Product Development

Our product development process follows the principle of “Quality by Design.” This means that the products are specifically designed with the aim to eliminate or reduce the levels of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) found in their aerosol compared to those found in cigarette smoke.

It is combustion that causes the production of the majority of harmful chemicals detected in cigarette smoke.

Decades of scientific research show that the primary cause of smoking-related disease is the HPHCs largely formed by the combustion of tobacco.

During a puff of a cigarette, the temperature increases to more than 800ºC (1472°F) at the periphery of the burning zone.


The combustion of tobacco results in the formation of smoke, heat and ash. The images below show a typical temperature profile in a lit cigarette during the self-sustaining combustion of tobacco, compared with the temperature profile for IQOS.

Baker, R. R. (1975). Temperature variation within a cigarette combustion coal during the smoking cycle. High Temp Sci 7: 236-247.

Absence of combustion in IQOS

We have conducted several studies to demonstrate the absence of combustion in IQOS, including temperature measurements, experiments demonstrating the absence of exothermic processes, and measurements of constituents that represent typical markers of combustion.


Our studies also support that the aerosol of IQOS does not contain solid particles that are produced when plant material is burned. In addition, since burning requires oxygen, we have tested IQOS in an oxygen-free atmosphere and the results showed that the aerosol generated by IQOS was equivalent under both atmospheres, supporting the view that combustion does not occur during IQOS use.

We found that the levels of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) in the IQOS aerosol were reduced by more than 90% on average compared to smoke from a standard research cigarette.

We measured a number of HPHCs in the aerosol of IQOS and compared them to the levels found in the smoke of a standard reference cigarette (3R4F). The chart below shows the reduction of HPHCs we found by disease category using Health Canada’s Intense Smoking Regime. The comparison is on a per stick basis and excludes nicotine.

Health Canada’s Intense Smoking Regime; comparison on a per-stick basis; excludes nicotine.

The picture below shows the visual difference between the particulate matter of cigarette smoke (left) and the particulate matter of IQOS aerosol (right) after collection on Cambridge glass-fiber pads.

Schaller, J. P., et al. (2016). Evaluation of the Tobacco Heating System 2.2. Part 2: Chemical composition, genotoxicity, cytotoxicity, and physical properties of the aerosol. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 81 Suppl2: S27-S47. (Reference)