Common Questions About Heated Tobacco

If you’re an adult user looking to move away from smoking cigarettes to heated tobacco, you’ll likely have questions such as ‘what is heated tobacco?’ or ‘what heat-not-burn devices are available to me?’ 

Here, we’ll answer some of the most common questions adult users have about heated tobacco. From what it is to whether or not it smells, read on to find out more about how this smoke-free alternative works.

What Is Heated Tobacco?

Heated tobacco devices heat tobacco instead of burning it, as is the case with combustible tobacco products like cigarettes. To be able to heat tobacco, you will need a tobacco stick and a compatible device you heat the tobacco with. However, exactly how your heated tobacco product will come may vary from product to product.

What Is Heat-Not-Burn Tobacco?

You may have heard of ‘heat-not-burn’ technology before, and are wondering what is heat-not-burn tobacco or even what are heat-not-burn devices.

The term ‘heat-not-burn’ is a trademarked technology used in Philip Morris International (PMI) and is used in tobacco heating devices like IQOS ILUMA.

Unlike cigarettes, IQOS ILUMA does not burn tobacco and therefore produces no smoke. IQOS ILUMA uses induction heating technology, heating tobacco from the inside, providing a clean and consistent experience. What’s more, it provides real tobacco taste and satisfaction. 

What Is Combustible Tobacco and How Does it Differ from Heated Tobacco?

Combustible tobacco is a term typically used for products that burn tobacco. Such products could include cigarettes, cigars and/or roll-your-own tobacco. On the other hand, smoke-free, non-combustible tobacco products could include tobacco heating devices.

Is Heating Tobacco Better Than Burning It?

Generally, many of a cigarette’s most harmful chemicals and substances are produced during the burning process (commonly known as combustion). While it can’t be said that every tobacco heating product is a better alternative than combustible tobacco, this is the case for tobacco heating devices in the IQOS ILUMA series. IQOS ILUMA emits significantly lower levels of harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.*

Important information: IQOS ILUMA is not risk-free.

* Reductions in levels of the 9 harmful chemicals the World Health Organization recommends to reduce in cigarette smoke, which do not include nicotine. See Important Information on

Cigarettes produce high amounts of carbon monoxide - IQOS ILUMA doesn’t. Cigarettes burn tobacco, which produces high amounts of carbon monoxide. IQOS ILUMA doesn’t burn tobacco, producing on average 98% less carbon monoxide (CO) and significantly lower levels of other harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.*

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This does not mean a 98% reduction in risk, and carbon monoxide is only one of many harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke. IQOS ILUMA is not risk free, and provides nicotine which is addictive.

* We measured the levels of the 9 harmful chemicals the World Health Organization recommends to reduce in cigarette smoke, which do not include nicotine, and these are reduced on average by 95%. See Important Information on

There are several other benefits associated with switching to IQOS ILUMA instead of continuing to smoke cigarettes. For example, unlike cigarettes, IQOS ILUMA has no risk of burning others around you, pets, clothes, and furniture as there is no lit end.

Does Heated Tobacco Smell?

Depending on the device, heated tobacco products may produce a smell. However, it typically differs from the smell of regular cigarettes.

When using IQOS ILUMA, the tobacco vapour dissipates more quickly than cigarette smoke.* Moreover, as IQOS ILUMA produces less smell than cigarettes, it is less likely to bother people around you.* Plus, it leaves less smell on furniture and fabric than cigarettes.**

* 85% agreement amongst 674 adult consumers in Japan and Italy, 2020 -2021.

** 93% agreement on less smell amongst 674 adult consumers in Japan and Italy, 2020 – 2021.

In comparison, when it comes to combustible tobacco, you may be wondering ‘can you smoke indoors without it smelling?’ The odour of cigarette smell may linger for hours after a cigarette is extinguished.

If you’d like to know more about the difference in smell between heated tobacco and cigarettes, give our article ‘The Smell of Cigarette Smoke vs Heated Tobacco’ a read.

Smoking Cigarettes vs Using Heated Tobacco in Hotels

Heated and combustible tobacco are two separate products, and therefore, how you use them in areas like hotels may differ. So, can you smoke in hotels?

Whether or not you can smoke in a hotel may depend on the establishment itself and its specific regulations. Sometimes, there are hotels with smoking rooms, which create a dedicated space for smoking cigarettes, however, this should be confirmed with the relevant authorities of the establishment.

When it comes to using heated tobacco in hotels, each establishment may have its own set of rules around this too. Therefore, it is important to check with the relevant authorities before using heated tobacco in your hotel room or in a shared space of the hotel. Want to know more about using heated tobacco in public places? Read our article on using heated tobacco in public for further details.

If you’re interested in transitioning away from continued smoking to a heated tobacco product, learn more about our IQOS ILUMA devices.

Smoke-free products are not risk-free and provide nicotine, which is addictive. The best decision any adult smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. Smoke-free products are not alternatives to quitting and are not designed as cessation aids.

This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information.