Philip Morris IQOS e-cig Review

8.9 Total Score
IQOS Review Bottom Line

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.

Philip Morris IQOS e-cig review
The Philip Morris IQOS kit comes with the unit, HEETS inserts, and a handy all-in-one storage/cleaning/charging dock.

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.

Philip Morris IQOS Kit
The Kit comes with the IQOS unit, nifty charging dock, cleaning capsule, charging cable and adapter, and tobacco HEETS.

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.

The Philip Morris e-cig, the IQOS, comes in black and white--both look nice.

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.

How to use the IQOS
HEETS load easily into the unit, which feels rich and comfortable with a matte finish.

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.

Design of the IQOS
Vaping from the iQOS is comparable to the sensation of smoking cigarettes because of actual tobacco used in the heat sticks.

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.

Performance and vapor quality of the IQOS
IQOS does not leave the usual cigarette smell as no tar, no ash, and no burning is involved--the vapor actually has a pleasant scent.

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.


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.

IQOS Casket

Oron has been vaping for over ten years, and been 100% combustion free since early 2016. He is passionate about health and The Vape Guide gave Oron a platform to influence on a larger scale and share his extensive vaping knowledge with a large audience. Oron has tried and tested hundreds of vaporizers with every functionality imaginable. Some of Oron's favorite vapes are the Mighty, Solo 2, and Juul. After switching to vaping, Oron experienced first hand the benefits of being smoke-free and decided to help as many people as possible to make the switch. When Oron is not vaping, he is passionate about photography, technology, gadgets, health & nutrition, physical activities.

  1. Excellent product and very usefull review.
    I use IQOS about one month and I am really happy with its performance.

  2. I have an iQos for a month. Nice idea aside, the single use never lasts the promised 6 minutes neither 14 puffs. The holder stays for 5 minutes if you don’t make air intake at all! With about 9 puffs, pacing myself between them – the holder stays on no more than 3 minutes. That is less than promised and not satisfying for me, as i use to enjoy my cigarette (Vogue) for 5 – 6 minutes (and i am not a too heavy smoker)

  3. Had an iqos for a few days and I’m not sure if I’m getting anything from it. I knew it wouldn’t deliver a lot of vapour (and it doesn’t) but I’m probably only getting a decent draw from about 1 in 10. I can’t decide if there’s an issue with the heater, the heets or the thing is operating fine and this is as good as it gets. I’ll persevere but if this is it I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend.

  4. This product is very costly for its effectiveness. Fancy design and delivery system, but it will never come close to the satisfaction you get from a closed tank liquid device. Nice try Phillip Morris, but it looks like you wasted millions on a product that is destined to fail.

  5. Do you know where to get the IQOS or the Glo Ifuse (from Philip Morris rival – BAT) in Australia?

  6. I use it now for two months and i like it, I Quit Original Smoking 🙂 I like the yellow HEETS most.
    Can’t wait for PM to bring out the TEEPS into the tabacco shops.

  7. Hello I have start smoking the IQOS cig for 20 days and after that I felt of shortness of breath because of it . And when I stopped smoking it and went back to the normal cig things was fine . So is there any explanation for this problem . And how can I start smoke the IQOS cig without having this problem again . Thank you

  8. I love the Heets! I’m a heavy smoker having 2 pcs/day, Red Marlboro. I’ve been smoking the same cigarettes for over 20 years and only stopped for around one year while being pregnant. I couldn’t wait to smoke again. I never liked any other cigarettes and couldn’t smoke/enjoy them. I’m on the IQOS for only 4 days but I never felt better. I don’t miss my Red Marlboro and I haven’t felt the panic that was settling in every time I tryed quitting. I cannot smoke the yellow (no taste at all) neither the orange (which was introduced to me as the alternative to Red) but I’m very pleased with the green ones (menthol). I introduced my friends to it-already gave 6 different IQOS’s as presents to family and friends and so far, only one liked the orange and all others liked the green ones (2 of which are man and heavy smokers of strong cigarettes). Just wanted to share my happiness. Good luck everyone:-)

  9. I’ve been on the IQOS now for 6 months, will never go back to normal smoking again. No more worries of stinking, burning any one or my clothes, No ash anywhere, this is really awesome.

    The only problem i have is stock availability of the Heets – not very happy (menthol) PTA East / Centurion area.
    The garages also don’t stock the Heets anymore – sad news.

    And recently i get more than 8 Heets in my packet that does not work, turning blue in the face and nothing comes out. I have complained about this a while ago and the agents this say “o we get the same in our packets” really don’t you compromise on problems like this or at least give us feedback……..

  10. I would love to try them. After decades of smoking Marlboro menthol, I quit 4 years ago and started vaping. I miss my Marlboro menthol taste. The questions I have are taste, smell and the cost.

  11. […] Philip Morris IQOS Review: eCig for Smokers that are done … […]

  12. Great device after using IQOS for one month, but if you want a quality experience every time like the first time you took it out of the box two things to consider, in my experience:
    1) Clean your device thoroughly with the qtip swab after every 2-3 Heets! –not after every pack like the instructions suggest
    2) Align the grain of the tobacco parallel with the heating element inside your IQOS. Failure to do this will require more pressure to insert the Heet stick and cause under performance.

    Do these two things and your IQOS will more than likely perform as intended and minimize any wasted Heets

  13. Replacing the nicotine with real tobacco turns me off. I have been vaping for 2 years to quit my tobacco smoking habit. I guess this ecig is not for me but I love the design though.

  14. Didn’t see much in the review with regards to any health implications? I have read a few bits of research which show that heat-not-burn tech is a little better for you than traditional smoking but still incredibly worse off over regular vaping.

    Would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

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