Curejoy Expert Gina Hodge Explains:
Natural cigarettes are usually contain a blend of herbs like passion flower, cloves, corn silk, licorice root, ginseng among others instead of Nicotine. Many of these are actually staple products in health food stores and are generally safe, that is until they are lit. Some substances like cloves are actually wonderful for your health in their natural form but produce dangerous chemicals when lit. These clove cigarettes often sold as ‘kreteks’ contain a 60 % tobacco and 40% ground clove blend which according to the American Lung Association, far from being healthier deliver twice as much nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide as compared to regular cigarettes.
Another natural cigarette contender is the ‘bidi’ often imported from India and South-East Asia. They are small, hand-rolled cigarettes made with dark tobacco wrapped tightly in a dried tendu leaf. They are available in a variety of flavours from vanilla to chocolate making them attractive to young children and teenagers. Unfortunately, these pleasant-tasting herbal cigarettes are more dangerous than tobacco cigarettes. According to the March 2000 issue of Public Health, Smokers inhale about 2 to 3 times more tar and nicotine in these cigarettes than regular cigarettes. Tendu leaves don’t burn as easily as paper, forcing bidi smokers to inhale deeply to just keep the thing lit. As a result, toxins and cancer-causing compounds found in the smoke may often end up deep in their lungs.
Herbal cigarettes are required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to carry a warning label indicating that they’re harmful for your health. In fact, according to a report by the FTC, herbal cigarettes produce many of the same toxins found in tobacco smoke, including tar and carbon monoxide implying that they are in no way better than regular cigarettes and could actually be worse.