Turning up the heat

    Tobacco heating products may be even more effective in helping smokers quit than are e-cigarettes.

    Since the December 2016 launch of Philip Morris International’s iQOS in the U.K., about 70 percent of people who used the heat-not-burn device managed to give up conventional cigarettes compared with a conversion rate of about 15-20 percent for those who used vapor products, according to Peter Nixon, managing director of PMI in the United Kingdom.

    Nixon called the phenomenon “unprecedented.”

    While vapor products use nicotine-laced e-liquids, iQOS heats tobacco sticks, called Heets, to a high enough temperature to create a vapor but not smoke.

    British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco are also selling similar devices, but PMI is currently the market leader, according to Nixon.

    Nixon told the BBC that the company hopes to produce 100 billion Heets next year, up from less than 400 million in 2015.