We have developed several heated tobacco products (HTPs) under our Platform 1 portfolio that are commercialized as IQOS in various markets. HTPs, also known as tobacco heating systems and heat-not-burn products, heat the tobacco just enough to release a nicotine-containing tobacco aerosol but without burning the tobacco. Because tobacco is heated and not burned there is no smoke, and the levels of harmful chemicals in the generated aerosols are significantly reduced compared to cigarette smoke. HTPs, though, are not risk free, and provide nicotine, which is addictive.
Platform 1 is the most developed and most thoroughly assessed of our smoke-free platforms. We have accumulated extensive non-clinical and clinical data to support its potential to reduce the risk of developing smoking-related diseases compared to continued cigarette smoking.
Our approach is to develop a range of smoke-free products, so that every adult smoker who would otherwise continue to smoke cigarettes can find a suitable alternative that allows them to fully switch.
Initial generations of our heated tobacco products use blade heating technology, and these are designed to be used with specific heated tobacco units commonly known as heatsticks. The latest addition to our HTP devices, uses induction to heat tobacco and is commercialized as IQOS ILUMA. These devices also use new specifically designed heated tobacco units. Despite the change in heating technology, the aerosol generated by our induction heating device remains comparable to the previous versions of Platform 1. IQOS ILUMA continues to be supported by the robust scientific evidence generated to date.
What are heated tobacco units?
Heated tobacco units contain a uniquely processed tobacco plug designed for heating, not for burning. The tobacco plug is made from tobacco leaves, which are ground and reconstituted into tobacco sheets, called cast-leaf. These sheets are then crimped and made into a tobacco plug. Our blade and induction HTPs use different heated tobacco units, specially designed to be used with their corresponding device.
How do our blade HTPs work?
Our blade HTPs are available in two versions. The first version has three main components—a heated tobacco unit, a holder, and a charger. The second version is an integrated product that combines the holder and charger and allows multiple uses without recharging the battery. Both products contain an electronic system that heats the tobacco within a precisely controlled temperature range to avoid burning the tobacco. The system uses a heating blade, which acts as both a heater and temperature sensor.
Each of the blade devices heat tobacco in this way.
We have scientifically demonstrated that during the operation of Platform 1, no combustion occurs, and the aerosol generated has on average 95% lower levels of HPHCs than found in the smoke of a 3R4F reference cigarette used in tobacco research.
Click through the animation to see the Platform 1 three-component HTP in action
When the heated tobacco unit is inserted into the tobacco holder, the heating blade is embedded in the tobacco. Once turned on, the heating blade heats the tobacco while also monitoring its temperature to ensure consistent taste and avoid burning.
A number of public health organizations, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have reviewed our science. On July 7, 2020, FDA authorized marketing with reduced exposure information of the IQOS Tobacco Heating System as a Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP). Learn more about the decision. These orders do not apply to all versions of the IQOS system.
The integrated version of Platform 1 works the same way. It combines the holder and charger into a single unit that must be charged after at least 10 uses. Unlike the original, the integrated Platform 1 design allows for consecutive uses, a capability that can encourage some smokers to switch to a better alternative than cigarettes.
How do our induction HTPs work?
A new way of heating tobacco
Watch the video to see the induction HTP in action:
Our induction HTPs use induction to heat tobacco. This means there is no direct contact between the electronics and the heating element.
The induction system relies on specially designed heated tobacco units, each with their own internal heating element at their core. When the heated tobacco unit is inside the holder and the system is turned on, an electric current flows through the coil in the holder. This current creates a magnetic field that heats up the heating element inside the tobacco, which in turn heats the surrounding tobacco.
Explore the 30 years of innovation behind our leading heated tobacco product, Platform 1. Read key info on each iteration, and learn how the user experience, heating technology, and battery technology has evolved over time.
Read our findings with relevance to this topic