The IQOS Kit by Philip Morris International – Introduction

The IQOS is produced by American global cigarette and tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI).

Recently launched and available to buy here in the UK, their first contender to the electronic cigarette arena in the form of their ‘Heat Not Burn’ vaping device.

Hailed as a smokeless “smoking” device, the IQOS uses tobacco filled cartridges, these look incredible like stumpy cigarettes, which are heated and not burnt like traditional cigarettes, to provide a smokeless (almost) experience.

So, let’s take a look and see what the IQOS is all about!!

What’s In The Box

  • IQOS Holder (The Device)
  • IQOS Pocket Charger
  • IQOS Cleaner
  • IQOS AC Power Adaptor (UK Standard three-pin plug)
  • USB Cable
  • IQOS Cleaning Sticks (Packet of 10)

Build Quality & Design

Off the bat, the design and the materials used in the manufacture of the IQOS system are of an exceptionally high-quality.

This is due to PMI’s extensive research and development into the ‘Heat Not Burn’ technology and the IQOS system for a period over some ten years before manufacturing and releasing the product.

The IQOS system comprises of three key components:-

  • iQOS Holder / Device
  • iQOS Pocket Charger
  • IQOS Heets (Tobacco stick)

IQOS Holder

The ‘Holder’ or IQOS devices, looks very similar in appearance to a traditional pen-style e-cigarette.

However, unlike other e-cigarettes, the IQOS uses actual tobacco, in stick form, instead of nicotine based e-liquid.

Unlike traditional cigarettes which burn at around 600°C, the IQOS heats the tobacco to about 350°C, so it doesn’t produce smoke, ash or combustion and in-turn does not produce hazardous smoke or tar.

The heat is produced by a small element or blade located in the top of the device.

This is where the tobacco sticks (Heets) are inserted prior to activating the device. Once a Heet is inserted, the IQOS can be activated by pressing and holding down the button on the device for approximately 5 seconds, at which time the GREEN LED will begin to blink.

Heating up of the element takes approximately 20 seconds for the device to reach optimum temperature.

  • Blinking GREEN LED –        Device Heating up (20 sec)
  • Solid GREEN LED     –        Devices ready to smoke
  • Solid ORANGE LED  –         Device/HEET about to end

The heating blade will remain active for approximately 6 minutes, which is roughly the same length of time it would take to smoke a traditional cigarette.

At about the 5 minute mark, the LED will change to Amber indicating that the device will be switching off shortly and that the Heet is almost finished.

A great little feature that mimics the longevity of a traditional cigarette very nicely.

One thing to note is that once the device is activated you can turn it off at any point you like but the Heet will need to be replaced and the device will require returning to the pocket charger for a recharge before it can be used again.

IQOS Pocket Charger

As its name suggests, the ‘Pocket Charger’ is very pocket-friendly indeed and is primarily used for carrying, charging and cleaning the IQOS device.

The unit is relatively simplistic, comprising of an enclosed battery and a docking station to house the IQOS device.

Down the side of the charger there are a number of buttons and LED indicators, let’s have a look at these individually.

Starting at the top

There is a small square button which appears to be stainless steel in construction, this is used to open the flip top section of the charger to gain access to the docking port for the IQOS device.

Below this there is the first of the LED’s indicators, this one highlights the status of the IQOD device while in the pocket charger.

  • Blinking GREEN LED    – IQOS Device charging
  • Soild GREEN LED         – IQOS Device fully charged
  • Blinking ORANGE LED  – Charging with poor connection to devices
  • Blinking RED LED         – Charging Malfunction

Below this we have four small individual LED’s which indicated the charge status of the Pocket Charger.

  • Four LED’s indicates 100% charge
  • Three indicates 75%
  • Two equals 50% charge
  • One indicates 25%. Simple 🙂

Next is the Heater Cleaning status LED. The heater in this case is the small blade type element inside the IQOS Device which requires periodic cleaning to remove any residue tobacco left behind from the HEETS.

The status of the LED is as follows:-

  • Solid ORANGE LED   – Automatic cleaning will commence shortly
  • Blinking GREEN LED – Cleaning is in progress
  • Blinking RED LED     – Malfunction in Pocket Charger
  • No LED                    – Device is in Standby or OFF mode

Below the Heater Cleaning status LED is the Heater Cleaning button, however the IQOS system has a clever built in automatic cleaning process which kicks in after every 20 HEETS have been used.

Pretty neat wouldn’t you say!!

You can of course override this by pressing and hold down the button for approximately 3 seconds to manually activate the cleaning cycle indicated by the blinking green LED.

Once the cleaning cycle is complete the charger will automatically recharge the IQOS device so you’re ready go again.

The last button on the Pocket Charger is the main Power Button to activate or turn the charger off.

Finally, at the base of the Charger we have our standard micro USB port for recharging the charger itself.IQOS system

IQOS Heets

The IQOS HEETS are in essence shortened cigarettes comprising of a tobacco plug, hollow acetate tube, polymer-film filter, cellulose-acetate mouthpiece filter, and outer and mouth-end papers.

The heated tobacco HEETS are made by blending tobaccos from several types and origins.

The tobaccos are ground into a mixture and then reconstituted back into a tobacco sheet to manufacture the HEETS.

There are a number of additional elements added to the tobacco during the process which you can study in more detail on the Philip Morris website.

HEETS are currently available in three different blends:-

  • HEETS Amber     – Rich Tobacco blend
  • HEETS Yellow      – Smooth Tobacco blend
  • HEETS Turquoise – Smooth Menthol blend

To use the HEETS, you simply take one from your preferred blend and push it down, tobacco end first, into the top opening of the IQOS Holder.

There is a little bit of resistance here as the heating element/blade cuts into the tobacco but gently continue to push down until the end of the HEET touches the base of the element housing.

And now you’re ready to rock & roll on your IQOS.

How Does The IQOS Perform?

I spent a considerable length of time using the IQOS as it is something that I personally have never come across before, it’s completely different to my preference in an alternative to traditional cigarettes.

The kit as a whole was very simple & easy to set up and use!

There’s no airflow or wattage to adjust, in fact the only changeable item on the kit is the HEETS.

If your looking to blow clouds with this device you’re going to be a bit disappointed, as there is virtually no smoke given off by the HEETS. So cloud comps are out 🙂

The bottom line, I was suitably impressed with the IQOS kit as an alternative to traditional cigarettes.

What I Liked

As a ‘Complete Package’ I have to say that I was very impressed with the IQOS system. It was incredibly simple and intuitive to setup and use.

It’s the closest thing I have found to the experience of actually smoking a cigarette.

I can definitely see that the IQOS system has a place on the electronic cigarette market place but this, I feel, will be mainly with those looking to give up smoking traditional cigarettes and move to something ‘More Healthier’ and possibly less costlier.

I doubt very much that this will appeal to established Vapers as it’s too much like going back to the old analogues which they fought so hard to kick into touch.

What I Disliked

I only have one issue with the IQOS system, and it’s subjective based purely on my own personal tastes!

At present (in the UK) the HEETS are only available in three different blends, Rich, Smooth or Menthol.

While I admit I did enjoy the Menthol blend I did find the other two a little bit too strong for my delicate taste buds!

So I feel that the current range of HEETS are a little bit limiting. Hopefully PMI have other blends in the pipeline.

Where is the IQOS and Heets Available

IQOS is currently available in Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom, and in some Duty Free shops. PMI plan to make IQOS available in key cities in over 30 countries by the end of 2017.

  • Buy IQOS In Germany Here
  • Buy IQOS In Spain Here

Final Review Verdict

A great ‘Heat Not Burn’ alternative to traditional cigarettes! Definitely should be on the review list of anyone considering giving up the old analogues and looking for an alternative to smoking.

Pros

  • Works straight out of the box
  • Pocket Charger provides great battery life
  • Compact & pocket friendly

Cons

  • Pocket Charger only seem to work with supplied power plug
  • Limited to 3 varities of Heets flavours (Subjective)

Where Can You Buy The IQOS?

The Iqos is currently available in the IQOS store in London and other major cities around the world. There are also IQOS for sale online in the UK below.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build Quality
Design
Ease of use
Flavour
Non-Vapour Production
Likelihood of Replacing if Lost Or Damaged
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Mike Murphy

Smoker for 25 years but now a seasoned vaper of four years.

Started my vape journey on Cig-a-likes before moving very swiftly onto CE4’s and Ego’s, which were to remain my preferred vaping hardware for a considerable length of time.

When the infamous Nautilus clearomizer was released I move completely away from my beloved CE4 and also dumped my Ego for a tube type variable wattage device. Shortly after this I was on to RTA’s, RDA’s, VW mods and rebuilding. Recently I discovered the joys of Squonking and have become completely hooked.

16 COMMENTS

  1. The roll inside the filter made from Polylactic acid melts during smoking. I just cut a few filters after using them. All of them where affected. Any study on inhaling bioplastic?

  2. I’ve been following all comments since I heard about iqos. I was really hoping it would be a solution to my addiction. I cannot stand the taste or smell of vap cigs. Has anyone a good report on the iqos????

  3. I enjoy using my IQOS.
    Only one thing I dislike about it!
    The 6 mim battery life is false. So I have no choice but to puff and puff until the light turns red and dies.
    But I refuse to smoke a cigarette.
    So that’s a plus for me. Hopefully in the future IQOS devices will be made with a longer battery life. Other than that I’m completely satisfied with the nicotine it delivers. 😊

  4. I have Iqos since 5 months now. And I face a technical problem tha ALL of you wil face: The battery of the Heater cig !! Battery life is usually for 700 to 1200 Charging cycles. If you smoke 10 Heets/d this is 10×30=300 charging cycles/month. therefore after 3 months the battery of your Heater is nearly end of life… Now after 5 months the heater heats around 4 minutes (-15/+20 seconds depending on the puff behavior). Threfore I strongly beleive that after 8 months the Heater will be completely dead.

    • Hi Wassim

      Sorry to hear this! Have you tried contacting the store you bought it from or iQOS Care / customer services as they will be able to discuss and maybe resolve your problem.

      Mike

  5. Just started with IQOS. Had to replace the holder a few times due to faulty items. This was done efficiently and free of charge. It seems the smoking quality varies from holder to holder. My conclusion is it is truly a great idea and it could be a great smoke, but they’ve skimped on cash in the manufacturing process. Shame. Nevertheless this technology will most likely prove the best way forward for many.

    • Hi Mark

      Glad to hear you got the problem resolved quickly and that you are enjoying your iQOS!

      Keep us posted about how you are getting along with it!

      Mike

  6. Many thanks for your informative review which I found whilst looking for an answer to the top light on my charger flashing orange and the unit not charging. Turns out there may be a problem with the closing catch on it, it’s working again now after a bit of jiggling but if it persists I will contact Iqos customer services.
    I’ve been using my Iqos for 8 weeks now and haven’t had a cigarette at all. Vaping didn’t work for me at all as a quitting method but the similarity to real cigarettes with Heets obviously has.

  7. I smoke IQOS for two months now, me and my wife (she has her own device) are very satisfied, i like the taste yellow best. My wife likes to see that the taste Vanilla or Caramel should be added.
    It is a very simple device, the only considering i have is that the Heet should be more tighten in the device.
    I also can’t wait for PM to sell the TEEPS in the shops.

    • Hi Twan

      Great to hear that both you and your wife are enjoying the IQOS!

      I definitely agree with you on additional flavours, maybe a vanilla tobacco would be a good one!!

      HEETS are available either through the PM IQOS Store or through their website and I believe PM offer some good deals when you purchase cartons of HEETS instead of several boxes.

      Mike

  8. I bought one today. I love it! it looks really cool and its simple to use. Bought it in the morning and ended up using the menthol HEETS the whole day. It’s great. thoush I feel like I am smoking more than usual… have you had the same problem?

    • Hi Alessandro,

      Pleased to hear you’re enjoying the IQOS!!

      In answer to your question, yes I experienced the same when I first started using the device! But this did become less and less over a period of time until I was back to my more normal nicotine intake routine 😊

      Not sure if this was a psychological thing or just the novelty of using the new device!

      Let us know how you get on once you have been using the IQOS for awhile, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts.

      Mike

  9. We got one today. A heets was inserted, button pressed, green light lit, and first puff taken. But the heets paper got stuck to my lips – as can happen when smoking normal cigarettes – and the tobacco inside the heets tube got pulled out and remained stuck inside the holder. The green light, which is supposed to go out after a few seconds, remained stuck on and soon the stuck tabacco started burning, filling the house with a foul stench. After a few minutes the holder was discharged, burning ceased, and in one puff a whole cigarette consumed.

    Using paper which can stick to your lips is really stupid. The green light remaining stuck on is poor quality manufacturing. The design is wrong too. Say you stick in a new IQOS cigarette into the holder, take a couple of puffs and want to leave the rest for later. Where do you put the holder with the cigarette sticking out? Into the pocket holder? You can’t with a cigarette in. In your pocket or bag? You’ll probably end up with a broken cigarette. This is a serious design flaw.

    Worse of all, the IQOS is a con. It is marketed as safer than smoking but the product that is being heated is tobacco, and the smoke produced is cigarette smoke. There is no independently verified evidence that IQOS is safer than fags. Even the terminology used is deliberately designed to mislead. They call the tobacco product heets. Let’s call a spade a spade; processed tobacco in a roll of white paper is called a cigarette. No amount of marketing bull by Phillip Morris will change that.

    Finally heets are the same price as normal fags, maybe a few pennies chaper per pack of 20.

    I just don’t see how IQOS helps you quit smoking, and I don’t see the point of this product except to fill the coffers of Phillip Morris.

    If I sound angry it’s because I am. Vaping is under attack by the new TPD, nicotine e-liquids are being villified and restricted yet you can buy an IQOS with tobacco tubes included on Amazon. What???!!!!!

    • Hi John,

      Sorry to hear you are having some issues with your recently purchased IQOS device. I’d like to clarify a couple of points about the device and it’s operation!

      The IQOS tries to resemble the practice of smoking a traditional cigarette as close as possible but without actually burning the tobacco inside of the HEETS. Once the HEET is inserted into the device and it is turned on the IQOS unit will remain ON for a period of about 5-6 minutes. You can override this if you wish but the device will turn itself OFF after about 6 minutes and will require recharging before the next use. You can of course remove the HEET during the heating process but they should be disposed of and not be re-used.

      When removing the used HEETS from the IQOS device it is sometimes possible for the tobacco to separate from the paper sleeve and remain within the device. If this happens, the IQOS kit contains a cleaning device to help remove the residue tobacco.

      The IQOS System is marketed by Philip Morris as a Healthier alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes! This is achieved by heating the tobacco inside the HEETS to about 350°C, regular cigarettes burn the tobacco at around 600°C. So the IQOS produces very little smoke, if any, or combustion and in-turn does not produce hazardous smoke or tar.

      With regards to the health benefits of the IQOS system, clinical research in Japan has found that smokers who switched to IQOS reduced their exposure to harmful chemicals to levels that approached those of smokers who quit smoking. Users also showed improvements in measured health indicators specific to smoking-related diseases, such as lung and heart disease. In all cases, the health indicators improved in the same direction as seen in smokers who quit. Further testing through a longer-term study is currently underway.

      With regards to the cost of the HEETS, try contacting Philip Morris and enquire about their HEET subscription service which you may find cheaper than buying individual packs.

      I hope that this has helped you in some way and I wish you all the best with your new IQOS system

      Mike

    • I bought one of these devices form the amateurish website. Then bought the “heets” my view is its totally pointless and useless. There are so many problems and drawbacks to it. It is nothing like smoking. there is little or no sensation or taste (its like sucking air through a straw). if you draw too long it gets too hot. once it starts (with solid green light) you are against the clock to use it as it is on a set time, which is crazy). The heet can get stuck to the lips and get pulled out very easily leaving the tobacco inside. Its an ill thought out and pretty useless device. A waste of money. avoid.

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