IQOS List of terms

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Formerly the standard reference cigarette used in tobacco industry and toxicity tests. It was replaced with a new version, 3R4F, in 2006.



The standard reference cigarette used for testing purposes by producers of tobacco products and health organizations worldwide. Developed as the typical cigarette for scientific purposes by the University of Kentucky, the 3R4F cigarette has been used since 2006. Additional information is available at



A colorless, volatile, flammable liquid with a pungent odor. This organic compound is produced by plants and can be found in ripe fruits, coffee, and tobacco. In the human body, acetaldehyde is formed by metabolizing alcohol. It mainly affects the central nervous system and causes what is known as a hangover. Acetaldehyde is classified as extremely flammable and harmful to health. 


A varied mixture of solid and liquid particles dispersed in gas, usually in the air. A mixture containing solid particles is called fume or smoke. A mixture containing dissipated liquid is called mist or vapor. Cigarette smoke is specific due to containing solid particulate matter produced by burning tobacco. No burning takes place in e-cigarettes or IQOS devices. For that reason, the term aerosol is used.


An acronym for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. ASHRAE is a professional association of all US manufacturers of heating, cooling, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. The main part of ASHRAE's mission is to advance climate control technologies for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning applications. ASHRAE provides recommendations with global applicability. Additional information is available at



This term includes exposure indicators and clinical risk indicators. Exposure biomarkers show the degree to which the human organism is exposed to the effects of chemical substances and the resulting risk. In the case of cigarette smoke, the measured values are smoke constituents present in human tissues or bodily fluids. The indicators can be used to extrapolate the average quantities of specific substances that enter the organism. Clinical risk indicators show changes in the chemical and physiological composition of parts of the human organism at the level of organs, tissues, and cells caused by a disease or predisposition for a disease. These indicators show how the human organism responds to a chemical substance. They do not necessary indicate that a person will develop a specific disease; they only show that the person might be more susceptible to developing such a disease.



A carcinogen is any chemical substance, biological agent (virus), or industrial process causing or conducive to the multiplication of cancer cells and the development of cancerous tumors. The official database of carcinogenic substances is maintained by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which classifies carcinogens according to scientific evidence pertaining to the correlation between exposure to a given factor and the development of cancer.


CRO refers to contract research organization, a summary term for contracted organizations whose research services cater to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and health sectors. CROs provide support for many areas of scientific research, including R&D, the conduct and verification of studies and analyses, documentation, clinical research, product assessment and testing, document revision, and the like. Their services save clients time and financial resources. CROs are subject to the impartial requirements of relevant laws and regulations. 



Also known as electronic cigarettes and vaporizers, these electronic devices produce aerosol, visually akin to cigarette smoke, from what is generally referred to as e-liquid. E-liquids have various flavors and ingredients, and they do not necessarily contain nicotine.


EHTP refers to an electronically heated tobacco product, a class of devices that serve for heating tobacco, as opposed to burning it, as is the case with conventional cigarettes. Philip Morris International offers adult smokers several products of this type, including the popular IQOS or the recently introduced TEEPS. Additional information is available here


Environmental tobacco smoke
Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a combination of sidestream smoke and smoke released by smokers into their surrounding environment. Passive smoking means that even if people do not smoke, they are exposed to and forced to inhale tobacco smoke.


ERS refers to exposure response study, a large study conducted by Philip Morris International to determine whether completely switching to smoke-free tobacco products, such as IQOS, results in an improvement in clinical risk indicators in adult smokers. The objective was to attain values comparable to those found in abstaining smokers.


ETS marker
An indicator of cigarette smoke in the environment. The presence of selected chemical substances indicates the degree to which people in the surrounding environment are exposed to smoke from a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Inhaling such smoke is referred to as passive smoking. The monitored chemical substances include solanesol, scopoletin, nicotine, 3-ethenylpyridine, and others


European Union.


The degree to which a substance affects a living organism or the extent to which the human organism is exposed to the effect of chemical substances. Exposure refers to the entire process from the entry of a substance into the organism to its transport to specific areas where it affects bodily functions.



FDA stands for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is a government agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services responsible for the oversight and regulation of foods, food supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, medical devices, and biopharmaceutical and blood products in the United States.



Also known as glycerol, glycerin is an organic compound in the form of a viscous, colorless, odorless, sweet liquid. Glycerin is used as a solvent and moisturizer in food production and for treating plastic, rubber, and other materials. Diluted glycerin is used to moisturize the skin and mucous membranes. However, glycerol is slightly toxic. Lower dosages cause headache, stomach discomfort, and vomiting. Nonetheless, for such a reaction, an adult person would have to ingest at least 90 to 120 g of glycerol at a time. Glycerol is essentially harmless in low concentrations.



Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHCs)
Harmful and potentially harmful constituents are substances present on a public list of harmful chemical substances contained in tobacco smoke. The list is compiled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The list currently includes as many as 93 substances. The list is available here


A proprietary tobacco heating technology designed by Philip Morris International for the needs of such products as IQOS. This technology serves for heating solid tobacco sticks directly from their center using a platinum-coated ceramic blade and an array of electronic sensors that monitor and maintain a constant temperature.


Heat not Burn
A term used to designate products that heat tobacco as opposed to burning it. IQOS is an example of a Heat-not-Burn device.


The brand name for tobacco sticks produced by Philip Morris International for the exclusive use with IQOS devices. HEETS contain crushed leaves of select tobacco types from plantations located in various parts of the world, enriched with aromatic substances, and pressed into standard tobacco sheets to ensure optimal concentration and distribution.


High-resolution spectrometry and chromatography
Spectrometry is a method used in analytical chemistry to determine the composition of specific molecules of a tested sample by analyzing the ratio of the weight of tested particles and their charge. Chromatography is a biophysical technique allowing the separation of the constituents of the tested mixture due to their different responses during the mobile and stationary phases of the process. Chromatography can be easily used to determine the exact composition of the analyzed mixture of substances.



Indoor air quality.


IEC, UL, and IATA Safety Standards
International standards of global organizations for electrical engineering, electronics, communication technologies, and related fields.
IEC stands for the International Electrotechnical Commission. Detailed information is available at
UL refers to the safety standards of the Underwriters Laboratories established in 1894. Detailed information is available at
IATA standards represent recommendations issued by the International Air Transport Association.


In vitro study
In vitro is a technical term used in biology, medicine, and other related fields. It refers to the examination of living human or animal organisms and their parts in an artificial laboratory setting. In vitro is a Latin term translated as "in glass". In other words, in vitro refers to scientific examination carried out using test tubes, Petri dishes, and other types of laboratory glassware that allow growing and cultivating cultures.


In vivo study
In vivo is a Latin term used in biology and medicine. Literally, it means "in a living organism", either the human or an animal body. The term might apply either to an experiment or to the actual progress of a certain phenomenon or disease in natural conditions, for example the observation of living organisms in their natural habitat.


International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (more at is an international organization that forms part of the World Health Organization. It is based in Lyon, France and coordinates research into the causes of cancer. In addition, the IARC maintains a database classifying carcinogenic substances


IQOS is an alternative to smoking conventional cigarettes. It is an electronic device designed to heat tobacco instead of burning it. IQOS is manufactured by Philip Morris International.


ISO international standards
Standards published by the International Organization for Standardization based in Geneva, Switzerland. The word ISO comes from Greek and means "identical". The International Organization for Standardization publishes globally recognized ISO standards and other documents in all areas of standardization, including technical specifications, technical reports, specifications available in the public domain, conventions on technical trends, conventions pertaining to industry conferences, and ISO-related instructions.



Nicotine is a plant-based alkaloid found in tobacco. It is an alkaline organic compound with stimulating and relaxing effects. Nicotine is addictive, because it affects the nervous system.



Passive smoking
Passive smoking is a phenomenon that occurs when people are exposed to and inhale tobacco smoke from the environment, even though they are not smoking themselves.


Pharmacodynamics study (PD)
A pharmacokinetic study analyzes the response of the organism to chemical substances, the way in which the body processes substances, how they are absorbed, whether they cause adverse reactions, and other factors. In the case of nicotine, pharmacokinetic studies help determine the degree to which alternative tobacco products are a suitable substitution for cigarettes.


Platform 1
Platform 1 is another designation for IQOS devices that may be encountered on the official website of the manufacturer, Philip Morris International, at


PLA filtr
PLA refers to polylactic acid. A PLA fiber is a polyester product made from plant-based materials. PLA is fully degradable and poses no health hazards. In IQOS tobacco sticks, PLA serves as a raw material produced from corn starch, where lactic acid esters account for no less than 85% of its content. PLA materials have a better resistance to solar and heat radiation compared to regular polyesters. More importantly, the substances they contain are biodegradable.


Public Health England
Public Health England is a British health authority under the Department of Health and Social Care, which is responsible for research aimed at protecting and improving public health.



Reconstituted tobacco
A term used in connection with tobacco sticks for IQOS devices. Reconstituted tobacco is produced using a proprietary process in which tobacco leaves are ground and subsequently laminated into uniform sheets to ensure optimal distribution and concentration. The sheets are subsequently wrinkled and formed into a tobacco insert.


RRP stands for reduced-risk products. This is an alias, a term used by Philip Morris International to designate products that lower or have the potential to carry lower health risks to adult smokers compared to the continued smoking of cigarettes.



Sidestream smoke
Sidestream smoke is smoke that comes from the burning end of a lighted cigarette. Compared to smoke inhaled by smokers, sidestream smoke has a different, more harmful composition and exacerbates the passive smoking phenomenon.


Stoichiometric mixture
The stoichiometric mixture is a technical term that refers to the perfectly balanced mixture in the context of burning. A mixture is stoichiometric if it contains neither excess fuel nor excess oxygen after combustion.



Tar is a mixture of several hundreds of chemical substances. Tar is a dark-colored, thick oil-like liquid with a typical odor. Tobacco tar is produced by burning tobacco contained in cigarettes. No tar is produced by e-cigarettes, IQOS, and other similar products. Most of the substances contained in tar are considered carcinogenic or toxic. Because tar contains a large number of various substances, determining its harmfulness based on quantity alone is difficult. For that reason, information to that effect is no longer provided on cigarette packs. Additional information is available in the Chemical Composition section.


Tobacco nitrosamines
Nitrosamines are specific chemical substances released into the air from burning cigarettes. They are considered to be some of the most important carcinogens contained in tobacco smoke.


Tobacco stick
Tobacco sticks look like a small version of a conventional cigarette. They contain genuine tobacco and are used with IQOS devices. In the Czech Republic and in Slovakia, tobacco sticks are sold under the brand name HEETS .



Vaporizers are a large group of electronic devices that serve for vaporizing liquid and in some cases solid substances. There are different types of vaporizers, ranging from large table-top devices for home use to small, pocket-sized units. Most vaporizers are electrical, powered by a battery.



The WHO refers to the World Health Organization that was established by the United Nations in 1948. The WHO coordinates public health issues in the international context.


WOT is an acronym for whole offer test, a method for evaluating ways of using a given product by consumers prior to its introduction on the market. The test focuses on examining product use in real-life conditions, on user satisfaction, and on the overall interest in the tested product. Philip Morris International has carried out WOT tests for IQOS in five countries: Japan, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and South Korea.


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