Comparison of Chemicals in Mainstream Smoke in Heat-not-burn Tobacco and Combustion Cigarettes

J UOEH. 2017;39(3):201-207. doi: 10.7888/juoeh.39.201.


Because of the health effects of secondhand smoke, the Japanese government is trying to establish an effective law for total avoidance of secondhand smoke in indoor environments for tobacco-free Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games 2020, as requested by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Meanwhile, Philip Morris International has begun selling a new heat-not-burn tobacco, iQOS, which it claims is designed not to produce secondhand smoke. There is little scientific data, however, of the hazards and toxicity of iQOS. In this study, we evaluated several harmful compounds (nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide (CO) and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs)) in the mainstream smoke and fillers of iQOS, and compared their concentrations with those from conventional combustion cigarettes. The concentrations of nicotine in tobacco fillers and the mainstream smoke of iQOS were almost the same as those of conventional combustion cigarettes, while the concentration of TSNAs was one fifth and CO was one hundredth of those of conventional combustion cigarettes. These toxic compounds are not completely removed from the mainstream smoke of iQOS, making it necessary to consider the health effects and regulation of iQOS.

Keywords: carbon monoxide; heat-not-burn tobacco; nicotine; tar; tobacco specific nitrosamines.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Hot Temperature
  • Nicotiana / chemistry*
  • Smoke / analysis*
  • Smoking


  • Smoke