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Your Guide To HEETS: Questions and Answers

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HEETS are tobacco sticks used with IQOS devices. IQOS joined the UK market in 2016, and by 2019 was one of the top-selling smoking alternatives available in 40 countries across Europe and beyond. As with any new phenomenon, heated tobacco systems can be confusing if you've never given one a spin before. We've collated some of the most common questions across the web, from the likes of Reddit, Quora and Google, to give you all the answers you need in one place.


General Questions

Using Your HEETS

Technical Details

General Questions

This section is designed for brand-new IQOS users or those who want to understand if HEETS are right for them.

If you're a new IQOS user, here's a quick checklist of do's and dont's to keep things ticking along properly!

infographic giving pointers on what to do and not when using IQOS HEETS

What Are HEETS?

HEETS are small white sticks that contain a specialised blend of real tobacco. They are inserted into the IQOS device and heated to a very high temperature, creating a vapour-based aerosol that has a very similar taste and feel to a standard cigarette. The key difference is that HEETS never actually burn, so no smoke is produced.

HEETS come in packs of 20. There are 10 different blends to choose from in total. We categorise HEETS into menthol, classic tobacco and infused tobacco flavours. Each blend is unique, so we encourage users to explore the range and find the flavour that best suits them.

How Do You Use HEETS?

HEETS are inserted into the top of your IQOS Holder (the slim, pen-shaped part of the kit). From there, activate the device by holding the button down for two seconds until you feel a vibration. Once everything is ready, the device will vibrate twice more.

Check out our IQOS Beginners Guide for detailed instructions on operating, cleaning and maintaining your IQOS and HEETS!

Where Can I Buy HEETS?

HEETS are widely available both online and in physical stores. You'll find them at the tobacco kiosk in most leading supermarkets. For the best price, buy directly from us! We offer a great-value multibuy deal when you buy 10 or more packs, and you can mix & match all the HEETS flavours so finding your favourite is that bit easier.


What Are The Different HEETS flavours?

There are ten HEETS flavour options in total (as of March 2023!). We divide the flavours into three categories: classic tobacco, menthol tobacco and infused tobacco.

Amber, Teak, Russet and Sienna are the classic tobacco flavours, where the predominant flavour note is tobacco. Amber is the classic tobacco flavour, while the others introduce additional flavour notes like malt, oak or tea leaf for a richer taste.

Blue, Green, Turquoise, Mauve and Sienna Caps HEETS are considered menthol tobacco flavours, as the predominant flavour note is mint or menthol. Blue are the traditional menthol flavour, while Mauve, Green and Turquoise incorporate notes of mint, fruit or citrus for a more nuanced and minty taste.

Yellow, Mauve and Turquoise are classed as infused tobacco flavours as all feature complementary notes of fruit, such as citrus and berry, adding a vibrant and slightly sweeter finish.

It's important to bear in mind that all HEETS are made with real tobacco, so all blends on offer simply add additional flavour accents and overtones. If you do not enjoy the rustic flavour of tobacco, you may not enjoy heated tobacco systems.

Using Your HEETS

This section contains advice on using your HEETS and getting the most out of them.

How Long Do HEETS Last?

HEETS are designed to last for the length of a single session; this equates to either 6 minutes or 14 puffs, whichever comes first, and is designed to be around the same length of time that it would take to smoke a cigarette. These figures are estimates based on the average user, so there's wiggle room! To make your HEETS last longer, try taking shorter gentle puffs to prolong your experience; harder and longer puffs may use up your HEETS faster.

Heated tobacco systems can take a little while to get used to; some users may naturally 'toke' on their IQOS in a similar way to a vape, for example. Over time, or even after a couple of uses, our customers find they're able to tune the way they inhale to get the most out of each HEET Stick.

Do HEETS Smell?

It's difficult to answer this question! Like vapes, HEETS do have a smell, but not to the same degree that a cigarette does. Cigarettes have a distinct burning smell which is prone to linger because smoke clings to materials easily. HEETS have an aromatic tobacco smell which dissipates quickly as it is vapour-based.

Can You Smoke HEETS Like Normal Cigarettes?

Although HEETS may resemble cigarettes and even contain real tobacco, they can't be smoked like a cigarette. This is because the tobacco in HEETS is processed to work specifically with heat-not-burn technology, incorporating vegetable glycerin, guar and natural fibres for an aerosol-focussed experience.

Can I reuse HEETS?

No - HEETS are designed to only be used once. When using your IQOS, the device heats your HEET Stick to extremely high temperatures, and while the sticks will not burn, the tobacco becomes significantly degraded after a single session, so we strongly advise against reusing HEETS.

Technical Details

In this section, we cover some of the more technical questions surrounding HEETS.

HEET tobacco stick detailed shot showing tobacco, filter and outer packaging

How much nicotine is in HEETS?

According to IQOS, each HEETS Stick contains 0.5mg of nicotine. This is approximately the same as a cigarette. This figure is determined using an ISO testing regime, an industry-standard in the EU and UK, and is based on the aerosol that is produced, rather than the content of sticks themselves. Confused? Let's dive in a little deeper.

IQOS have confirmed that each stick, in its raw form, has 4.6mg of nicotine in total - but this isn't all absorbed during your IQOS experience. The 0.5mg figure comes from the emissions, which is the vapour each stick produces, and tends to be substantially lower than the nicotine content of the raw tobacco before it's heated. The smoke produced by burning tobacco contains significantly more nicotine than the vapour produced by heating it in the way an IQOS does.

Are HEETS better than smoking?

IQOS heated tobacco is designed for adult smokers only; like vaping, we encourage users not to use these devices if they do not already smoke. That said, IQOS produces 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes, including 98% less carbon monoxide (CO). These figures do not represent reductions in risk; smoking alternatives are not risk-free.

From a financial perspective, HEETS packs are considerably cheaper than traditional cigarettes, costing less than half the average price of a pack of 20 cigarettes. Most users could save upwards of £500 a year by making the switch. If you're a heavy smoker, that figure could be closer to £2,000!

Do HEETS contain tar?

Tar is produced when tobacco is burned; it's an inevitable byproduct of the combustion process. Because HEETS do not burn, no tar is produced when using IQOS.

How are HEETS made?

HEETS can be broken down into two main parts: tobacco and filter sections.

The tobacco in HEETS is made up of high-quality, specially-selected tobaccos which are then ground down into a very fine powder and mixed with a handful of other ingredients such as VG (found in vape juice) and natural fibres. The mixture is then reconstituted into sheets, which are divided up and rolled to fit into the HEETS you purchase.

The rest of each HEETS Stick is made up of various filters, including a hollow tube, a PLA filter and finally the filter on the end of the stick which is similar to one you'd find on a traditional cigarette. All of these parts help to cool the tobacco aerosol and remove potentially harmful chemicals from the vapour that you inhale.

You can view a full report on HEETS ingredients here.

Note: This article was written before the launch of the new IQOS Iluma and associated Terea refills, which came out in 2023. 

This article relates to a product that has been succeeded by IQOS Terea, the newer version of refills launched in 2023. Terea refills work with the new Iluma kit