IQOS Tobacco Heat Not Burn Device Review
Build Quality80%
Smoke Quality65%
60%100Overall Score

The IQOS kit is a revolutionary design which basically enables smokers to heat not burn their tobacco instead of smoking it. Most experienced vapers will take one look at the Philip Morris IQOS kit and instantly run for the hills protesting that the IQOS is just a cash grab from Big Tobacco to wrestle back their slowly decreasing market share away from vaping. But I’m not here to discuss the implications of Philip Morris slowly dipping their hands into the proverbial cookie jar which is the vaping market. I’m here to review a product.

Product Pros

  • Compact
  • Easy to Use
  • Closest feel to smoke

Product Cons

  • Proprietary HEET sticks
  • Heat up time



IQOS Review: Breakdown


Build Quality

Build Quality

Despite its unique claims and one of a kind design, the IQOS kit is far from complicated. This is apparent upon opening the box where you can find the IQOS kit which holds IQOS itself, a charger, and the Philip Morris’ proprietary HEET sticks which contain the tobacco that you’ll be vaping.

Weighing in at a mere 19.6 grams, the IQOS isn’t much heavier than a standard tobacco cigarette, and it’s clear that this was the intention of Philip Morris, to create a vape that would faithfully recreate the sensation of smoking on a cigarette. Even the dimensions of the IQOS come remarkably close to that of its traditional counterpart at 93.3 * 13.9 * 14.7 mm. The device feels solid and well built enough given its tiny footprint, and sports a sleek and attractive design that doesn’t stand out too much.

Located at one end of the IQOS is the chamber where you’ll be inserting the HEET sticks. Other than that there is literally nothing else to know about the device in order to use it. Granted that a solid material is being heated in the chamber, it stands to reason that there should be some debris left over in the chamber. It’s for this purpose that included in the kit is a cleaning capsule which opens to reveal bristles that are used to remove tobacco detritus from inside the chamber of the IQOS.

It’s quite recommended by the manufacturer to clean the chamber before any debris accumulates as this will easily cause the flavor and quality of the vape to deteriorate after some time. After using the IQOS, its then suggested that the unit is charged with the portable charger which comes with the kit as the IQOS itself has a limited battery life.

I feel that PMI’s solution to creating an ultra-compact device, while over-engineered, is the only real solution to create a vape that weighs almost as light as a cigarette, since using larger batteries to power the device would only serve to increase the weight and further remove the user from the sensation of smoking an actual cigarette, so good job on Philip Morris for effectively implementing a portable charger as a solution to this problem.


Smoke Quality

Smoking with the IQOS can’t be compared to any other typical vaping device in the market, since this is the first device to heat not burn actual tobacco as a nicotine delivery system, compared to the vapes that most are familiar with, that utilize a mix of nicotine, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, and included flavorings. The result to put it simply is quite unique in regards to the quality of the smoke. The actual scent and flavor of tobacco impact the senses, unlike tobacco flavored liquids which often struggle to faithfully recreate the same aroma and taste of authentic tobacco.

Unlike smoking real tobacco, the IQOS doesn’t leave any strong or unpleasant taste in the mouth. As there is also no combustion involved, there is a distinct lack of smell that many nonsmokers have come to hate about smoking cigarettes. Despite the HEET sticks being heated up to a maximum temperature of 350° C there is no burning smell at all not to mention that the HEET sticks contain traces of vegetable glycerin as well which help act as a carrier to transmit the flavor of tobacco to your mouth and also assist in producing the necessary vapor needed to emulate the sensation of blowing smoke, similar to a cigarette. The vegetable glycerin also makes each drag quite smooth and never overbearing, which is something I suppose that can be contributed to the controlled temperature and uniform standard among all supplied HEET sticks.

A major drawback though compared to our standard vaping devices or smoking tobacco is that IQOS takes a few minutes to heat up to the perfect temperature for vaping, which might be a bother to smokers who are accustomed to just simply lighting up a stick or vapers who can get their nicotine fix by simply pressing a button.




There really isn’t anything to say about the IQOS kit. It was designed, engineered, and manufactured with only a singular purpose in mind: To heat the HEET sticks that only Philip Morris themselves also supply. It’s quite a novel concept, but one would think it would’ve come sooner considering units that vaporize other herbs have existed for quite a long time.

It would be nice to see third-party suppliers and manufacturers try their hand at making their own version of the HEET stick instead of keeping the entire IQOS kit underneath a closed loop of purchasing refills from PMI.



Bar none, the IQOS is definitely one of the lightest and most compact smoking alternatives we’ve seen so far, although that doesn’t say much since it’s pretty much a prerequisite that the entire kit is brought along as well in order to keep the IQOS fully charged throughout the day.

Luckily the kit self is easy to carry and lightweight making portable storage of the IQOS an easy affair even on long and busy trips.


The IQOS is probably one of the most unique nicotine delivery systems released so far. With its ability to provide a satisfactory smoke-like experience that closely mirrors the sensation of tobacco cigarettes, paired with the ultra-compact design and extreme ease of use, it’s a strong option for beginners to consider, especially for those who are easily frustrated by all the requisite knowledge or know-how that’s needed to start vaping e-Liquid. However more research needs to be done to determine the actual harm reduction of this device compared to cigarettes and e-liquid.

If you are looking for a traditional e-liquid starter vape that is geared towards beginning we recommend checking out the Atopack Penguin or the Smok Priv V8.

About The Author

Arash is a massive vape geek who has dipped his toes in all things vape related ever since the original cartomizer was a thing. Aside from vaping, he enjoys climbing the ranks in Rainbow Six: Siege and obsessing over optimal airflow setups for your everyday desktop computer. As an avid fan of the fantasy genre, he also thinks that you should immediately read the Kingkiller Chronicle and Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere series for refusing to do so might result in a glaring lack of joie de vivre.

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