IQOS Heets Amber Review: A Deep Dive into the Future of Smoking

Over the past decade, smoking has evolved rapidly with the introduction of vaping devices and heated tobacco products like IQOS. IQOS in particular has seen a meteoric rise in popularity across the globe. Developed by tobacco giant Philip Morris International, IQOS works by heating tobacco instead of burning it, supposedly reducing the levels of harmful compounds inhaled.

This review will focus on the IQOS Heets – specifically the Amber variant. Heets are the tobacco sticks used with the IQOS device, and Amber offers a smooth, rich tobacco flavor. We’ll provide a comprehensive look at the IQOS Heets Amber, including its design, taste, user experience, health considerations, costs, and more. With so many alternatives available today, this deep dive will help smokers understand if IQOS and Amber Heets truly represent the future of smoking.

Background of IQOS

Since their commercial debut in 2014, IQOS and their accompanying tobacco sticks Heets have spread quickly. Today they are available in over 50 markets worldwide. But how exactly did we get here from traditional combustible cigarettes?

For decades, cigarettes dominated the nicotine market. But growing health concerns led to the introduction of vaping devices in the early 2000s. E-cigarettes vaporize nicotine fluid instead of burning tobacco. This eliminates smoke and reduced exposure to carcinogens and toxic chemicals. However, the long-term health effects of vaping remain disputed.

Enter IQOS in 2014. Rather than burning or vaporizing, IQOS heats tobacco just enough to release a nicotine aerosol, controlling the delivery. The tobacco sticks come in the Heets branding, resembling short cigarettes.

So while IQOS remains a tobacco product, it works differently than conventional cigarettes. Philip Morris International claims this unique heating process reduces harmful compounds compared to other tobacco products. But some health agencies remain skeptical.

Understanding Heets

Heets are the proprietary tobacco sticks designed for exclusive use with IQOS. They come in different flavors and variants to suit a range of tastes. The Amber Heets have a smooth rich tobacco profile for original flavor. There are also menthol, infusion, and premium varieties.

The Amber Heets offer a classic tobacco flavor reminiscent of traditional cigarettes but in the novel IQOS heating format. Each Heet has a filter containing cellulose acetate and a rod of processed tobacco. They are available in 20 sticks per pack or newly introduced 10 sticks per pack.

Heets utilize Philip Morris’s tobacco blending expertise to provide consistency and reduce unpleasant odors. Compounds in the tobacco are carefully balanced to ensure smoothness. The filters have ventilation holes to dilute the aerosol when puffed for lightness. Let’s now take a closer look at what awaits inside that iconic Heets packaging.

Unboxing the IQOS Heets Amber

The IQOS Heets Amber arrive in a sleek, minimalistic box featuring the IQOS branding. Sliding off the outer sleeve reveals the distinctive matte black paperboard pack.

Opening it up, 20 Heets are neatly arranged in two rows. The Heets are short and stubby with a clean white filter section housing the IQOS logo. The coloring is a mottled brown, like natural tobacco leaves.

The pack includes a small instructional leaflet describing proper use with the IQOS device. Also included is a storage sleeve to keep used Heets until they can be discarded. This thoughtful accessory prevents loose tobacco remnants.

The overall presentation is premium but understated. The packs are easy to carry and store. It’s clear Philip Morris intends IQOS to stand apart from traditional combustibles with these high-quality finishing touches. Now let’s examine the star attraction, the Heets themselves.

The Aesthetics and Design

The IQOS Heets Amber feature a classic, natural tobacco look consistent with the regular Heets variant. The tobacco rod has an artisanal, organic appearance with uneven coloring in earthy brown tones. This sets them apart from the perfectly uniform, almost industrial look of normal cigarettes.

Small leaf bits are visible in the tobacco. The Heets have a handcrafted vibe fitting the concept of IQOS as a “cleaner” tobacco experience. Tiny perforations along the rod allow airflow. The monogramed IQOS logo on the filter is another stylish accent.

Compared to the minty menthol and infusion variants, the Amber Heets have a stripped down, understated design. But they still feel more premium than a typical pack of cigarettes thanks to the IQOS branding and attention to detail. The Heets are designed for visual appeal as much as performance. Next let’s move our attention to the all-important taste experience.

Taste and Flavor Profile

According to IQOS, the Amber Heets offer a smooth, rich tobacco taste combined with faint woody notes. Users describe the flavor as authentic and natural, with richness reminiscent of analog cigarettes but balanced bite. The tobacco taste is familiar rather than overpowering.

Unlike heavily processed tobacco sticks from some competitors, the IQOS blend tastes closer to actual leaf. There is also none of the burnt aftertaste associated with combustible cigarettes. The flavor remains consistent from first puff to last.

Compared to other Heets variants, Amber provides an uncomplicated, classic tobacco experience. While Menthol Heets add a minty zing, Amber focuses purely on expertly blended, naturally sweet tobacco. There are no flavors or aromas aside from the tobacco itself.

Now that we understand the intended flavor profile, how does that translate during actual use? Let’s delve into the user experience next.

Usage Experience

To use IQOS Heets Amber, they must be inserted into the IQOS heating device. The device has a sleek look and feels solid in hand. Once powered on, simply slide a Heet in until it clicks.

The first puff provides smooth, rich tobacco flavor immediately. The draw feels natural and there is no tobacco aftertaste. The Heets produce a visible aerosol when puffed, adding to the traditional cigarette smoking experience.

Each Heet lasts about 6 minutes or 14 puffs, slower than a normal cigarette. The consistent flavor and lack of smoke is noticeable. There is no need to ash and the Heet automatically ejects when finished. Usage is simple and intuitive after a short learning curve.

The overall experience balances modern technology with nostalgic familiarity. Now let’s move on to the crucial health and safety considerations.

Health and Safety

One of the biggest selling points of IQOS is the purported health advantages over conventional smoking. However, the science is still evolving.

Philip Morris claims switching completely from cigarettes to IQOS can lower exposure to harmful chemicals by an average of 90-95%. Their research found reductions in toxicants like carbon monoxide, tar, and nitrosamines.

Independent studies validate IQOS emits less than traditional cigarettes, especially reduced carbon monoxide and certain carcinogens. But compounds like nicotine and glycerin remain similar. Long term impacts are still unknown.

While IQOS is likely an improvement, it remains unclear if it’s significantly safer than other nicotine alternatives like vaping and nicotine patches. More longitudinal data is needed. IQOS is not risk-free but may prove safer than smoking over time.

Battery Life and Durability

The IQOS device has a battery life capable of approximately 6 Heets per charge. An full charge takes about 3-4 hours via USB cable. The device can also be used while charging once adequately powered on.

The device is generally durable with proper maintenance. The heating blade may need replaced after prolonged use, while the holder and charger can last over a year. Overall IQOS aims for reliable functionality, though the short battery life requires frequency recharging for heavy users.

Maintenance and Cleaning

To keep IQOS performing properly, regular cleaning is recommended. Wiping down the holder with the included brush removes tobacco residue preventing burns or altered taste.

The heating blade where the Heets insert should be especially kept clean. Every 20 Heets, perform a deep clean by removing the holder components and cleaning in warm water. Also remember to knock out used Heets instead of leaving them inserted.

With routine maintenance, IQOS requires little hassle or upkeep. The Amber Heets themselves produce minimal stray ash or tobacco compared to traditional cigarettes. Overall IQOS aims for convenient, worry-free usage.

Cost Analysis

The IQOS device and Heets are premium-priced, reflecting their upscale branding. The device itself costs $100, while a pack of 20 Amber Heets is around $20. Power adapters and accessories require additional investment.

Compared to cigarettes at $6-10 per pack, IQOS represents a significant spending increase. However it’s on par with other high-end e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. The higher cost aims to position IQOS as a luxury, aspirational lifestyle brand.

Long term costs ultimately depend on individual usage rates. On average though, investing in IQOS requires a financial commitment multiple times beyond traditional smoking. Next let’s examine the environmental impact.

Environmental Impact

A core benefit of smokeless tobacco like IQOS is reducing secondhand smoke, which contains over 7,000 chemicals. IQOS aerosol dissipates quickly without lingering odor.

However, the plastic and electronics in IQOS still produce environmental waste. The disposable Heets contain a cellophane liner and polymer filter requiring centuries to decompose. IQOS is likely an improvement over cigarette litter but still not eco-friendly.

Philip Morris aims to counterbalance waste through their LIFFT initiative supporting recycling programs. But ultimately IQOS does not solve the litter and pollution problems that have plagued tobacco for decades. Moderation remains ideal.

Public Perception and Reviews

Since their launch, IQOS and Heets have seen rising popularity, especially among younger demographics. Marketing portrays the brand as high-tech, sleek, and modern.

Many users praise the cleaner experience and smooth taste compared to traditional tobacco. IQOS enjoys positive word of mouth, with 72% of users likely to recommend it in one study.

However, IQOS has also received criticism from health advocates for promoting tobacco use and targeting youth. While harm reduction is positive, completely quitting nicotine remains ideal. Public reception is mixed.

Among celebrities, IQOS has been spotted being used by stars like Charlie Puth and Gwyneth Paltrow. The brand carries connotations of luxury and sophistication, albeit with some controversy attached.

Pros and Cons


  • Produces vapor instead of smoke
  • Smooth, consistent tobacco flavor
  • Reduces harmful compounds compared to cigarettes
  • Minimal lingering odor or ash
  • Sleek, customizable design adds style
  • Provides nicotine with less chemical exposure


  • High financial cost over time
  • Long term health impacts still uncertain
  • Battery requires frequent recharging
  • Heated tobacco still carries risks
  • Environmental waste from disposable Heets
  • Promotes ongoing tobacco addiction

IQOS Heets Amber vs. Competitors

The biggest competition for Amber Heets comes from other IQOS variants like Menthol and Infusions which offer bolder flavors. But numerous heated tobacco products also vie for attention.

Examples include PloomTech, Glo, and Eclipse. However Amber Heets benefit enormously from IQOS’s early mover advantage and strong branding. IQOS enjoys the largest market share and consumer recognition.

Compared to vaping, Amber Heets offer actual tobacco taste as a key difference. For those wanting to quit cigarettes, Heets provide a closer replicant experience. But vaping potentially provides even greater harm reduction if users forego nicotine entirely.

Tips for First-Time Users

For those new to IQOS and Amber Heets, here are some tips for success:

  • Fully charge the device before first use and wipe down with included brush.
  • Review the quick start guide to understand button functions. The LED light indicates system status.
  • Insert Heets gently until you hear a click. IQOS will begin heating automatically.
  • Take slow steady puffs lasting about 3 seconds. Draw too fast and you risk uneven heating.
  • Expect a learning curve as you acclimate to heated tobacco instead of smoke. Be patient.
  • Consider supplemental accessories like a portable charger case for on-the-go power.
  • Stick to your chosen nicotine reduction plan, whether tapering use or quitting entirely over time.

The Future of IQOS and Heets

While IQOS currently leads among heat-not-burn tobacco, the market remains in flux. Competing products continue pushing innovation and alternatives like vaping aren’t standing still either.

Heets line extensions add new flavors and variants for expanding tastes. We expect more premium and limited editions to further elevate the brand. 3D printing tobacco may allow fully customized Heets.

IQOS will likely continue merging technology with tradition, providing ever more advanced nicotine delivery. But greater regulation looms as governments balance risk reduction against promoting addiction. Exciting times lie ahead.


Our deep dive demonstrates IQOS and the Amber Heets provide a novel middle ground between traditional smoking and modern vaporizers. The proprietary heated tobacco system delivers authentic flavor and ritual without as much exposure to harmful compounds as cigarettes.

While not risk-free, IQOS marks a step toward cleaner nicotine while still satisfying tobacco cravings. The Amber Heets offer a premium, smooth experience in a smartly designed product. IQOS ultimately aims to make nicotine “cool” again amidst growing stigma against smoking.

For current smokers seeking an upgrade, IQOS warrants consideration. The biggest caveat remains unanswered long-term health impacts. But with caution and moderation, IQOS demonstrates innovation and harm reduction are possible even with addictive, controversial tobacco. The future remains uncertain but intriguing.


What is the main difference between IQOS and traditional vaping?

IQOS heats real tobacco leaves rather than vaporizing liquid nicotine. This provides more authentic tobacco taste but limits flavor possibilities. Vaping offers more variety like fruit and dessert flavors.

How long does a pack of Amber Heets last?

With approximately 6 minutes of use per Heet, a 20 pack will last around 2 hours of cumulative use. For the average smoker, this is roughly 2-3 days. Moderate IQOS users may get 4-5 days from a 20 pack of Heets.

Are there any side effects or health concerns with using Amber Heets?

Potential side effects include increased heart rate, mouth and throat irritation, coughing, and nicotine dependence. Less is known about long-term effects but lower exposure to toxins and chemicals is likely safer. More research is still needed.

Can I use Amber Heets in non-smoking areas?

Laws vary regionally, but the lack of smoke may allow IQOS in some non-smoking locations. However Heath Canada advises treating it identical to cigarettes. Check local regulations to ensure compliant usage.

How does the flavor of Amber compare to other Heets variants?

Amber Heets offer straightforward, natural tobacco flavor. By contrast, options like Menthol Heets add refreshing minty notes, while Infusions include flavors like peppermint and lemon. Amber stands out by focusing purely on high quality tobacco taste.

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