Identification of volatile constituents released from IQOS heat-not-burn tobacco HeatSticks using a direct sampling method.

Dragos-Bogdan Ilies, Shamjad Moosakutty, Najeh M. Kharbatia, Mani Sarathy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES:To identify the chemicals released in I Quit Ordinary Smoking (IQOS) heat-not-burn tobacco aerosol and to assess their potential human health toxicity. METHODS:The heating temperature window of the IQOS heat-not-burn device was determined using a thermographic camera over a period of 100 s. Qualitative studies were performed using a novel real-time gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer set-up. Aerosols from six tobacco-flavoured IQOS HeatSticks (Amber, Blue, Bronze, Sienna, Turquoise and Yellow) were collected in a 1 mL loop via a manual syringe attached to the sample-out port of the valve. The gas transport line was heated to 200°C in order to prevent the condensation of volatile species. Compound identification was performed using the NIST11 mass spectrometry database library (US National Institute of Standards and Technology), where only chemicals with a match of 70% and above were listed as identifiable. RESULTS:The temperature profile of the IQOS device revealed a non-combustive process employed in generating the tobacco aerosol. Real-time qualitative analysis revealed 62 compounds encompassing a broad spectrum of chemicals such as carbonyls, furans and phthalates, which are highly toxic. DISCUSSION:Our findings complement the qualitative studies previously performed by Philip Morris International and others via indirect sampling methods. By analysing the aerosols in real time, we have identified a total of 62 compounds, from which only 10 were in common with previous studies. Several identified species such as diacetyl, 2,3-pentanedione, hydroxymethylfurfural and diethylhexyl phthalate are classified as highly toxic, with the latter considered carcinogenic.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)tobaccocontrol-2019-055521
Number of pages2020
JournalTobacco Control
StatePublished - May 28 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank Mr Javier Ordonez Loza for acquiring the thermal profile of I Quit Ordinary Smoking (IQOS). We thank Ms Raheena Abdurehim for taking pictures of the IQOS device.


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