Let’s open an IQOS stick

Paper for the next generation of cigarettes: cigarette paper and IQOS


At present, the price of paper is generally rising all over the world, and various related products are becoming more and more expensive. The main reason for the increase in the cost of paper products is the increase in the cost of pulp, and the price of raw materials for the production of paper products rose to a new height in early 2018.

In the middle of 2023, the pulp supply throughout the world is running short again. Obviously, the price of paper will continue to rise.

Cigarette Paper Manufacturers

For enterprises engaged in the cigarette paper business, the current pulp price has become a big problem. Coupled with the continued decline in global cigarette consumption, cigarette paper suppliers have overcapacity. Statistics show that the current capacity utilization rate of the cigarette paper industry is only 60% to 65%.

Although cigarette consumption is declining, there are still some markets where consumption is growing. For instance, cigarette consumption in the Asian market maintains greater stability.

At the same time, with the further development of new tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes, the market demand for cigarette paper will increase.

In the next few years, the research and development direction of cigarette paper will be affected by the continuous growth of heat-not-burn products, but the consumption of cigarette paper will also decrease due to the shorter heating rods of new tobacco products. At the same time, the cigarette paper required for new tobacco products has higher requirements for humidity and opacity.

Focus on next-generation products

The growing heat-not-burn segment has become a very important market for cigarette paper suppliers. The emergence of a new generation of products largely affects the future innovation direction of cigarette paper suppliers.

Unlike the production of traditional cigarette paper, the technology of producing cigarette paper for heat-not-burn products is more complex. The paper will not burn at high temperatures and will not turn black. In addition, the shape of the paper should also remain stable without deformation.


IQOS is the most popular HNB product.

HEETS (also named heat sticks) are made with special cigarette papers.

Let’s see the structure from a heat stick teardown.

First, I prepared two Marlboro tobacco sticks, one (on the left) was unheated, and the other (on the right) with oil stains was a heated stick.

IQOS Tobacco Sticks

IQOS Tobacco Sticks

Let’s take a look at the unheated stick.

The length of the stick is about 1/2 of a normal cigarette.

IQOS Unheated Tobacco Stick

IQOS Unheated Tobacco Stick

After teardown, we can see that the stick is divided into four parts. From right to left: the filter cotton of the cigarette holder, the plastic-like PLA vape oil filter, the hollow filter cotton, and the “shredded tobacco”.

The “shredded tobacco” for IQOS is different from traditional cigarette tobacco. It shapes in sheets. It smells really good. It should be made of some special paper material after soaking in tobacco concentrate.

IQOS Structures

IQOS Structures

IQOS Unheated Tobacco Stick_Cigarette Paper Tobacco

IQOS Unheated Tobacco Stick_Cigarette Paper Tobacco

No burning happens while using IQOS. Below is a heated stick. In the middle of the shredded tobacco, there are traces of being “inserted” by the iQOS heating sheet, and there are signs of blackening and carbonization. And there are a lot of oil stains on the cigarette paper.

iQOS heats tobacco to a temperature of approximately 350°C without burning, without a naked flame, and without the smell of burning tobacco.

IQOS Heated Tobacco Stick

IQOS Heated Tobacco Stick

Cigarette Paper in an IQOS

Now we can find the big difference between filter cigarette paper and paper in IQOS stick.

For filter cigarette paper, the burning rate and adhesion after burning are basic performance. But there is no burning for IQOS products literally.

To win the next-generation tobacco market, traditional cigarette manufacturers like Jinfeng, need to better understand how HNB will work in order to produce this proper paper.

Although our production lines perfectly meet most requirements of cigarette paper, we built a professional team to research new specialty paper such as stiff plug wrap, HNB, flavoring cigarette paper, and so on.

Be free to contact us if you have demands on any new special products.

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