Heated Tobacco vs Vaping: Which is Right for You?

By Samuel Lawrence

Woman with man holding IQOS Holder

For those looking for better alternatives to continued smoking, there are a variety of choices available in the UK - two of these being vaping and heated tobacco products. Find out more about the differences between these below.

Heated Tobacco

White IQOS Heated Tobacco Holder

Tobacco taste and satisfaction

Heated tobacco offers an alternative to smoking which still uses tobacco.

IQOS is the #1 heated tobacco product1, which is used with HEETS tobacco sticks. IQOS is an electronic device which uses real tobacco and no liquid, and provides a similar ritual and cigarette-like satisfaction2, IQOS is the closest alternative to a cigarette.

Cost Savings

HEETS are priced at £5 for a pack of 20 tobacco sticks, making them less than half the price of 20 cigarettes3. If you’re a smoker who smokes 10 cigarettes a day, you’ll save on average over £1,000 per year if you switch completely to HEETS3. You can find out more about the affordability of heated tobacco here.

Heating versus burning

As an electronic device which heats tobacco rather than burning it, IQOS produces no smoke, no ash and less smell than cigarettes. As there is no lit end, there is no risk of burning furniture or others around you.

IQOS is designed to be used with HEETS tobacco sticks which produce a nicotine-containing vapour. HEETS are available in a choice of eight variants: Sienna, Teak, Amber and Yellow offer tobacco tastes. Turquoise, Blue, Green and Sienna Caps are mentholated.

Less smell

IQOS leaves less lingering smell on hands, hair and clothes than cigarettes. The vapour produced from IQOS doesn’t smell as strong as cigarette smoke which makes for a more discreet tobacco experience.

No negative impact on indoor air quality

IQOS has no negative impact on indoor air quality.4 This is proven by air quality tests conducted in accordance with international standards. When using IQOS, the tobacco vapour dissipates more quickly than cigarette smoke.

A better alternative than continuing to smoke

Heating tobacco rather than burning is what sets IQOS apart from cigarettes, representing a better alternative than continuing to smoke. By heating rather than burning tobacco, IQOS emits 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.5

Important Information: It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. IQOS is not risk-free.


Soft Bronze IQOS MESH Vape

Uses e-liquids instead of tobacco

Unlike cigarettes and heated tobacco, vaping uses liquids known as e-liquid, e-juice or vape juice. This liquid is made up of ingredients such as VG (vegetable glycerine) and PG (propylene glycol) as well as flavourings and often nicotine. E-liquids used with vaping devices don’t contain tobacco, because of this the taste and ritual are different to smoking.

Cost Savings

In general, the E-liquid used with vaping devices is cheaper to purchase compared to the cost of cigarettes in the UK. You can find out more about the cost of vaping in a vape price guide we have compiled here.

No smoke, no ash, no fire

Like heated tobacco, e-cigarettes produce vapour instead of smoke. They also produce no ash.

Different smell

Whilst e-cigarettes don’t produce smoke, the vapour produced can have a strong smell depending on the e-liquid used. The smell dissipates far quicker than the lingering smell of burnt tobacco from cigarettes.

Less risk than continuing to smoke

Vaping presents less risk than continuing to smoke and is a better alternative to continued smoking.

IQOS Vs Vape – which to choose?

Both heated tobacco and vaping are better alternatives to smoking and use electronic devices, the main difference between heated tobacco and vaping is what is used with the device itself. Heated tobacco is an alternative to smoking which uses real tobacco, whilst e-cigarettes contain no tobacco and use liquids instead.

If you’re interested in heated tobacco and want to find out if heated tobacco is right for you, we offer a 14-day IQOS trial. For £10 upfront you can try IQOS, the #1 heated tobacco product1, for yourself.

Important Information: IQOS is not risk free. It delivers nicotine, which is addictive.

1”95% less” represents the average reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette (3R4F). See important information on IQOS.com.

2Studies showed that the satisfaction of those who switched completely to IQOS is comparable to those who continued to smoke cigarettes. 3 month clinical studies conducted in US and Japan with 160 adult smokers each under real conditions (ambulatory).

3Assumes average price of cigarettes at £10.77 per pack. Source: ONS dataset. Average price – Cigarettes 20 king size filter, 2019.

4Source: PMI study conducted under ISO standards simulating real-world scenarios and based on threshold limits established by existing air quality guidelines.

5”95% less” represents the average reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette (3R4F). See important information on IQOS.com.

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This website is intended only for users of nicotine or tobacco products who are over 18.

This website is restricted to adults in the United Kingdom who would otherwise continue to smoke or use nicotine products. Our nicotine and tobacco products are not an alternative to quitting and are not designed as cessation aids. They are not risk-free. They contain nicotine, which is addictive. Only for use by adults. Please visit the Important Information page for further risk information.