Vuse vs IQOS: Features, Price + More (2024)

The epic showdown: Vuse vs IQOS. We're here to dissect every puff, flavor, and cloud.

 

But how do they compare against each other in terms of product range, performance, flavors, value, and more?

 

Whether you're on team Vuse or rooting for IQOS, this detailed comparison guide is packed with juicy details!

 

And stick around, because we've got a twist for you – nicotine-free vapes from Cyclone Pods. Safer, smoother, and even more satisfying.

 

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A Quick Intro to Vuse and IQOS

Based in North Carolina, USA, Vuse brings a robust lineup of e-cigarettes and a diverse palette of flavors to the table. Their products, ranging from compact devices to more advanced options, cater to both beginners and seasoned vapers. Ideal for anyone looking for versatility and a customizable vaping journey.
 

IQOS (pronounced "EYE-kohs"), an acronym for "I Quit Ordinary Smoking," refers to a product line of tobacco and e-cigarette devices made by Philip Morris International (PMI). 

Therefore, technically speaking, IQOS products are not vapes but rather fall into the broader category of electronic cigarettes.

It focuses on ‘heat-not-burn’ tobacco products, offering smoke-free alternatives to traditional cigarettes. PMI positions IQOS as less harmful, but it's crucial to remember that it still delivers nicotine and isn't risk-free. 

Headquartered in Stamford, USA, PMI offers smoke-free products in 84 markets globally. The company has two smoke-free product research facilities in Singapore and Switzerland.
 

Brand History and Background of Vuse and IQOS

Let’s look at how the two brands evolved.

Was launched in 2013 by R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company, a subsidiary of Reynolds American. 

Vuse's original digital vapor cigarette had a high nicotine content of 4.8% and was introduced in Colorado before expanding nationwide. It faced a lawsuit related to health risks in 2015. 

In 2018, Vuse launched the Vuse Alto, a competitor to Juul. However, the US FDA banned the sale of Vuse Alto menthol-flavored and mixed berry-flavored products in Oct ‘23 because “the risk to kids outweighs any benefit to adult smokers.” Despite regulatory scrutiny and chemical concerns, Vuse remains a significant player in the e-cigarette market.

PMI was established in 1847 in New York and has long been a major player in the cigarette industry. 

However, facing declining smoking rates and growing health concerns, the company began exploring alternatives in the early 2000s. This led to the creation of a dedicated research and development division focused on smoke-free products, paving the way for IQOS.

Philip Morris International first launched IQOS in Japan and Italy in 2014.
 

 

Vuse vs IQOS Comparison Summary

Take a quick look at the features of Vuse and IQOS vapes before we get into the details:

 

 

Vuse

IQOS

Product Range

Vuse Go, Vuse Go XL, Vuse GO 5000, and Vuse Go Max Zero Nicotine (Disposable)
Vuse ePod 2+ (Rechargable)
Flavored nicotine pods and nicotine-free pods

(Note: Availability differs by country)

ILUMA, ORIGINALS (ONE, DUO), BONDS, lil

 

Nicotine-free options available?

Yes

No

Device Quality & Build

Robust design, rounded edges, stainless steel and plastic construction.

Stylish and premium devices with a focus on ergonomics

Battery Capacity

Vuse GO Edition 01: 350mAh

Vuse GO 700: 370mAh

Vuse GO Edition 5000: 560mAh

IQOS ILUMA Prime: 2380 mAh (provides 2 consecutive uses per charge) IQOS lil Solid Ez: 2950mAh (3 consecutive uses per charge)

Pod Capacity, Nicotine Strength

Vuse GO Edition 5000: 20 mg/mL (1.8%)

Vuse ePods come in 1.6% (18mg/ml), 1.8% (20mg/ml), 3% (34mg/ml) and 4% (47mg/ml) strength

Not applicable - uses tobacco sticks that contain real tobacco (like HEETS & TEREA SMARTCORE)

Number of Puffs per Pod

Vuse GO: 500 puffs

Vuse GO XL: 1,500 puffs

Vuse GO Edition 5000: 5,000 puffs

ePod2+: 950 puffs

~14 puffs from each compatible tobacco stick

Charging Time

ePod2+: 50 mins

90-120 minutes (can vary for different product ranges)

Safety Features

LED indicator, auto-shutoff

Heat-not-burn technology, LED indicator, auto-shutoff, and age verification at purchase

Device and Pod Cost

Vuse GO: $9.99

Vuse GO XL: $19.99

Vuse GO Edition 5000: $25.99

ePod2+: $14.99

Vuse Pods: $17.49 (2-pack)

IQOS kit: $100 - $200 (depending on the product)

Tobacco sticks: $5 - $10 (pack of 20 sticks)

Customer Support and Warranty

1 year

1 year

 

Now let’s compare these brands in detail:

1. Design and Aesthetics

Vuse boasts a more robust and ergonomic design, making it comfortable to hold and use. Its slightly larger size means it's not as pocket-friendly as the Juul, but it compensates with a user-friendly button interface and a stylish finish.

IQOS devices have a sleek, modern look, available in matte, glossy or metallic finishes and various colors. They embody the brand's signature monolithic look — a unified minimalist form. Simple button layouts and clear LED lights prioritize user-friendliness. The mix of plastic and metal aims for a sturdy yet stylish build, though some models scratch easily or feel bulky.

2. Performance and Battery Life

Vuse ePod2+ steps up the game with a bigger and more powerful battery. It boasts a fast-charging feature reaching 80% battery in just 30 minutes​​. It features a power/lock button and Bluetooth connectivity.

IQOS devices offer varying battery life depending on the model. Some devices are all-in-ones, while others come as starter kits, comprising the main device (aka the holder) and a charging case. Most IQOS devices provide enough power for around 20 uses per charge and 2-3 consecutive uses (2-3 tobacco sticks in a row).

3. Longevity

Vuse is a strong contender, notable for its cost-effectiveness, a higher puff count per pod, with a 2-pack of Vuse pods priced at $17.49. Coupled with Vuse's extensive retail availability, this makes for a compelling choice for those seeking both value and convenience.

Since IQOS devices are more of an alternative to cigarettes, it might not be fair to compare them with vapes. 

IQOS offers potential cost savings vs. cigarettes, with each stick lasting 10-14 puffs at a lower cost per puff. Some users report 1-2 years of use before encountering issues like battery degradation, button malfunctions, or heating problems. Others claim their devices have lasted longer, depending on usage frequency and care.

4. Flavor Selection and Nicotine Options

Vuse offers a broad flavor spectrum, including fruity and exotic options.

IQOS offers a diverse flavor palette through its HEETS, Fiit, and TEREA tobacco sticks. Flavors are categorized into Classic, Menthol, Aromatic (mint and fruit flavors), and other ranges.

5. Vaping Experience

The Vuse ePod 2+ allows for customizable vapor production up to 6.5w and features a recharge reminder and usage tracker, providing a more tailored experience for users who want more control over their devices. Vuse Go has a weaker throat hit than the refillable device.

IQOS offers a vaping experience distinct from traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Users report a smoother, less harsh experience with various flavor options. However, some find it less satisfying than cigarettes, and the lack of strong nicotine options might be a drawback.

6. Health and Safety Concerns

Vuse, while sharing similar health implications due to nicotine, has faced fewer public controversies. However, like all vaping products, it's not free from risks, including exposure to chemicals like glycerol, whose long-term effects are still under scrutiny. 

IQOS products, while marketed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, still carry health risks, including potential lung damage and impacts on immune function. 

And while IQOS sticks contain less total nicotine, the amount absorbed may be similar to traditional cigarettes. So concerns also revolve around nicotine addiction and exposure to harmful substances.
 

7. Regulatory Compliance and Legal Issues

Vuse, in contrast, has managed smoother FDA interactions but still adapts to changing laws affecting flavors and availability. Their steadier regulatory path has allowed Vuse to maintain a more consistent market position.

IQOS got a US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) nod for their "reduced exposure" claim (vs. cigarettes) in 2020, but a patent infringement lawsuit in 2021 halted US sales, with no clear timeline for resumption. 

As of February 2024, PMI emphasizes its ongoing "constructive dialogue" with the FDA, as it plans IQOS’s US launch in 2024.

Note: Consumers must also verify adherence to the latest local laws prior to any purchase of devices from these brands.

8. Nicotine Content Potential

Vuse offers pods with 1.8% to 4% nicotine strengths and delivers a quick nicotine hit. But its range of devices offers more control over intake, a plus for those managing their nicotine consumption.

IQOS heats real tobacco, providing a controlled nicotine delivery similar to traditional smoking. As a result, the nicotine strength options are limited, typically available in regular and light versions.

IQOS tobacco sticks contain about 70-80% of the nicotine in regular cigarettes. Each stick has over 4mg of nicotine, which is high but slightly less than the 10-14mg per cigarette in regular brands.

9. Compatibility with Other Products

Vuse devices generally boast closed pod systems, meaning only their branded e-liquids are compatible. While third-party pod options are scarce, some accessories like cases and charging cables can be found from independent vendors.

IQOS devices are not cross-compatible with cigarettes or tobacco sticks from other brands, or any other vaping products. They are specifically designed to be used with their own branded tobacco sticks, such as HEETS for earlier models and TEREA SMARTCORE STICK for the IQOS ILUMA series, ensuring device functionality and safety.

10. Availability and Accessibility

Vuse vapes are available for purchase on vuse.com and through various retail channels. The FDA has granted marketing authorization for some Vuse products with specific restrictions and ongoing review processes.

While IQOS devices were authorized by the FDA for marketing in the US, sales currently remain halted due to a legal dispute. Their availability depends on resolving this issue and navigating import restrictions. That said, PMI plans to launch its products in the US in phases (subject to approval from authorities), starting in two unnamed states staring May 2024, followed by a national launch.

Note: The US FDA has not authorized IQOS as a smoking cessation aid.

11. Cost vs. Quality

Vuse Go packs a budget-friendly punch at $9.99. The ePod 2+ rechargeable device at $14.99 gives you smoother vapor, leak-resistant pods, and a wide flavor variety. Consider Go for occasional use, and ePod 2+ for better cost per puff and a premium experience.

IQOS devices, priced around $100 and up, aim for quality with Heat-not-burn technology, offering a consistent smoking alternative with reduced harmful chemicals. Despite a higher initial cost compared to some competitors, the investment reflects its technological and safety features.

Pros and Cons of Vuse and IQOS

To summarize, here are the benefits and drawbacks of both these brands:

 

Pros of Vuse

Cons of Vuse

  • Wide availability in retail stores, making it easily accessible
  • Competitive pricing for both starter kits and pods
  • A range of flavor options, including tobacco, menthol, and fruity varieties
  • Consistent and reliable performance with a decent throat hit
  • User-friendly, no-nonsense design
  • Strong battery life on some Vuse models, lasting all day for moderate vapers
  • Solid customer support and warranty coverage for device issues

  • Limited cross-compatibility with third-party pods and accessories
  • Narrower selection of flavor options compared to some competitors
  • Less customization and advanced features compared to some high-end devices
  • Mixed reviews on the longevity of some Vuse devices
  • Potential flavor restrictions due to evolving vaping regulations
  • Subject to location-based availability and restrictions
  • Some vapers may find the vapor production less robust compared to other brands

 

 

Pros of IQOS

Cons of IQOS

  • Potentially reduced risk compared to cigarettes
  • Smokeless and odorless, reducing second-hand smoke concerns
  • Portable and user-friendly design
  • FDA authorized for ‘reduced exposure’ claim, indicating a level of regulatory acceptance

  • Nicotine dependence remains a concern
  • Higher initial cost compared to some e-cigarettes
  • Limited nicotine strength options
  • Regulatory controversies and legal challenges affect product availability

 

In short, both Vuse and IQOS stand out in the vaping market with their unique strengths and offerings.

 

Vuse operates free from regulatory limitations, unlike IQOS, which is subject to restrictions.

 

Now, if you’re on the lookout for a nicotine-free alternative without compromising on the vaping experience, we’ll tell you what’s best.

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