You probably know how closely follows all scientific discoveries and developments in the field of technology. We had our own neural network named Jenny a long time ago, and so it was with great pleasure that we took the opportunity to visit the birthplace of IQOS - the Philip Morris International Research Center (PMI) in Switzerland. Looking ahead, you expect to see such high-tech developments somewhere in Japan or even in utopian films about the distant future, and least of all expect to find this most “distant future” on the shores of an idyllic Swiss lake, in full harmony with the surrounding landscape and nature.
At the PMI research center on the shores of the blue Lake Neuchâtel, near the edge of the picturesque snow-capped Alps, more than 400 expert scientists, engineers and technicians create and study (in absolute secrecy!) Products with reduced risk. All involved in the Swiss process are working on a portfolio of innovative smoke-free products to minimize risks or, as local researchers joke, "predict a smoke-free future."
Dizzying sums were invested in this vital process - more than $ 6 billion! This is how much it costs to develop, market and commercialize potentially reduced risk products. IQOS, for example, is a smoke and ash free product that does not burn, but only heats the tobacco. At the same time, without losing sensations and taste. "Heating" is a word that resounds here in every sentence after years of research.
The site of the unique design is The Cube, a square glass building that should be added to architectural history books as a symbol of excellence, clarity and crystal clear development. The talent of hundreds of "white coats", or, as they say here, "brains" - physicists, chemists, mathematicians, toxicologists and epidemiologists from all over the planet - merged together in this building.
The Swiss "Cube" is divided into three thematic segments, which are named after the elements - earth, water and air. Fire in this "set" is deliberately absent, PMI is focused on creating smokeless products, the crown of which is currently the third generation of IQOS. It uses the technology developed in Cuba - HeatControl ™, which ensures consistency of taste and sensation during use of the device. It is she who allows not to burn, but only to heat the tobacco to a temperature of no more than 350 ° C, which is sufficient to reveal the taste and aroma. During the use of IQOS 3, an aerosol is formed which contains on average 95% less harmful substances (this does not mean that using IQOS is harmless or eliminates the health risks associated with tobacco consumption).
Perhaps the most fantastic impression is produced by the department where the sticks for IQOS are produced. The sticks contain specially processed tobacco, which is crushed and reconstituted into tobacco sheets with the addition of water, glycerin, guar gum and cellulose fibers. The sticks have a unique filter, one of the most important components of which is a biopolymer film - it is it that absorbs excess moisture and cools the tobacco vapor, making the use of IQOS comfortable for users. This biopolymer, polylactide, is made from corn starch and is widely used in the food industry and other areas. Five autonomous robots are involved in the creation of sticks, each of which has a name. Eve won our sympathy.
As scientists admit, now that the process of manufacturing products with reduced risk has been established brilliantly, it remains not a small matter, but the main thing - to convince all current conscious adult smokers to switch to products without burning as soon as possible. After all, the smokeless future, thanks to Swiss scientists, has already become the present - there are already more than 6.6 million adult IQOS users in the world.