The science and research behind IQOS.​

Our scientific assessment journey. ​

Scientific programme.​

We have developed a comprehensive step-by-step scientific assessment programme. This programme is inspired by the practices of the pharmaceutical industry and is in line with the USA’s Federal Drug Administration’s 2012 guidance on the assessment of candidate Modified Risk Tobacco products. Our assessment was also conducted according to international standards.​

Is IQOS less toxic?​

In laboratory settings, we found that IQOS’ tobacco vapour is less toxic than cigarette smoke. Our scientists test our products thoroughly before they go into adult smokers’ hands. Using in vitro assays in our labs, we assessed the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of IQOS tobacco vapor in comparison with the smoke of a reference cigarette designed for research purposes. Taken together, the results of these assays show that IQOS tobacco vapour is significantly less toxic than the smoke from reference cigarette.This is just a glimpse of our work. These tests were crucial before we moved on to test IQOS with thousands of adult smokers who voluntarily participated in our clinical study programme and ultimately allowed us to commercialize our products.​
IQOS is not risk-free and delivers nicotine, which is addictive. For adult use only.

Clinical studies

Do the significantly lower number and levels of harmful chemicals in IQOS tobacco vapour also mean lower levels of such chemicals in the body? If you reduce the level of harmful chemicals in IQOS tobacco vapor, it would make sense that switching completely to IQOS from cigarettes reduces exposure to these harmful chemicals. To prove this, we measured biomarkers of exposure for a number of these harmful chemicals in thousands of smokers who participated in our clinical study programme (some switched to IQOS, while others either continued smoking their cigarette brand or quit for the duration of the study). These studies show that when smokers switch to IQOS, their body absorbs significantly lower levels of harmful chemicals, which in turn results in favorable changes in a number of risk markers selected because of their known association with smoking-related diseases. But it doesn’t end.​

IQOS satisfaction. ​

Our clinical study participants who switched to IQOS also report that IQOS provides comparable levels of satisfaction as cigarettes. This supports our view that IQOS has the potential to be an acceptable alternative for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke. Based on all the scientific evidence, we are confident that switching completely to IQOS is less harmful than continuing to smoke cigarettes. However, and this is important: IQOS is not risk-free and the reduction in risk also depends upon each individual’s smoking history. The absolute best choice remains to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. IQOS is not an alternative to cessation. It delivers nicotine, which is addictive.​

Long-term studies

When IQOS is available on the market, research will shift from implementation in a pre-market to a real-world post-market environment. There, we look at how that product is used and who uses it to complement our pre-market results and do our best to detect and prevent use or consumption by unintended audiences. After years of commercialization in many countries, the available data confirm our pre-market observations, especially regarding the appeal of IQOS for adult smokers and relative disinterest in ex-smokers and those who have never been smokers. We also follow reports of health effects now that the product is being used by millions of adult users. Long-term studies will ultimately help us assess the potential reduction of the risk of IQOS disease. Collecting data to answer this question takes time, but it's the right choice. So far, everything we've seen points in the right direction.

The result. ​

IQOS is a better choice than continued smoking. The totality of scientific evidence available to-date clearly demonstrates that switching completely to IQOS presents less risk to your health than continuing to smoke cigarettes.*

IQOS is not risk-free and delivers nicotine, which is addictive. The best decision any smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether.

*Source: Based on the totality of evidence available for IQOS in comparison with continuing to smoke, which includes data on aerosol chemistry from 10 clinical studies conducted with thousands of participants in the US, Japan and Poland, and data from 18 non-clinical studies.

Discover heated tobacco
Learn more
Discover products
Learn more
Learn more
This product is not risk-free and delivers nicotine, which is addictive. For adult use only.​