The iQOS device, is a Heat not Burn (HnB) smokeless alternative to combustible cigarettes and works by heating tobacco leaves known as Heets or HeatSticks. These refills which look like short cigarettes, must be inserted into the device and are heated up once it is switched on.
A study found that IQOS emits substantially lower levels of carbonyls than a regular cigarette (Marlboro Red) but higher levels than a Nautilus Mini e-cigarette.
Health Canada sent Rothmans, Benson and Hedges a letter of “non-compliance” of the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act on Oct. 9, specifically referring to section 22 where “no person shall promote a tobacco product by means of advertising that depicts, in whole or in part, specifically referring to section 22 where “no person shall promote a tobacco product by means of advertising that depicts, in whole or in part, a tobacco product, its package or a tobacco-related brand element or that evokes a tobacco product or a tobacco product-related brand element.”
In response to this, managing director of Rothmans, Benson and Hedges, Peter Luongo said that this move is counterproductive to public health. “Health Canada should be encouraging us to open more stores, not take down the signs on the ones we have,” he said last Wednesday.
HnBs safer than cigarettes but riskier than e-cigs
Hence, why PMI, the producer of iQOS says that their device fits better into the vaping category, rather than the combustible tobacco products’ category. A study released last Summer by renowned anti-smoking expert Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos analyzed and compared carbonyl emissions from an HnB device, an e-cigarette and a regular cigarette.
The products used in this study were IQOS, both regular and menthol variants, the Nautilus Mini e-cigarette, a tank-type atomizer tested with a tobacco-flavoured liquid at 10 W and 14 W and a Marlboro Red cigarette. Aerosol and smoke were collected in impingers containing 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine and Health Canada Intense and two more intense puffing regimes were used to measure levels of carbonyl.
The researchers concluded that the IQOS HnB device emits substantially lower levelsof carbonyls than a regular cigarette (Marlboro Red) but higher levels than a Nautilus Mini e-cigarette.