The science and research behind IQOS. 

Philip Morris International’s scientific assessment journey. 

Brilliant gold, white, black and stellar blue IQOS 3 DUO chargers lined up

Scientific programme.

Philip Morris International (“PMI”) has developed a comprehensive step-by-step scientific assessment programme. This programme is inspired by the practices of the pharmaceutical industry and is in line with the USA’s Federal Drug Administration’s 2012 guidance on the assessment of candidate Modified Risk Tobacco products. PMI's assessment was also conducted according to international standards.

Is IQOS tobacco vapor less toxic than cigarette smoke?

In laboratory settings, PMI found that IQOS tobacco vapor is less toxic than cigarette smoke. PMI's scientists test the products thoroughly in PMI’s clinical study programme before they go into adult smokers’ hands. Using in vitro assays in PMI's labs, PMI assessed the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of IQOS tobacco vapor in comparison with the smoke of a reference cigarette designed for research purposes. Taken together, the results of these assays show that IQOS tobacco vapor is significantly less toxic than the smoke from reference cigarette.

 

This is just a glimpse of PMI's work. These tests were crucial before moving on to test IQOS with thousands of adult smokers who voluntarily participated in clinical study programme and ultimately allowed for the commercialization of PMI's products.

Brilliant gold IQOS 3 DUO holder with HEETS stick and charger

Clinical studies.

Do the significantly lower number and levels of harmful chemicals in IQOS tobacco vapor also mean lower levels of such chemicals in the body? If you reduce the level of harmful chemicals in IQOS tobacco vapor, it would make sense that switching completely to IQOS from cigarettes reduces exposure to these harmful chemicals. To prove this, PMI measured biomarkers of exposure for a number of these harmful chemicals in thousands of smokers who participated in PMI's clinical study programme (some switched to IQOS, while others either continued smoking their cigarette brand or quit for the duration of the study). 

These studies show that when smokers switch to IQOS, their body absorbs significantly lower levels of harmful chemicals, which in turn results in favorable changes in a number of risk markers selected because of their known association with smoking-related diseases.  

But it doesn’t end there.

Stellar blue IQOS 3 DUO holder and charger in a businessman's hand

IQOS experience. 

PMI's clinical study participants who switched to IQOS also report that IQOS provides comparable levels of satisfaction as cigarettes. This supports PMI's view that IQOS has the potential to be an acceptable alternative for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke. Based on all the scientific evidence, switching completely to IQOS is a better choice than continuing to smoke. 

However, and this is important: IQOS is not risk-free. The absolute best choice remains to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. IQOS is not an alternative to cessation. It delivers nicotine, which is addictive.

* Source: Based on the totality of evidence available for IQOS in comparison with continuing to smoke, which includes data on aerosol chemistry from 10 clinical studies conducted with thousands of participants in the US, Japan and Poland, and data from 18 non-clinical studies.

Man with a stellar blue IQOS 3 DUO with HEETS and a cup in his hands

Long term studies.

Once IQOS is available in the market, the research moves from being conducted in a pre-market setting to a real-world post-market setting. There, PMI looks at how the product is being used and by whom in order to complement the pre-market findings and to identify and prevent use or uptake by unintended audiences. After years of commercialization in many countries, the available data confirms the pre-market observations, in particular in terms of IQOS’ appeal to adult smokers and the relative lack of interest in former and never smokers.

PMI also monitors reports of health effects now that the product is used by millions of adult users. Long-term studies will eventually help evaluate the potential disease–specific risk reduction of IQOS. Gathering data to answer this question takes time, but it’s the right choice. So far, all the data available points in the right direction.

Brilliant gold IQOS 3 DUO with HEETS stick on top of charger
Brilliant gold IQOS 3 DUO holder with HEETS stick on charger on red fabric

The Result.

The totality of scientific evidence available to-date clearly demonstrates that switching completely to IQOS is a better choice than continuing to smoke cigarettes.*  

IQOS is not risk-free and delivers nicotine, which is addictive. The best decision any smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. 

*Source: Based on the totality of evidence available for IQOS in comparison with continuing to smoke, which includes data on aerosol chemistry from 10 clinical studies conducted with thousands of participants in the US, Japan and Poland, and data from 18 non-clinical studies.