Heat not Burn

Posted 19th June 2017 by Dave Cross
Heat Not Burn type devices have completed their test marketing, and begun to be rolled out across global markets. In many ways tobacco companies hope they will be seen as beneficial products in the same way that vaping has been embraced. While Philip Morris touts the health benefits from its product, they remain more risky than vaping.

UK’s head honcho, Martin Inkster said: “We certainly see a future where Philip Morris no longer will be selling cigarettes in the market.” This future is still going to contain tobacco if they have anything to do with it.

The new version of the iQOS comes uses things that look awfully like mini-cigarettes. Called “Heets from Marlboro”; they come in packs of 20 for around £8, and resemble the sort of cigarette that New York City cabbie, Korben Dallas smoked. Except you can’t smoke them. They say it’s a “tobacco product that does not involve combustion. The product generates a nicotine-containing aerosol and our harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) characterisation of this aerosol shows significant reductions in all of the 58 constituents that we measure (with the exception of nicotine) when compared to cigarette smoke.  Platform 1 also produces less smell than cigarette smoke.”

Philip Morris claim the iQOS carries 10% of the risk of tobacco cigarettes yet an identical nicotine hit, and they are so keen that this product should succeed they’ve invested over £2billion into the device. Currently, there is no independent evidence demonstrating the iQOS, or similar products from British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International, is any less harmful than a tobacco cigarette.

Predictably, there are studies announcing the presence of unwanted chemicals, by researchers who refuse to accept harm reduction as a concept in relation to nicotine use. Reuters report that a study found 84% of the nicotine of a normal cigarette, but also included “chemicals linked to cancer including carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.”


The University of Bern’s Dr Auer said: “We need more studies to find out about the health consequences” of smoking heat-not-burn cigarettes. However, there is no safe minimum limit for some of the chemicals and some of these chemicals may contribute to the high mortality rate of smokers.”

Given the success of vaping, it is surprising that so much time and money is being ploughed into developing this tech, and press reports illustrate that further iterations of the devices are guaranteed. British American Tobacco is celebrating its GLO product by opening flagship stores in Tokyo and Osaka – and plans are afoot to go head to head with Philip Morris in South Korea in July/August.

Japan Tobacco International’s CEO, Mitsuomi Koizumi believes that these new generation heat not burn products will take over at least 25% of the Japanese vaping market by the end of 2018 – plus, in combination with a strong national no smoking plan, sees the 2020 Olympics as being a massive platform for his company’s alternative products.

Do any of PotV’s vaping readers think they would like to try a heat not burn product? Do you think they have a future in place of vaping?

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker
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