores globally, is that smokers should switch from traditional cigarettes to these new, allegedly less harmful, products. The introduction of the latest generation of heat-not-burn tobacco products appears to be the latest chapter in the decades-old tobacco industry strategy of working to create partnerships with governments and health advocates, presenting these alleged 'harm reduction' products as an option to address the tobacco epidemic.
|Product name||Marketing terms||Product appeal|
|IQOS||Reduced risk product, innovative||Clean (white, bright blue), stylish, elegant|
|Revo||Reduced risk||Similar sized package as traditional cigarette, white or light grey or gold|
|PAX 2||Smaller, smarter, sleeker||Design, elegant and fun|
|iFuse||Reduced risk||Packed as traditional cigarette, stylish|
The tobacco industry's use of the 'harm reduction' framework also serves to fracture the tobacco control movement, leaving it without a unified voice to communicate with the public, the media and with policy makers on the strategies to advance tobacco control. The concept of harm reduction has traditionally been embraced in several public health fields such as clean needles for injectable drug use and has been explored by some tobacco control experts in the past, with enthusiasm for the possibility of harm reduction growing with the widespread availability of e-cigarettes in certain markets. The tobacco industry frames harm reduction as a common ground with health advocates and a possible entry point to influence legislation and regulation of tobacco products.
The tobacco companies use heat-not-burn tobacco products as part of their broader political and public relations activities to position them as 'partners' to address the tobacco epidemic rather than as the vectors that are causing it. This is a similar strategy previously used by the tobacco industry to promote itself as a partner of public health in reducing the harms of tobacco, while obfuscating the scientific evidence pointing that harm reduction is achieved through tobacco control policies that decrease consumption.
Current smoking bans may not have been extended to include such products. In the majority of the countries in which they have been sold, heat-not-burn tobacco products have been taxed at a lower rate than traditional cigarettes. Tobacco companies have used these products to seek exemptions and relaxations of existing tobacco control policies. Heat-not-burn tobacco products are used as an attempt by tobacco companies to influence regulatory policy to sustain and increase their clientele in the midst of decreasing cigarette usage.
In the United States, these products fall under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2016. "There is concern that heat-not-burn tobacco will skirt local ordinances that prevent smoking in public areas," Mitchell H. Katz, director of the Los Angeles County Health Agency, wrote in 2017. Action on Smoking and Health stated in 2016 that "unless and until independent evidence shows that IQOS and similar products are substantially less harmful than smoking then these products should be regulated in the same way as other tobacco products." Tobacco control activist Stanton Glantz stated that the US FDA should halt new tobacco products until tobacco companies stop selling traditional cigarettes. It is recommended that indoor-smoking bans for traditional cigarettes be extended to heat-not-burn tobacco products. It is recommended that marketing of these products, and claims being made about them, should be regulated.
Advertisement for the IQOS product itself is not regulated under the European Union Tobacco Products Directive. Advertising for IQOS' tobacco stick may fall under the European Union Tobacco Products Directive. The UK government has been looking into creating a separate category for taxing heat-not-burn tobacco products.
Due to the alleged belief in heat-not-burn tobacco harm reduction in Italy, these products are exempted from the fiscal regimes of tobacco products. Heat-not-burn tobacco products enjoy the same tax reduction as e-cigarettes, which is half that of traditional cigarettes. Moreover, the enforcement of various tobacco control regulations is only minimally adopted for heated tobacco products in Italy. First of all, health warnings are required to cover only 30% of the heat-not-burn tobacco product packaging (instead of 65% for traditional cigarettes), without pictorial images. Second, comprehensive smoke-free regulations prohibiting smoking in all public places and workplaces do not apply to heat-not-burn tobacco products. Finally, advertising and promotions are not banned for these new products. This is evident by the presence in several strategic Italian cities of the "IQOS embassy" and "IQOS boutique", which are fancy concept stores where IQOS is promoted as a status symbol and people can try it for free. Therefore, the most recognized tobacco control policies (i.e., price/tax increase, smoking bans, advertising bans, and health warnings) have been compromised for heat-not-burn tobacco products in Italy.
Heat-not-burn tobacco products are not restricted for sale in Israel by the Ministry of Health. Justice Ministry in Israel agreed with the view of three voluntary organizations that the IQOS is a tobacco product, and the product should be regulated in the same manner as tobacco products. In Israel IQOS are now taxed at the same rate as traditional cigarettes.
Ploom, IQOS, and glo fall under the Tobacco Business Act as tobacco products in Japan because they consist of tobacco leaf. Ploom and IQOS are governed by the Tobacco Industries Act regulations as tobacco products in Japan. The Liberal Democratic Party will deliberate over increasing the tax rate for heat-not-burn tobacco products in April 2018.
Electronic tobacco products using dry material are regulated as e-cigarettes in South Korea by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Korea regulates e-cigarettes differently than traditional cigarettes for tax reasons. As a result, IQOS are taxed at a decreased rate, compared to the 75% incurred on normal cigarettes. Emerging tobacco products are banned in Singapore by the Ministry of Health. China plans to pass legislation to ban the sale of these products to minors, as of 2019.
After IQOS launched a marketing campaign in New Zealand in December 2016, the Ministry of Health stated in 2017 that the refill sticks are not legal for sale in New Zealand under the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990. A representative for the company in New Zealand stated that IQOS product complies with the Smoke-Free Environments Act. Three meetings between Ministry of Health officials and people from the tobacco industry were held from May 30, 2017 through June 2, 2017 to "discuss regulation of new tobacco and nicotine-delivery products". Later on, in August 2017, the government stated they would initiate a review process before products are sold for heat-not-burn tobacco products such as IQOS. In 2018, Philip Morris International and the Ministry of Health were in a court over the legality of selling IQOS in New Zealand. A New Zealand court decided in March 2018 that the HEETs sticks used in the IQOS product are legal to sell in New Zealand. Individuals can import heat-not-burn tobacco products to New Zealand for personal use. As of 2019[update], 49 countries have permitted the sale of IQOS.
- A heat-not-burn product, is also variously known as heat-not-burn device, heat-not-burn tobacco product (HNB), Heat-not-Burn tobacco product, heat-not-burn cigarette (HC), heat-not-burn cig HNB tobacco product, HnB tobacco product, HNB product, HnB product, heat-not-burn tobacco device, heat-not-burn system, HnB system, heat-not-burn (HNB) device, heat-not-burn device, HNB device, HnB tobacco device, HnB device, HNB cigarette, heated tobacco product (HTB), heated cigarette, HTP cigarette, cigarette-like product, mini-cigarette, electronic heated tobacco product, electronically-heated cigarette smoking system (EHCSS), electrically heated cigarette smoking system, electrically heated tobacco system, non-combusted cigarette, non-combusted tobacco product, tobacco heating cigarette, tobacco heating product, tobacco heating system, THS, smokeless cigarette, smokeless tobacco stick, tobacco stick product, loose-leaf tobacco vaporizer, LLTV, tobacco vaporizer, or a T-vapor.
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