IQOS 3 Duo. A product that truly gives us hope for a smoke-free future

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All you middle-eastern folks can now rejoice because the IQOS 3 Duo is now officially available in this region and if it makes you feel any better, they even have a full fledged boutique at Dubai Mall for you to check out all their offerings. 

But for those of you new to the IQOS Concept, the company states in their website that it is an innovative alternative to traditional smoking where instead of burning tobacco, the device essentially heats it. This results in a far more cleaner experience where you get the true taste of tobacco without the cigarette smell, smoke or the messiness of the ash. Though functionality wise it might sound like an e-cigarette, but this is far from being anywhere close to as harmful as that. 

Sound too goo to be true? It isn’t because delivering a smoke-free future is actually the vision of the IQOS’s parent company ‘Philip Morris International’. Their team of over 73,500 people work round the clock striving to be more environmentally and socially responsible. At this very moment over 430 scientists, engineers and technicians are working across their research facilities in Switzerland and Singapore to develop less-harmful alternatives to cigarettes. 

So without further ado, let’s dive right into our review of the swanky IQOS 3 Duo 

Highlights 

  • Based on a three part system comprising of a holder, pocket charger and a HEETS Tobacco Stick
  • Ability to use it twice consecutively 
  • Faster charging compared to previous generation 
  • Each Cycle lasts roughly 5 minutes or 12 Puffs 
  • Holder Charges in less than 5 minutes and the Pocket Charges in about an hour and a half 
  • New Lucid Teal Limited Edition color available exclusively at the Dubai Mall Boutique 
  • Has Bluetooth functionality to pair with the IQOS Connect App 

What’s inside the Box 

  • IQOS Manual 
  • USB Cable and Charger 
  • Cleaning Brush and Sticks 
  • Holder 
  • Pocket Charger 

Design 

For those of you who have used the regular IQOS 3.0, not much has changed in terms of design compared to the IQOS 3 Duo apart from the addition of the additional status light on the charger and holder as well as being offered in new colors and finishes. We received a unit of the Lucid Teal color which we found to be fabulous and elegant. The build quality is great and feels pretty solid in your hands. 

The product has been designed in such a way that it can withstand a variety of climatic conditions. The outer shell provides it with adequate protection for all you clumsy folks out there. Not that we recommend you intentionally drop it but the way it seems, it can definitely handle a few drops here and there with ease.

Functionality 

Though I will confess, as a first time IQOS user, it will take sometime before you can fully make the transition from regular cigarettes to being fully reliant on the IQOS. However once you make that leap of faith, there’s no going back because this truly is the future. 

The IQOS 3 DUO allows you to have two consecutive uses without the need to charge it in between and compared to the previous generation, the new IQOS 3 Duo provides the most zippiest holder charging to date. 

Interview Time

What fun is this review going to be without some input from one of the top guys at Philip Morris International? So I managed to get in touch with Tarkan Demirbas, Area Vice President at Philip Morris International and he definitely had some interesting things to say!

We know Philip Morris International is making huge strides in switching current smokers to smoke-free alternatives and even though I understand ‘Smoke’ is a lot more harmful than ‘Nicotine’, the problem of Nicotine addiction still exists. What are your plans for transitioning to a nicotine-free alternative as well? 

Let me start by saying that there are a lot of misconceptions about nicotine. In fact, contrary to what many believe, nicotine, while addictive and not risk-free, is not the primary cause of smoking-related diseases. It is the burning of tobacco that generates the vast majority of toxicants found in smoke and is generally associated with smoking-related diseases. Our smoke-free products eliminate the burning process. 

Utilizing science and technological innovations like heated tobacco products that reduce the harm caused by cigarette smoking is the public health opportunity of this century. However, for these products to have a positive impact on public health, smokers have to be willing to switch to them. Nicotine is one of the several product characteristics adult smokers are looking for in alternative products. 

Philip Morris International currently holds a share of 14% in the Global Cigarette Market and with approximately 1 Billion smokers across the world, only 8% of your customers (11.7 Million of Adult Smokers) have made the switch to smoke-free alternatives. Is there a reason why we aren’t seeing mass adoption in spite of it being a less harmful option? 

We are making tremendous progress toward our vision of a smoke-free future. As of September 30, 2020, IQOS already is commercialized in 61 markets, and 16.4 million adult smokers have adopted the product. Importantly, 72 percent of them have switched completely and abandoned cigarettes. Our ambition is to have smoke-free products account for 30 percent of our shipping volumes by 2025, which is equivalent to approximately 40 million smokers having adopted these products. But this is not a transformation we can achieve alone. We need scientists and other experts to support the effort by providing accurate information to the public about the relative risks of these products versus continued smoking. And we need governments to work with manufacturers to encourage innovation in this space and to put into place regulatory frameworks that help those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke to switch to these better alternatives.

Smoke-Free alternatives like IQOS are still pretty expensive for an average user from an initial investment point of view. Will you be launching more affordable products for emerging markets like India and other regions?

PMI’s goal to replace cigarettes with smoke-free products extends to all adults who would otherwise continue smoking, of all income levels, and in all countries worldwide. However, I cannot comment on PMI’s commercialization plans in regions other than the Middle East.

I’d like to note that the pricing of HEETS varies from country to country, but usually is in the same range as cigarettes and, in most cases, lower than premium-priced cigarettes. However, adult smokers who would like to switch to HEETS need first to purchase the IQOS device. Given that this is a relatively new category, supplying a reliable and scientifically substantiated quality device is costly, and that’s reflected in its retail price.

We believe the cost of both the device and the tobacco consumables will continue to decrease over time. This will be accelerated if governments provide tax differential and other regulatory measures to encourage switching for those adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke that encourages adult smokers to switch to better choices compared to continued smoking and companies to invest in continuous innovation and scientific research. 

The IQOS 3 DUO, based on our testing, seems like a drastic leap from the previous generation with the charging time being cut into almost half and now with double the capacity. Could you explain the thought process involved in refining a product from the previous generation that was already way ahead of its time? 

We believe in technology and science and have worked for almost two decades to develop and assess – and more recently commercialize – less harmful alternatives to cigarettes. As I said before, we believe that utilizing the science and technological innovations like heated tobacco products that reduce the harm caused by cigarette smoking is the public health opportunity of this century. 

IQOS 3 DUO is PMI’s latest tobacco heating system, designed to deliver a better tobacco experience. It embodies PMI’s quest to continuously improve and deliver the most innovative products to those adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke. 

IQOS 3 DUO features our fastest and most powerful holder to date, providing two consecutive uses without the need to recharge. Consumers don’t need to wait for the holder to charge for the second use. And with Rapid Charge, which may depend on conditions of use after the initial full charging of the holder, the holder charging time is much faster than the charging time of IQOS 2.4+, and it now adapts to consumers’ rhythm of using IQOS. 

What is your elevator pitch for the IQOS 3 DUO in order to convince someone to make the switch? 

IQOS is an alternative to cigarettes for those adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke. It provides real tobacco taste satisfaction, by heating the tobacco instead of burning it, a cleaner experience with no ash, no smoke, and with less smell on you and around you, and is a better choice than continued smoking

The FDA recently authorized IQOS as a ‘Modified Risk Tobacco Product’ which definitely is a huge milestone. What’s next for you guys? What is your end goal in similar classifications? 

On July 7, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued decisions on Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) applications for the IQOS tobacco heating system and three HeatSticks variants submitted by Philip Morris International (PMI) in December 2016. 

In doing so, the agency found that the issuance of the modified risk tobacco product orders with reduced exposure claims would be “appropriate to promote the public health and is expected to benefit the health of the population as a whole.” 

This is a historic decision. It marks the first time that the FDA has granted MRTP marketing orders for an innovative electronic alternative to cigarettes. FDA completed its review of PMI’s extensive scientific evidence package—and independent studies—and decided that switching completely from conventional cigarettes to the IQOS system significantly reduces your body’s exposure to harmful or potentially harmful chemicals in accordance with their interpretation of the US law. This decision confirms that IQOS is fundamentally different from cigarettes because it has been demonstrated to reduce exposure to harmful or potentially harmful chemicals and that this information should be communicated to consumers to help guide their choices. Now is the time to rapidly shift adult smokers away from cigarettes. Scientifically substantiated better alternatives like IQOS represent a public health opportunity.

The MRTP designation applies in the US. We encourage governments around the world and public health bodies to review the evidence and take urgent steps to allow men and women who smoke to have access to and information about scientifically-backed smoke-free products like IQOS. By doing this, society has the opportunity to dramatically accelerate the end of smoking globally.

What has the response been from Middle Eastern smokers who have always been so passionate about their shisha and Dokha? Have you been seeing any positive changes in those segments? 

It is too early to report any results in the Middle East, but we do know that many adult smokers in the Region are looking for scientifically substantiated smoke-free alternatives that are a better option than continued smoking and are sufficiently satisfying so that they will fully switch to them.

We are fully committed to doing all we can to ensure that smoke-free products replace cigarettes as soon as possible. Our commercial efforts and investments in the Region have significantly shifted towards encouraging adult smokers, who would otherwise continue to smoke, to consider better alternatives to cigarettes, such as IQOS. 

Because of the large prevalence of smokers in this region, we do hope that many will realize the harm reduction potential and make a choice to switch. The success we witnessed in the markets where we launched IQOS, gives us confidence that we will be equally successful with this innovative product in the Middle East. 

The Finale 

Overall, we were very impressed with the IQOS 3 Duo Product giving it a solid 4.5 out of 5 Rating. The ability to consecutively use it twice without having to recharge it in between definitely makes it a lot more convenient than ever before. An improvement in the charging time also make it super efficient than the previous generations. 

We recommend you visit the official IQOS Boutique at Dubai Mall to get a better understanding of the product and to have any questions you might have of the product answered by their knowledgable team at the store. 

 

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