A heated tobacco product (HTP) is an innovative tobacco product that heats tobacco without burning it. The result is an inhaled aerosol that delivers nicotine but with lower levels of harmful chemicals compared to cigarette smoke.
Heated tobacco products are a relatively new way to enjoy tobacco. They are used in much the same way as cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, but instead of combusting tobacco, they heat it. This reduces the levels of harmful chemicals generated.
Heating tobacco has a long history in Japan and the first smokeless heated tobacco product was introduced there in 1988. Today, there are many different types of heated tobacco products on the market, including the IQOS system and its accessories, which were launched by Philip Morris International (PMI) in key cities around the world beginning in 2014.
Heated tobacco products, a category that includes IQOS and PLOOM are devices that heat tobacco to produce a nicotine-containing aerosol. They are not e-cigarettes, which contain and heat a liquid containing nicotine.
Heated tobacco products, as well as e-cigarettes, have undergone extensive review by the FDA. The FDA has concluded based on the available scientific evidence that they can be marketed as less harmful than cigarettes, but only if they are sold as part of a plan to get smokers to completely quit combustible tobacco products. Such a plan is known as a Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) application. No MRTP applications for any heated tobacco products or e-cigarettes have been approved to date.
Heated tobacco products use tobacco heating systems (THS) to release nicotine and flavor. They are not a form of smokeless tobacco, as they do produce an aerosol, albeit one that is different from cigarette smoke.
Heat-not-burn systems heat tobacco to a lower temperature than required for combustion. The product is heated but not burned, so the level of harmful chemicals is significantly reduced.
The IQOS system utilizes a patented technology that heats specially designed heated tobacco units up to 350°C, generating an aerosol with real tobacco taste. This is completely different from electronic cigarettes which typically use liquid solutions.
In electronic cigarettes, the liquids contain nicotine-based solutions and flavors that are vaporized by high temperatures produced by a battery-driven heating element in the device. IQOS does not require liquid nicotine solutions or replaceable cartridges or pods: it uses real tobacco instead.