Mythbusting: Is There Plastic in HEETS Filters?



There’s a very simple answer to this question, which is a big, bold NO! Let’s explain why by addressing some commonly asked questions…


What Exactly Are HEETS (Heated Tobacco Products)?

HEETS are specially designed tobacco sticks that contain high quality blended tobacco material and several filter sections. They’re intended to be used with IQOS, which is our specially designed device that carefully heats tobacco instead of burning it for real tobacco taste and satisfaction.


What Are HEETS Made From?

Inside HEETS (they’re called ‘HeatSticks’ in some countries), you’ll find a plug of tobacco, a hollow acetate tube, a crimped polymer-film filter made from corn-starch, a cellulose-acetate mouthpiece filter, and papers on the outer and at the mouth-end.

‘A Polymer-Film Filter Made From Corn-Starch’? But Isn’t ‘Polymer’ Another Name For Plastic?!

No - polymers can be natural, which is exactly what ours is (these polymers are often referred to as bio-plastics). The polymer-film filter we use for HEETS filter is made from PLA, which is always derived from renewable resources; in our case, corn starch (or corn resin).

Corn starch is a completely plant-based material that naturally degrades when exposed to the environment.


Why Is Corn Starch Used In The Filter?

There are three key reasons. Firstly, the filter consistently cools down the high temperature of the heated tobacco. Secondly, it absorbs potentially harmful chemicals. And thirdly, it doesn’t add toxicants to the tobacco vapour but removes them instead.


How is corn starch used to make the HEETS filter?

The corn is harvested from the fields then processed into corn resin pellets to create the polymer-film filter. It’s then made into thin sheets which are crimped into shape; this design helps with cooling.


Why Does The Corn Filter Look And Feel Different After It’s Used?

This is a perfectly natural reaction. When IQOS starts to heat the tobacco, it generates what’s known as an ‘aerosol’ that contains nicotine. The molecules in the corn starch react to the warmth of this aerosol and the cooling process that then takes place. As a result, the corn starch changes colour and the texture hardens.


What Else Is PLA Used For?

You can watch our YouTube video explaining why HEETS filters don’t contain plastic that melts. And for more information about what HEETS sticks consist of, please visit our global website.

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