Do E-Cigarettes Contain Tobacco?

In the UK, there are many alternatives to continued smoking available to adult smokers - each one offering different features and functions. Often, smoke-free alternatives are misleadingly grouped under one category: e-cigarettes. However, an e-cigarette is only one smoke-free product, specifically one that does not contain tobacco. 

Besides e-cigarettes, there are other types of smoke-free alternatives that contain tobacco. 

If you’re asking yourself questions like ‘do e-cigarettes have tobacco in them?’ or even ‘is there tobacco in vapes?’, keep reading to learn more, and explore some smoke-free options. 

What Are E-Cigarettes?

E-cigarettes, also known as vapes, are just one potential alternative to smoking. They heat e-liquids (sometimes called vaping liquid), which produce a vapour that’s drawn from the device by the user.

The e-liquids used in e-cigarettes can come with or without nicotine, and are generally available in various flavours, including tobacco. 

So, while there may be e-liquids that have a tobacco flavour, when it comes to the question of ‘do vapes have tobacco?’, the answer is that they do not. 

What Smoking Alternatives Contain Tobacco?

While you likely won’t be able to find a ‘tobacco vape’, smoke-free tobacco products do exist. 

Heated tobacco products, also known as heat-not-burn products, heat up real tobacco (instead of e-liquid) to release nicotine-containing vapour without burning the tobacco. This heating process results in the production of vapour rather than smoke, which is typically created through the process of combustion. 

How Do I Choose Between E-Cigarettes and Heated Tobacco?

Once the main difference between e-cigarettes and heated tobacco is understood, the answer to this question is truly a matter of personal preference.

​​​IQOS heats, not burns. It includes tobacco, formed into sticks called HEETS, developed to be used exclusively with IQOS technology. HEETS are made of real tobacco leaf which are specially prepared and compressed. They are also designed to last around 14 puffs, which is about the same amount of time as a cigarette. Moreover, the way IQOS heats the HEETS tobacco sticks is via a heating blade, which means the tobacco heats first (and not the paper wrapped around the tobacco stick), ensuring a consistent tobacco taste and experience. ​​Studies* showed that the satisfaction of those who switched completely to IQOS is comparable to those who continued to smoke cigarettes.

Another heated tobacco option is our latest IQOS generation - the IQOS ILUMA series, which are compatible with TEREA tobacco sticks. TEREA sticks have been specifically developed for this latest IQOS generation. Every IQOS ILUMA model features a bladeless Smartcore Induction Technology. ​IQOS ILUMA Smartcore Induction technology heats tobacco instead of burning it to deliver the taste of real tobacco. IQOS ILUMA emits 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.** 

Important information: This does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. IQOS ILUMA is not risk-free.

​​*3 month clinical studies conducted in US and Japan with 160 adult smokers each under real conditions (ambulatory).

​​​** “95% less” represents the average reduction in levels of the 9 chemicals recommended for reduction in cigarette smoke by the World Health Organization, which do not include nicotine. See Important Information on

Note that IQOS is not risk-free and delivers nicotine, which is addictive. IQOS is not an alternative to quitting and is not designed as a cessation aid. The best decision any adult smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine consumption entirely. 

Some of the information in the following blog is based on external, third party sources and is for educational/informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to be representative of the products sold on this website.

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Learn about heated tobacco
Learn about heated tobacco

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