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Philip Morris iQOS Review
Cigarette smokers the world over know that smoking is harmful to their health. Many are looking for a way to quit, or at least cut down on the amount of cigarettes that they smoke. In this Philip Morris iQOS review we will look at all aspects of this cigarette smoking alternative that they claim provides a much more satisfying experience than normal electronic cigarette vaping.
What is the Philip Morris iQOS?
The Philip Morris iQOS is a hybrid between traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes. This makes it an ideal solution for cigarette smokers that want to change to using electronic cigarettes and the benefits that this brings. It can be a total transition to vaping or an alternative for occasional use.
What makes the Philip Morris iQOS different from normal electronic cigarettes is the use of real tobacco. At this point, you may be thinking that this will be just as dangerous to your health as smoking standard cigarettes, but there is a big difference.
There is no burning of tobacco in the iQOS the same way that a standard cigarette would. With traditional cigarettes the burning of tobacco causes the smoker to inhale harmful combustible materials. The iQOS heats the tobacco but does not burn it. This provides a real tobacco flavor when using electronic cigarettes.
Your iQOS system heats the tobacco to around 350° C and this is enough to create a tobacco vapor. In contrast, a traditional cigarette heats up tobacco to around 800° C which produces smoke and harmful combustibles.
So with the Philip Morris iQOS, the smoker gets the best of both worlds – the safety benefits of using an electronic cigarette and a similar taste to smoking traditional cigarettes. One of the main reasons that smokers give up on electronic cigarettes is that they do not taste the same. iQOS seems like the perfect solution.
The tobacco comes in what Philip Morris calls HEET sticks. They look like traditional cigarettes but are a lot shorter. They contain a mixture of tobacco, nicotine, vegetable glycerin, and other flavorings.
The iQOS user simply inserts the HEET sticks into the electronic cigarette device and then the mixture is heated up to a temperature that is just below combustion. This provides the right flavor that strongly resembles cigarette smoking.
You can only use the HEET sticks one time. The vaping life of each stick is also limited. When you purchase the Philip Morris iQOS system you will either receive a pack of HEET sticks or you will need to purchase a pack as an extra. You can purchase more of these when you run out.
Find out more about the Philip Morris iQOS system here.
What do you get with the Philip Morris iQOS System?
With your iQOS system purchase, you will receive the vaping device (the holder) which looks like a standard electronic cigarette. We found this to be very comfortable to use and convenient for vaping when you are on the move.
Depending on where you purchase your iQOS you may have to buy the HEET sticks separately. Some suppliers will offer them with the iQOS system. Your iQOS system will certainly include a holder, a charger, a brush for cleaning and some cleaning sticks.
There is an option to charge the iQOS using a USB cable as well. It is also possible to buy a pocket charger for your iQOS which is very convenient. There are other accessories available too such as an iQOS cigarette holder and a hard case for the battery for protection when traveling.
So in summary you can expect to receive the following:
- The iQOS heating unit – the holder
- A portable carry case which also is a charger
- An iQOS charger that plugs into a main electrical outlet
- A USB cable for charging
- Sticks for cleaning your iQOS
- A cleaning brush
- HEET sticks (sometimes optional)
Features of your iQOS System
The first thing to say about the iQOS system is that is very high quality. This is not really a surprise as the company, Philip Morris International, invested around $3 billion in researching and developing the system.
The electronic cigarette element (often referred to as the iQOS holder) is an elegant-looking device and so is the iQOS pocket charger. As soon as you see these products you know that there has been a lot of money spent on their development.
The iQOS holder is perfect for vaping on the go as it is really lightweight. Philip Morris spared no expense with the holder, as inside there is a device that resembles a blade made from platinum and gold. This is where you will insert the HEET sticks.
The holder works in a different way to a conventional electronic cigarette which uses a coil and a wick. It heats the tobacco electronically through the use of a lithium-ion battery. All you have to do is to press the heating button which has an LED associated with it.
The iQOS carrying case also serves as a pocket charger. This is similar in design to a number of other electronic cigarette kits. There are a number of buttons and LED’s on the carrying case that performs different functions.
To get to the docking port inside the case you will need to use the small latch on the side. The LEDs provide confirmation that the unit is charging, provide information about the life of the battery and also indicate when the cleaning process is underway.
As soon as you insert a HEET stick into the chamber you will be able to take 14 puffs on the holder or spend up to six minutes enjoying your vaping experience. Philip Morris designed this to be as close as possible to smoking a traditional cigarette.
The battery within the unit will last quite a while when you are going for short vaping sessions. If you want to chain vape then the battery will not last very long. You will need to recharge the battery quite regularly between vapes.
The iQOS holder is lightweight and actually only weighs in at 19.6 grams (0.7 ounces). The dimensions of the holder are 93.3 mm by 14.7 mm by 13.9 mm (3.7 inches by 0.6 inches by 0.5 inches). The entire iQOS system weighs in at around 420 grams which is less than 15 ounces.
Find out more about the Philip Morris iQOS system here.
How you use the Philip Morris iQOS
The iQOS system is easy to use even if you have never used an electronic cigarette before. All that is required is the insertion of a HEET stick into the holder, pressing the button to begin the heating process and then waiting for it to be ready for vaping.
The truth is that you will need to wait for the heating aspect to work. It is not an instantaneous product which might try the patience of some smokers. In reality it only takes around six seconds for the process to take place. When you first begin the heating process a green LED will blink. When it is ready to vape it will become a solid light.
Once that green LED turns from blinking to solid you have 6 minutes or 14 puffs. After this, you will dispose of the HEET stick, and then you will need to clean the holder as the sticks create quite a mess. If you don’t clean the holder regularly then the performance of the device will worsen with usage.
Cleaning the holder is not that difficult. You will receive a cleaning capsule with your system and inside there are bristles which you use to clean the inside of the holder and get rid of all the debris and gunk that accumulates. Giving the holder a gentle tap will help to remove most of the debris.
Sometimes the debris inside the holder can be really stubborn and difficult to shift. When this happens just place the holder into the charging dock and press the “cleaning” button. The holder then heats up so that this gunk and debris dissolves. You will need to use a combination of the two cleaning methods from time to time.
How does the iQOS System compare to other Electronic Cigarette Vaping Systems?
The main difference between the iQOS system and other electronic cigarette vaping systems is that the iQOS delivers a true tobacco flavor. There are actually three different HEET stick flavors which are standard, smooth and menthol.
When we tested the iQOS the tobacco flavor was very distinct. Other vaping systems that we have used just didn’t come anywhere close to this taste. It is the closest thing to traditional cigarette smoking that we have ever tried.
It really all depends where you are coming from. If you are a cigarette smoker that wants to quit or reduce your intake then the iQOS is the closest thing to perfection you are going to find. If you are already an electronic cigarette vaper then you might find that you do not enjoy the experience as much.
You will not find the vapor from the iQOS to be overpowering as can be the case with other electronic cigarettes. You will also find that there is no acrid taste left in your mouth after vaping either. The vapor has a tobacco smell as you might expect but it will not disturb others if you are using the iCOS in a public place.
One of our testers smokes traditional cigarettes so we asked him to put the iQOS through its paces for 3-4 weeks. He was a bit skeptical having tried several different types of electronic cigarettes in the past and given up on them because they did not provide a big enough nicotine hit for him.
He told us that when he first tried using the iQOS he was quite impressed but not totally convinced. After his vapor he went away to do other things and was pleasantly surprised that he did not have any cravings for a traditional cigarette for a couple of hours. He took another vape using the iQOS and the result was the same.
When smoking traditional cigarettes there can often be a bitterness and even an irritation in the throat. These things did not occur with the iQOS system. The other good thing was that there is hardly any smell with the iQOS which is totally different to burning traditional cigarettes.
Our tester said that he really liked the aroma of the iQOS and likened it to the pipe tobacco that his father used to smoke. He was able to comfortably vape with the iQOS in public without annoying non smokers as well as at home.
He also noticed that the smoker’s cough he had been enduring every morning through smoking conventional cigarettes had disappeared after a few days on the iQOS. He concluded that he would never return to conventional cigarettes and found himself smoking (or vaping) a lot less than before and not having any cravings.
Find out more about the Philip Morris iQOS system here.
The Pros and Cons of the Philip Morris iQOS System
Every product has pros and cons and the iQOS system is no different. Let’s begin by taking a look at the positive aspects of the iQOS system:
- The iQOS system produces the closest experience to smoking traditional cigarettes which will make the transition for smokers a lot smoother.
- The iQOS system is a very high quality product. A lot of money has been spent on the research and development and the design of the product is very impressive.
- The iQOS system looks cool.
- It is very easy to use the iQOS system.
- The iQOS system is small and lightweight and is easy to take with you wherever you go.
And now the negatives:
- The iQOS system and the HEET sticks are pretty expensive. It is more expensive than other electronic cigarette systems.
- You need to clean the iQOS regularly to ensure that you get optimum performance from the holder. Cleaning is pretty easy but it is still something extra to do.
- The iQOS system uses tobacco. The jury is out on this one as to whether it is any safer to use tobacco in a non combustible manner. One of our testers did feel better and smoke less using the iQOS so maybe there is a good case for it.
The Final Verdict
It was inevitable that one of the large tobacco companies would try to make their mark in the electronic cigarette / vaping market. To be fair to Philip Morris they did invest a huge amount of money into the iQOS system and there is no doubt that the product is high quality.
The biggest plus for the iQOS is that it delivers an experience that is the closest to smoking traditional cigarettes. This is good news for cigarette smokers who want an alternative that is (supposedly) healthier for them.
It is really easy to use the iQOS system and waiting for 6 seconds for the heating process to work is not a big deal at all. Cleaning the holder regularly is not a problem either and everything is supplied to help you to do this properly.
One of our testers found that using the iQOS made him stop coughing every morning which has got to be good. Also his family is happier because they do not have to put up with the smell of cigarettes any more.
So should you purchase the iQOS system? If you are a cigarette smoker that’s looking for a good alternative then this is a good product. We would rate the Philip Morris iQOS system 4.5 out of 5 stars.
We hope that you have found our Philip Morris iQOS review informative and that it will help you to decide whether the product is right for you or not.