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The History of IQOS Heated Tobacco Products
The History of IQOS Heated Tobacco Products

The History of IQOS Heated Tobacco Products

The History of IQOS Heated Tobacco Products

The history of heated tobacco products and the history of IQOS, the innovative heat-not-burn alternative to continued smoking.

The History of IQOS Heated Tobacco Products

When thinking of Philip Morris International, most people probably think of “tobacco company” or “cigarette manufacturer”. However, over the last decade, we have evolved beyond only producing cigarettes.

In fact, we have made it our mission to replace cigarettes with smoke-free products as soon and as fast as possible. There is no doubt that never starting to smoke or quitting altogether is the best option. However, adult smokers who want to continue using tobacco should know that not all tobacco containing products are the same. We strongly believe that our smoke-free products are a better alternative than continued smoking by adults who would otherwise continue to smoke or use other nicotine products. And that is why we are transforming our company and building our future on replacing cigarettes with smoke-free alternatives.

How did heated tobacco products get started?

The history of heated tobacco products dates back decades. The idea of heating tobacco instead of burning it has been around since 1935. However, these first heated tobacco devices, along with their heated tobacco products, failed to offer a suitable alternative for adult smokers.

How did IQOS get started as a heated tobacco brand?

Philip Morris International wanted to provide the World's adult smokers who do not quit, over one-billion people, with better options than continuing to smoke. That is how IQOS, our heated tobacco system, got started.

In 2014, the first IQOS consumer-ready innovative heat-not-burn device alternative was launched in Japan and Italy. Gradually, IQOS rolled out to other countries and is now available in 51 countries.

However, the history of IQOS at Philip Morris International dates back to 2008, when researchers and scientists started working towards smoking alternatives. This commitment is the result of many years of careful deliberation, backed up by a substantial research and development programme.

IQOS is part of our portfolio of smoke-free products, for which PMI invested over USD 6 billion and over 10 years of ongoing research and product development. More than 400 scientists and engineers have collaborated on the development and assessment of our smoke-free products.

So far, more than 10 million adult smokers have chosen to switch to IQOS and leave cigarettes behind*. And it’s no wonder! There are many reasons for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, or use other nicotine products, to make the change to IQOS. It delivers the true taste of real tobacco without fire, ash and cigarette smoke smell. IQOS also emits 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes**. Important information: It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. IQOS is not risk-free. All these benefits are what ultimately makes IQOS a better choice than continued smoking.

If you’d also like to leave smoke behind and join the IQOS community, there are currently three IQOS heat-not-burn devices you can choose from: IQOS 3 DUO, IQOS 3 Multi and IQOS 2.4 PLUS. You can find all of our heated tobacco devices online at or in any of our IQOS stores. To find an IQOS store near you, use the Store Locator on our website.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: IQOS is not risk-free and provides nicotine, which is addictive. Only for use by adults who would otherwise continue to smoker or use other nicotine products.

*Source: PMI Financials or estimates, IQOS user panels and PMI Market Research. Status as of March 2020. IQOS users who have completely quit cigarettes and for whom tobacco sticks represent more than 70% of their past 7-day tobacco consumption.

**”95% less” represents the average reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette (3R4F). See Important Information on

IQOS contains nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance. No sale to persons under the age of 18.