Technology is revolutionising every industry and sector, enabling companies of all sizes to do more with less, faster, more efficiently and for cheaper. It is allowing businesses to innovate, not only in terms of their products and services, but also their business models. Philip Morris South Africa (PMSA) is attempting both with the IQOS, as it is an innovative product through which the tobacco company wants its customers (or at least the majority of them) to move away from their core offering to switch to better alternatives.
The IQOS 3 device sophisticated electronics to heat specially designed tobacco units, just enough to release a flavorful nicotine-containing tobacco vapor, but without burning the tobacco. That last bit is important because a cigarette burns at temperatures in excess of 600°C, which means that it generates smoke that contains high levels of harmful chemicals – 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes in fact according to PMSA.
IQOS on the other hand, heats tobacco to much lower temperatures, up to 350°C, without combustion, fire, ash, or smoke, which is great for your car, your clothes and your significant other that you want to keep kissing you. According to PMSA, the lower temperature heating releases the true taste of heated tobacco, but even more importantly, the levels of harmful chemicals are significantly reduced compared to cigarette smoke.
How does it work?
You get three main components in the retail package, namely a heated tobacco unit (called HEETS or HeatSticks), an IQOS holder, and a charger. You insert the heated tobacco unit into the really sleek and stylish looking IQOS holder, which contains an electronically controlled heater. You push a button to turn on the heater, and once the light stops blinking, draw on the heated tobacco unit to enjoy the real taste of heated tobacco.
The device will vibrate gently, to let you know that there is about two drags left before the heated tabocco unit is finished. Once done, you just remove it from the holder, and can then dispose of it safely in a waste bin. After each experience, you simply recharge the holder by inserting it into the charger.
Things to note here, is that if you like to nip cigarettes and smoke the remainder of it later, you cannot do so with this device, you have to use the HEETS once only, until its finished. Also, with the IQOS 3, you have to recharge it after each use, so it is not ideal for people who smoke a pack a day. People who require more battery life can however opt for the bigger (and costlier) IQOS Multi, which allows for multiple units per day – hence the name.
Another point worth mentioning is that for the device to remain optimally functional, it needs to be cleaned out after every 20 sessions or once a day – which ever comes first, due to the fact that tobacco residue from the heat sticks can gunk up the heating blade. This will in time negatively affect the flavor of subsequent heat sticks. However, the cleaning process is easy and straightforward, and not too much of a schlep thanks to the cleaning utensils being provided with the kit. Also, the device is surprisingly sleek, and not just compact and functional.
Because the HeatSticks of the IQOS use real tobacco, the device is a good alternative for current smokers. As you would expect, the PMSA-made IQOS comes closest to replicating the feeling of smoking a cigarette. Not all the ‘flavours’ provided in the sample pack was to our liking, but we suggest that you go through them and as with something like a Nespresso, you discover which ones you like and can just purchase packs of those. There isn’t much of an aroma, meaning that it can be used in public around other people and they probably won’t complain. There won’t be any ash residue on your clothes or in your car as well.
So did IQOS?
Ultimately, yes. This is a product for people that are looking for better alternatives to traditional cigarettes. The IQOS experience closely replicates the sensation of cigarettes, but without smoke, ash and less lingering smoke smell.
Your smoke free future kicks off at about R1800 for the device and you can purchase your HEETS in packs of 20, just like your used to from your favourite brand of cigarettes.
Looking to make the switch? Visit https://za.iqos.com/ for more info.