Our review on the Philip Morris iQOS details the first vaporizer to come so close to simulating smoking cigarettes. It has a compact, rich design that is easy to carry around and fun to use. It comes with HEETs or HeatSticks which are special tobacco inserts that simulate a cigarette. It has a very real tobacco taste without the combustion and produces good vapor quality. When activating a new session, each insert is timed to six minutes for optimal quality--intended to imitate a cigarette session.
Philip Morris IQOS Background
This Philip Morris iQOS review covers the new, smokeless cigarette–one of the latest products from Philip Morris International, manufacturers of the legendary Marlboro cigarettes. The product is a hybrid between the benefits of electronic cigarettes and the design of traditional types – making it perfect for smokers looking to switch to vaping or even for occasional use. Given the known dangers of smoking traditional cigarettes, switching to vaping or just implementing a sporadic alternative is a good option.
The iQOS uses refills of real tobacco, but doesn’t burn it like the conventional cigarette which prevents the ingestion of combustive, charred materials. Rather, the iQOS ecig heats the tobacco just prior to the point of combustion, producing tobacco-flavored vapor. It is a unique e-cigarette that fits easily into our best e-cig of 2017 list. The JUUL e-cig is another one of the year’s best ecigs though it lacks the familiarity of a traditional cigarette which Philip Morris did its best at remedying with the iQOS electronic cig.
Philip Morris IQOS Kit
The iQOS kit doesn’t include much which is a good thing in the e-cigarette world–such devices should be user friendly and straightforward. You will find a standard e-cig shaped device which fits comfortably in your hand and is great for on-the-go vaping. The package also includes a convenient charger and the tobacco HEET sticks that are used for vaping.
To charge your iQOS, you use the convenient pocket-sized charger which works very quickly. Finally, you can’t forget the HEETs which are the main attraction when it comes to the iQOS. The HEETs are disposable tobacco sticks that resemble the butt of a cigarette and contain nicotine, VG, additional flavors, and tobacco. They look, feel and taste very similar to smoking regular cigarettes so smokers looking to cut back or quit smoking will find this product useful.
Philip Morris IQOS Key Features
As an iQOS user, you have to carry the kit with you always. The kit functions as your carrying case, allowing you to conveniently keep all of your iQOS accessories in one place while out and about. It very closely resembles smoking a traditional tobacco cigarette with its timing feature.
Once you insert one of the HeatSticks into the chamber, you have either 6 minutes or 14 puffs (whichever comes first) to vape. This does make the iQOS closely simulate smoking a cigarette. The battery is on the smaller side which is perfect for short vaping sessions but not so much for those who prefer to chain vape. It does require you to charge it frequently between sessions.
Design of the Philip Morris IQOS
Because of its lightweight and attractive design, its great for taking on the go. The iQOS closely resembles normal e-cigs but is functionally different. The nicotine e-liquid, normally found in most e-cigarettes, is replaced by real tobacco in the form of smaller Marlboro cigarette facsimiles. For those that must know exact dimensions, the iQOS weighs 19.6 grams and measures 93.3 x 14.7 x 13.9 mm.
These miniature cigarettes or HeatSticks are inserted into the heating device and vaped. The health advantage is tobacco burns at 600°C, whereas the IQOS heats the tobacco at 350°C. Moreover, the tobacco is dipped in vegetable glycerin – which helps to produce its high-quality vapor.
How to Use the Philip Morris iQOS
After you load the device by inserting a HEET, you wait for it to reach the maximum heat level. The time to reach max heat is a little slow, especially to former smokers (or even vapers) who are used to cigarettes (or vaping devices) that heat up quickly or even instantaneously. Cleaning your iQOS has to be done fairly regularly or else the IQOS’s performance declines.
When the tobacco stick is inserted and heated by the device, the amount of time you have to use the device is dependent on the number of puffs or time of use, whichever the smoker reaches first – this gives the user a similar experience to smoking a traditional tobacco-filled cigarette. Aside from the slow heat time, the iQOS seems to be as close to a traditional cigarette as an e-cig can get.
How to Clean the Philip Morris iQOS
The IQOS comes with a cleaning capsule, a very neat tool used to clean your unit. Pop it open to reveal the bristles inside that are used to clean the interior of the IQOS from gunk and debris. Tap the IQOS for a short while until the debris comes out.
For more troublesome debris, you can insert the IQOS back onto its charging dock and push the cleaning button. This will automatically heat up the unit until the more stubborn gunk dissolves. Between the two methods, cleaning the IQOS is pretty easy and convenient.
Performance and Vapor Quality of the Philip Morris IQOS
Using the iQOS gives the user a unique experience regarding vapor quality. There are subtleties within the sensation, odor, and cloud production of the vapor that make it stand out from other e-cigarettes. As you inhale, there’s an impact. The vapor from the iQOS provides the tobacco throat hit that smokers will recognize.
The vapor is not overwhelming and it does not leave an acrid taste in the mouth. The actual vapor coming from the iQOS is similar to that of a standard e-cig – reduced volume and quick to dissipate. The vapor has a distinct odor to it, it’s the smell of tobacco, but not pungent enough to disturb others in public places, though–a plus.
IQOS FDA Update
If you’re wondering when the iQOS will become available in the USA, the FDA is reviewing Philip Morris’ claim that the iQOS is less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes. That process should be completed this year, at which point we’ll know the fate of the iQOS in America. Check out this article on the iQOS FDA update to get an idea of the obstacles the iQOS faces before it can be sold in America. Once the ruling is finalized, you’ll know about it here, so keep checking back!
Final Thoughts on the Philip Morris IQOS
Consumers are very excited abut the iQOS, including cigarette smokers for obvious reasons. This is mainly because it delivers the semblance of traditional smoking which its competitors, like the Phix, has some shortcomings. If you are a former smoker who is looking for an e-cigarette that resembles this experience as closely as possible, the iQOS is likely a good choice. Those that are a little more open to ecig design and functionality will benefit from checking out the JUUL and the Phix as well.
The iQOS electronic cigarette is also perfect to take on-the-go and is discreet for public use – better than regular cigarettes. The iQOS ecig can be a great alternative to a pack of cigarettes and it won’t leave you smelling like an ash tray. If you are curious to see what other e-cigs are on the market – check out our best e-cigs to see what the iQOS is competing with.