Carbonyl emissions from a novel heated tobacco product (IQOS): comparison with an e-cigarette and a tobacco cigarette

Konstantinos E. Farsalinos, Nikoletta Yannovits, Theoni Sarri, Vassilis Voudris, Konstantinos Poulas, Scott J. Leischow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Aims: To measure carbonyl emissions from a heated tobacco product (IQOS) in comparison with an e-cigarette (Nautilus Mini) and a commercial tobacco cigarette (Marlboro Red). Design: Regular and menthol variants of the heated tobacco product were tested. A tank-type atomizer was tested with a tobacco-flavoured liquid at 10 and 14 W. Aerosol and smoke were collected in impingers containing 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine. Health Canada Intense and two more intense puffing regimens were used. Setting: Analytical laboratory in Greece. Measurements: Carbonyl levels in the aerosol and smoke. Findings: At the Health Canada Intense regimen, heated tobacco products emitted 5.0–6.4 μg/stick formaldehyde, 144.1–176.7 μg/stick acetaldehyde, 10.4–10.8 μg/stick acrolein, 11.0–12.8 μg/stick propionaldehyde and 1.9–2.0 μg/stick crotonaldehyde. Compared with the tobacco cigarette, levels were on average 91.6% lower for formaldehyde, 84.9% lower for acetaldehyde, 90.6% lower for acrolein, 89.0% lower for propionaldehyde and 95.3% lower for crotonaldehyde. The e-cigarette emitted 0.5–1.0 μg/12 puffs formaldehyde, 0.8–1.5 μg/12 puffs acetaldehyde and 0.3–0.4 μg/12 puffs acrolein, but no propionaldehyde and crotonaldehyde. At more intense puffing regimens, formaldehyde was increased in heated tobacco products, but levels were three–fourfold lower compared with the tobacco cigarette. Based on the findings from Health Canada Intense puffing regimen, use of 20 heated tobacco sticks would result in approximately 85% to 95% reduced carbonyl exposure compared with smoking 20 tobacco cigarettes; the respective reduction in exposure from use of 5 g e-cigarette liquid would be 97% to > 99%. Conclusions: The IQOS heated tobacco product emits substantially lower levels of carbonyls than a commercial tobacco cigarette (Marlboro Red) but higher levels than a Nautilus Mini e-cigarette.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2099-2106
Number of pages8
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Carbonyls
  • electronic cigarettes
  • harm reduction
  • heated tobacco products
  • nicotine
  • smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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