6 January 2016

Combustion (burning) is caused when tobacco is ignited by a heat source such as the flame from a match or a lighter. The tobacco in cigarettes burns at temperatures in excess of 600°C. At such high temperatures, the tobacco is burned to ash and generates smoke that contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Public health authorities have classified some of those smoke constituents as likely causes of smoking-related diseases, such as lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema.

Philip Morris International’s heated tobacco products are designed to generate a nicotine-containing aerosol by heating tobacco without combustion.

We have scientifically demonstrated that there is no combustion in our Platform 1 heated tobacco system through a robust set of experiments. The experiments show that:    

  • The highest temperature of the tobacco next to the heating element reaches approximately 300°C, well below the temperature required for combustion (known to exceed 400°C); in fact, most of the tobacco is significantly below 250°C;
  • Tobacco sticks used with Platform 1 generate equivalent aerosol in an atmosphere of nitrogen (where combustion cannot occur) and oxygen;
  • Tobacco sticks used with Platform 1 generate an aerosol that lacks many of the essential characteristics of smoke generated by combustion, such as solid particles;
  • The aerosol has significantly lower levels of harmful and potentially harmful compounds  compared to cigarette smoke [1];




[1] Formation of harmful or potentially harmful constituents in the aerosol generated by the Platform 1 system compared to the 3R4F reference cigarette smoke. Aerosol collected with Intense Health Canada’s Smoking Regime

[2] Combustion. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

[3] Barontini et al., Volatile Products Formed in the Thermal Decomposition of a Tobacco Substrate, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2013, 52 (42), pp 14984–14997, DOI: 10.1021/ie401826u.