Just two years back, the global market saw the pioneering of a new alternative to traditional cigarettes – IQOS (I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking) developed by Philip Morris International. The American multinational cigarette and tobacco manufacturing company introduced this device to satisfy the cravings of smokers without compromising their health like in the case of traditional smoking.
IQOS was introduced with the aim of helping a whopping 1 billion adult crowd to switch from smoking and improve their lives by eliminating cigarettes. This device works by heating tobacco wrapped in a special paper to produce a nicotine-rich aerosol. It is very different from regular cigarettes as it heats the tobacco to release the flavors for a user to inhale.
IQOS is not E-cigarettes
IQOS devices are not the same as e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes contain flavored nicotine liquid in them which when heated releases aerosols as a vapor. Unlike IQOS that contains real tobacco leaves that are heated to deliver nicotine in the body.
E-cigarettes offer its users enough exploration of unique flavors but, IQOS has only regular tobacco flavor. However, they are similar in only two aspects – one that they both work on battery and secondly, they don’t burn tobacco but only heat it.
FDA has Permitted the Sale of IQOS
In May this year, the FDA gave a green signal to IQOS in the U.S. which means that the product can be sold in the country but restricted to adult smokers only. IQOS devices are now available at affordable prices and discounts online for people above 18 years of age.
However, this decision neither makes the products ‘FDA Approved’ nor declares it as safe in any way. The regulatory bodies still consider all the tobacco products as harmful and ask users to discontinue them for good health.
IQOS is More or Less like Cigarettes
FDA has still not passed IQOS devices as safe. Though FDA does agree that some of the harmful chemicals that are found in regular cigarettes are much more than what has been found in IQOS’ aerosol, it doesn’t imply that IQOS is a better bet.
Every tobacco product contains nicotine which is anyway an addictive drug and doesn’t come without any risk. Just because a product contains lesser nicotine doesn’t prove it to be safe and can be equally detrimental for an individual’s health.
Can IQOS Help in Quitting Smoking?
While it is true that IQOS was designed keeping the smokers in mind, it is still not known if it is really that effective in helping chronic users quit smoking completely. People have started considering this new product as a ‘healthier’ alternative to regular cigarettes and happily seem to enjoy these sophisticated and high-tech products. That is why there are heavy restrictions on the way IQOS is being marketed through online and offline advertising mediums nowadays.
Since there aren’t any proven results, it is too soon to gauge the level of impact these devices will have in the future.