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IQOS vs E-Cigarettes: What’s the difference?

IQOS is not an e-cigarette, it is a heated tobacco device. While both e-cigs and IQOS are smoking alternatives, they are different.

E-cigarettes and heated tobacco products share one very important thing in common: they can provide an alternative to adult smokers who would otherwise continue smoking or use other nicotine products.

These smoke-free products accomplish this by eliminating combustion, which occurs when tobacco burns, such as when a cigarette is lit. However, the way that e-cigarettes vs heated tobacco products deliver this distinction over cigarette smoking is quite different.

E-cigarettes utilize a liquid, while heated tobacco utilizes tobacco sticks.


What are e-cigarette liquids?

To begin, e-cigarettes do not utilize real tobacco. Rather, they utilize e-cigarette liquid, sometimes also called e-cig liquid, e-liquid, or vaping liquid. E-liquid often comes in a variety of flavors, and may contain nicotine (some are nicotine-free).


What are Tobacco Sticks?

Unlike e-cigarettes, IQOS heated tobacco products do utilize real tobacco, processed and formed in specific ways to work seamlessly with their corresponding devices. Our tobacco sticks are to be used with IQOS heated tobacco devices.

Tobacco sticks are made of real, processed tobacco leaf, and therefore, contain real tobacco flavor. They are specially designed to last around 14 puffs, which is around the same amount of time as a cigarette.

Tobacco sticks are not risk free and are addictive; they contain nicotine, which is naturally present in tobacco.


What’s the difference between tobacco sticks and e-liquids, heated tobacco vs. e-cigarette ?

The main difference between tobacco sticks and e-liquids lie in the overall experience. E-liquid is drawn from the tank of e-cigarettes and put into contact with a battery powered heating component. Heating the liquid makes it evaporate, and when that happens, vapor can be drawn from the device through a mouthpiece. There is no smoke nor ash created, only the vapor. The adult user of the product is able to taste the specific flavor of the e-liquid that was inserted.


Tobacco sticks, on the other hand, are inserted into IQOS heated tobacco device and heated to specific temperatures.

With IQOS, tobacco sticks are heated from the inside using a special heating blade. The heating temperature is controlled to reach 350 degrees C, which provides a high quality tobacco experience with no fire, no ash, and no smoke. Once again, only a vapor is created.

While both options have their differences, the most important thing that using tobacco sticks or e-liquids have in common is this: they are both alternatives for adult smokers to continued smoking.


If you are an adult smoker who would otherwise continue smoking or use other nicotine products, and you are looking for a smoke-free alternative that does not involve tobacco, e-cigarettes and e-liquids may be of interest to you.

However, if you are looking for a smoke-free tobacco experience that has a similar ritual and taste profile of smoking, IQOS is a better choice than continued smoking.

Important information: IQOS is not risk-free.