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 Leischow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 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)
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 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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