It’s an undeniable fact that nicotine is the number one drug in the world, and for centuries humans have relied on combustion to inhale the substance from tobacco. While this method does allow a user to inhale nicotine into their body, it is incredibly inefficient and also produces a host of harmful chemicals, including tar, arsenic, acetone, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and many more. That being said, there are still almost 1 billion smokers around the world, who show no signs of slowing down or quitting anytime soon.
While there are plenty of nicotine replacement options, some users find them to be inferior to conventional smoking and will often relapse into old habits. This was the challenge set out before IQOS, as they attempted to create a truly satisfying alternative to smoking. Ultimately, the solution IQOS turned to was harnessing the power of heat-not-burn and implementing new technologies into a fairly basic concept.
What is Heat-Not-Burn?
Unlike smoking, which requires combustion to release nicotine from tobacco, heat-not-burn devices produce a specific amount of heat to release nicotine from tobacco, without burning it and producing other unwanted inhalants. Heat-not-burn also helps preserve the natural flavour of tobacco and ensures some of the potency of nicotine isn’t lost because of burning.
When a user applies a flame to a cigarette they are essentially heating tobacco to temperature in excess of 600°C. This creates smoke, which contains inhalable nicotine, but also produces all the aforementioned harmful chemicals. On the other hand, heat-not-burn technology heats tobacco to 350°C which releases nicotine without producing ash or smoke. This isn’t to say that heat-not-burn technology makes nicotine safe, it just helps reduce the amount of harmful chemicals associated with smoking.
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How Does IQOS Work?
IQOS was by no means the first brand to consider heat-not-burn technology, but they definitely managed to perfect it in a way that makes the technology appealing to a wider audience. While the IQOS employs a host of technological innovations, the key to the device is its ability to control power output to simply heat a material instead of burning it. This is a broad explanation of how an IQOS device works, but there’s so much more that makes this company’s devices truly unique.
There are currently two designs used by IQOS, both of which employ heat-not-burn operations, but have some differences in how they function. The first design has three major components; a heated tobacco unity (known as HEETS or Heatsticks), an IQOS holder, and a charger. The second style of device combines the holder and charger, and allows users to use the devices multiple times before it needs to be charged again.
Despite their small differences, the two styles of device function in a similar way. They both require users to insert the heated tobacco unit into the holder, which contains an electronic heater.
To actually use the IQOS device, users simply need to press the fire button and inhale through the IQOS mod. The IQOS will fire at a preset wattage, ensuring the user has the optimal experience every time, and making the device easier to use for beginners. Once the heated tobacco has been finished, simply remove it from the holder, and dispose of it in the garbage. The function of the IQOS was intentionally designed to be as simple as possible, and should be intuitive for any user after reading the instructions provided in the user manual.
Regardless of what IQOS device you have, the key components can be broken down into the heated tobacco unit, the holder, and the charger. These components are unique to the IQOS and allow it to function in an optimal way.
The Heated Tobacco Unit contains a uniquely processed tobacco plug that is purpose-built for heating. The plug consists of tobacco leaves that have been ground and reconstituted as tobacco sheets. Known as cast-leaf, this sheet is then crimped and formed into the tobacco plug.
The Holder is another key piece of the IQOS device, and heats the tobacco via an electronic heating blade. The blade serves two purposes in the IQOS, namely heating the tobacco to 350°C and monitoring the heat to ensure it doesn’t go over this temperature. The holder also comes with overheating protection, ensuring the tobacco doesn’t burn and loose any of its flavour.
As an electronic device, the IQOS does need to be charged. Thankfully, the Charger plugs directly into the holder, and can be charged in a wall socket. The integrated device, the one with a combined holder and charger, must be recharged after 10 consecutive uses.
Why Choose IQOS?
As we mentioned before, while there are various nicotine replacement options, many users often find it difficult to transition away from smoking. For some, flavour plays a huge factor and options like vaping just don’t seem to hit the right spot. This is where the IQOS comes in, as it offers an alternative to traditional smoking, while still offering the flavour associated with tobacco.