History of Heat-Not-Burn
Smoking has changed so much in the past decade. Do you ever wonder what the future of smoking will be? A number of tobacco companies believe that the future of smoking is not smoke at all!
Heat-Not-Burn (HnB) devices are electronic heated tobacco systems that heat tobacco rather than burn it.
The devices usually heat the tobacco no higher than 350°C, compared to traditional cigarettes which burn, on average, around 600°C. When tobacco is burnt it releases harmful chemicals into the smoke you breathe. This can negatively affect a smoker’s health.
Manufacturers claim that Heat-Not-Burn is healthier than traditional smoking since HnB reduce user exposure to chemicals.
Heat-Not-Burn products are a great option for individuals who enjoy smoking but want to reduce the health risks. Many users report that after a two week period of time they see significant physical changes; such as reduced chest pain, fewer and shorter cravings, less tired feeling, no more lingering smoke smell, etc. It is also suitable for those who want to, or have to, quit smoking, as HnB can be used to gradually achieve such.
Heat-Not-Burn was first introduced in the late 1980s when the R. J. Tobacco Company launched the world’s first smokeless cigarette under the Premier brand. The product had a charcoal plug, which made it taste awful. It lasted less than a year on the market. The company tried again in the mid-1990s to launch a successful product, the Eclipse, with minimal success.
In 1998, Philip Morris International (PMI), the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, launched Accord heating devices, designed to reduce the concentration of smoke that users would be exposed to. The product was never marketed for health benefits as at the time, there was not enough data to determine potential long-term effects and therefore the product could not be endorsed by federal nor private medical review panels. Accord never saw large-scale success and in 2006 it was discontinued.
The following year PMI test-marketed HeatBar, an electronic cigarette nearly identical to Accord with the central difference being that HeatBar marketing focused on the product’s guaranteed ability to reduce second-hand smoke. HeatBar also failed to gain popularity within the smoking community and was never moved to full production.
In 2003, PMI reported investing nearly $70 million USD (amount adjusted to accommodate inflation) into electronic smoking device research. That research, in combination with feedback collected from the several failed product lines, was used to modify and improve PMI electronic devices and eventually fueled the creation of IQOS, the company’s most successful HnB device and the leader in the Heat-Not-Burn industry.
Following IQOS’ success more electronic Heat-Not-Burn devices were introduced including GLO, by British American Tobacco (BAT), Ploom TECH by Japan Tobacco, Lil by Korea Tobacco & Ginseng, and more. Every year it seems there is a new HnB manufacturer.
There is alot of promise for HnB as the industry continues to grow. In 2019, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of IQOS in the USA. This is a symbol of how far HnB has come. It also is a symbol of hope for the future.