Is IQOS a Vape?

As an adult smoker looking for alternatives to continued smoking, you may have come across IQOS. But what exactly is this device? Is IQOS a vape? Should you call this product an IQOS vape, IQOS e-cigarette, or IQOS electronic cigarette? 

In short, the answer is no - IQOS is not a vape. While both IQOS and vapes are smoke-free alternatives, they are not the same product.  

Discover more on how IQOS differs from vapes throughout this guide.

What Are the Differences Between IQOS and Vaping?

There are a few key differences between IQOS and vapes. Knowing what these are can help you determine what best suits your preferences. The best decision for any adult smoker to make is quit tobacco and nicotine use entirely. However, for those who would otherwise continue to smoke, it could be useful learning about the ways in which these devices differ. Explore some distinct features below. 

1. Technology

IQOS is part of a category of products called heated tobacco. These products utilise innovative tobacco heating systems. One type of system is IQOS ILUMA’s SMARTCORE INDUCTION SYSTEM™. IQOS ILUMA Smartcore Induction Technology heats tobacco instead of burning it to deliver the taste of real tobacco. In comparison, vapes typically work by heating - and further vaporising - e-liquid.

2. Tobacco

IQOS devices are built to be used with compatible heated tobacco sticks. The specific stick to use will depend on the IQOS device you have, and will either be HEETS or TEREA sticks. HEETS are compatible with the IQOS ORIGINALS range and TEREA is only compatible with the IQOS ILUMA range. Both HEETS and TEREA contain real tobacco. 

Vapes do not utilise real tobacco. Instead, they often include a vaping liquid - otherwise known as e-liquid. These e-liquids could be available in a range of different flavours, and can come with and without nicotine.

3. Experience

IQOS provides cigarette-like satisfaction.* Both HEETS and TEREA sticks are designed to last around 14 puffs, which is around the same amount of time as a cigarette. Vapes on the other hand might offer a completely different experience, due to the usage of e-liquid rather than tobacco.

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

4. Product variety

Currently there are several different IQOS heated tobacco devices to choose from. The IQOS ILUMA range consists of IQOS ILUMA, IQOS ILUMA ONE and IQOS ILUMA PRIME devices while the IQOS ORIGINALS range includes the IQOS ORIGINALS and IQOS ORIGINALS DUO devices.

Some IQOS devices have a separate holder and charger, while others have those components integrated as an all-in-one device. These different options allow IQOS adult users to select what best suits their preferences.

IQOS Heated Tobacco - Not an IQOS Vape

IQOS is a heated tobacco device. It’s not a vape, and it’s not a cigarette. Cigarettes negatively affect the air around you and others – IQOS doesn’t.* IQOS doesn’t produce smoke or second-hand smoke. Because IQOS heats tobacco instead of burning it, it emits significantly less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes** for you and those around you.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: IQOS is not risk-free for you or others around you.

* PMI study conducted under ISO standards simulating real-world scenarios and based on threshold limits established by existing air quality guidelines, when used in a setting where regulatory norms of adequate ventilation are respected.

** 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

Switching completely to IQOS is less harmful than continuing to smoke.* 

Important information: IQOS is not risk-free, and provides nicotine which is addictive.

*  Based on the totality of evidence available for IQOS in comparison with continuing to smoke. See Important Information on

It’s important to note that smoke-free products are not risk-free and provide nicotine, which is addictive. Smoke-free products, such as vapes and heated tobacco, are not designed as cessation aids and are not alternatives to quitting. The best decision any adult smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine consumption entirely. 

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. 

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