Comparison of 3R4F cigarette smoke and IQOS heated tobacco product aerosol emissions

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In this study, the smoke from a 3R4F research cigarette and the aerosol generated by the Heated Tobacco Product IQOS, also referred to as the Tobacco Heating System (THS) 2.2 in the literature, were compared. The objective was to characterize the gas and suspended particulate matter compositions in the mainstream smoke from a combusted 3R4F cigarette and in the aerosol generated by IQOS during use. The results indicated that the determined aerosol emissions from IQOS were notably lower than in the cigarette smoke under a Health Canada Intense puffing regimen. As an interesting detail in this study, the maximum nicotine concentrations within a puff were practically the same in both the 3R4F smoke and the IQOS aerosol, but the average concentration was lower for the IQOS aerosol. For both products, water constituted a significant proportion of the particulate matter, although it was substantially higher in the IQOS aerosol. Furthermore, combustion-related solid particles observed in the 3R4F smoke contained elements such as carbon, oxygen, potassium, calcium, and silicon. In contrast, IQOS aerosol particulate matter was composed of semi-volatile organic constituents with some minor traces of oxygen and silicon. The particulate matter found in the IQOS aerosol was volatile, which was especially noticeable when exposed to the electron beam of the scanning electron microscope (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27051-27069
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Combustible cigarette
  • Heated tobacco
  • Low emissions
  • Particulate matter
  • Volatile matter


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