No Fire and Smoke: New Tobacco Technology

How and why the first Indian decided to bring smoldering tobacco leaf to his mouth, no one will ever know. But historians suggest that this thought first visited people after leaves of plants of the genus Nicotiana fell into the fire by chance. The aroma and taste of smoke, as well as its stimulating effect, were pleasant to those who were nearby, and the next time tobacco was thrown into the fire on purpose.

Later it turned out that it was much more convenient not to burn leaves, but to make them slowly smolder. At this stage, the development of technology has stopped for a long time. The Spaniards brought tobacco to the Old World, where at first the richest, and then everyone else took over the Indian habit. The leaves of overseas grass smoldered throughout Europe in tubes at a temperature of 500 ° C and in tubes of tissue paper at 650 ° C, and at the time of inhalation, the temperature jumped to almost 1000 ° C.

And only in the XXI century it became clear that such high temperatures are not really needed for tobacco use. Nicotine, unlike other components of tobacco smoke, is also released at a temperature of about 350 ° C, at which the sheet itself does not smolder.

The IQOS tobacco heating system got into the editorial office, and we, of course, immediately took it apart by cogs. Under the thin plastic of the case, a battery was discovered that was charged via Micro USB, a removable cap for cleaning the heating element, and sophisticated electronics.

The main detail is a heating element made of doped platinum ceramic. Such composite materials are the basis of modern sensitive thermometers, which are used in many industries where it is important to maintain a given temperature. Platinum is responsible for heating, and the ceramic base withstands mechanical stress and thermal expansion.

The heating element also works as a temperature sensor. Its data is transferred to a microcircuit that controls the supply of energy to the heating element, preventing the system from heating up and burning tobacco or, conversely, cooling down.

With the IQOS system, you can use only special sticks - tobacco leaves wrapped in tubes of thin tissue paper. The diameter and length of the sticks are optimally matched to the parameters of the heating element.

Heated but unburnt tobacco produces a much less odor than a pipe or cigarette. A study by Swiss scientists conducted in 2016 showed that the aerosol generated by heating tobacco in the IQOS system contains 90% less harmful and potentially harmful substances than regular cigarette smoke. However, the study of the effect of IQOS on human health is still ongoing.

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