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Analysis of mainstream emissions, secondhand emissions and the environmental impact of IQOS waste: a systematic review on IQOS that accounts for data source


Objective To highlight the general features of IQOS literature focusing on the chemical analysis of IQOS emissions.

Data sources PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus databases were searched on 8 November 2021 using the terms ‘heated tobacco product’, ‘heat-not-burn’, ‘IQOS’ and ‘tobacco heating system’ with time restriction (2010–2021). The search yielded 5480 records.

Study selection Relevant publications on topics related to IQOS assessment were retrieved (n=341). Two reviewers worked separately and reached agreement by consensus.

Data extraction Data on author affiliation and funding, article type and date of publication were extracted. Publications were categorised depending on their focus and outcomes. Data on IQOS emissions from the chemical analysis category were extracted.

Data synthesis Of the included publications, 25% were published by Philip Morris International (PMI) affiliates or PMI-funded studies. PMI-sponsored publications on emissions, toxicology assessments and health effects were comparable in number to those reported by independent research, in contrast to publications on IQOS use, market trends and regulation. Data on nicotine yield, carbonyl emissions, other mainstream emissions, secondhand emissions and IQOS waste were compared between data sources to highlight agreement or disagreement between PMI-sponsored and independent research.

Conclusions Our analysis showed agreement between the data sources on nicotine yield from IQOS under the same puffing conditions. Also, both sources agreed that IQOS emits significantly reduced levels of some emissions compared with combustible cigarettes. However, independent studies and examination of PMI’s data showed significant increases in other emissions from and beyond the Food and Drug Administration’s harmful and potentially harmful constituents list.

  • harm reduction
  • non-cigarette tobacco products
  • public policy
  • tobacco industry
  • toxicology

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