Marlboro IQOS… What is it?
There has been a lot of talk recently about the Marlboro IQOS – which is sort of a hybrid device that crosses electronic cigarette technology with tobacco. It’s made by Philip Morris, the same company that makes Marlboro Cigarettes, and looks pretty interesting as a cigarette substitute.
It’s technically a reduced-risk tobacco product. In fact, Philip Morris International recently submitted a ‘modified-risk tobacco product’ application to the FDA… which is actually a designation that no product thus-far has been granted… so it will be interesting to see how that turns out.
But anyway – here’s what you need to know about the device and how it operates.
So, there are basically three parts to this device. There is the portable charging case (which contains a battery), there is the smoking unit itself, which is what warms the cigarette up. This part gets stored within the portable charging case when you want to charge it up.
And, there are actual tobacco-filled inserts, or ‘mini cigs’ that you place in the smoking unit.
The basics behind the device is that it heats up the tobacco instead of lighting it on fire, which is supposed to reduce the number of harmful fumes that the smoker is subjected to. The tiny cigarettes come in packs of 20, and enable the device to work like a portable dry herb vapourizer… except that, in this case, you must buy the little inserts to make it work right.
The device is also said to use vegetable glycerin, in addition to the tobacco, to help create more ‘smoke’, or fumes – whichever you want to call it.
And, that’s about it. That summarizes how the device works.
What’s it like?
People who have used the device say that it’s certainly a cross somewhere between an E-cig, a cigarette, and a dry-herb vapourizer.
As with a dry herb vapourizer, you need to wait for it to heat up before you can use it. It delivers a very cigarette-like hit, and the nicotine content is said to be much more comparable to that of a cigarette. It doesn’t visually seem to give off much in the way of extra ‘smoke’ or fumes, like cigarettes do, though. Since the entire roll of tobacco is enclosed in the smoking unit, and is ‘heated’, not burned, it is a much different type of experience.
It is said to be a bit difficult to get used to at first, and takes some practice. It’s certainly not a ‘light and go’ product like cigarettes, which perhaps makes it a bit more similar to electronic cigarettes and dry-herb vapourizers.
You also need to keep it cleaned to keep it functioning properly, which adds some maintenance time to the equation. But, on the flipside, reviews that we’ve checked out say that maintenance time is pretty minimal.
But, people who use the device also say that it doesn’t really smell like a cigarette. They say that the gross, burnt smell of tobacco and ash is gone – and that the fumes you inhale are much more like the gentle vapour that you would get from an E-cig.
They also say that each cigarette lasts about 14 drags, making it very similar in use-time to actual cigarettes. Plus, it is said to taste a lot better than cigarettes. It delivers a cleaner, more flavourful hit of tobacco without all of the smoke and ash.
Users have also said that their lungs felt much better after switching to this product, and that they see it as being a tool that could certainly help smokers to wean themselves off of cigarettes.
The biggest downside, in addition to any possible health risks, could be the cost. It’s priced a bit on the high side (about $65 for the unit and about $10 for a pack of cigarettes), so the initial and subsequent costs are a bit high. But, you are certainly getting a reduced-risk experience for your money – which, in our opinion, is awesome.
We love to see healthier cigarette alternatives, and it looks like Philip Morris might have a good concept on their hands with the IQOS!
What do you think? Have you tried it, if so we’d like to know what you think. 🙂