The IQOS is a cigarette developed by the world number 1 in tobacco Philipp Morris International (PMI). IQOS is now distributed in 52 countries. This device is based on a so-called heated tobacco technology using a laminated tobacco bed compacted in the presence of cellulose, guar gum, glycerin and water. During use, the temperature quickly rises to 300 ° C and delivers an aerosol enriched in nicotine.

It is noted that the aerosol does not contain propylene glycol, the latter being known to decompose at 300 ° C into irritating and toxic aldehydes such as acetaldehyde. In order to assess the toxic potential of IQOS, the researchers analyzed the volatile compounds present in the aerosol. It appears that 62 substances are found present, including diacetyl, acetylpropionyl, hydroxymethylfurfural, and diethylhexyl phthalate, the latter being a known plasticizer. The authors point out that these latter compounds are recognized as toxic and carcinogenic.

This study highlights the need to properly assess and qualify heated tobacco-type devices marketed as reduced-risk tobacco products.

Identification of volatile constituents released from IQOS heat-not-burn tobacco HeatSticks using a direct sampling method. Charlotte N E Tompkins & coll. January 15, 2020

© Photo credit: Philip Morris