The Pros and Cons of Herbal Cigarettes

If you’re trying to quit smoking and end your addiction to nicotine, perhaps you’re thinking of ways to go about it. Of course, there are all sorts of options out there from patches to pills to quitting cold turkey. Plus, there are many support groups, information lines, and websites all designed to help someone quit smoking if they choose.

But some people are turning to herbal cigarettes as an alternative to nicotine. Instead, of quitting entirely, herbal cigarettes gives someone the opportunity to stop the harm nicotine may cause and instead try a substance that might have some health qualities. In fact, alternative cigarettes are becoming more and more popular. Most of them contain a mixture of herbs including cloves, tendu leaves (a plant from India and Southeast Asia), and other types of herbs. Some of the more popular types of alternative cigarettes include bidi (small cigarettes from India), herbal, and clove.  Plus, these cigarettes are very accessible and easy to find. They can be bought at most convenient stores as well as online via the Internet. And for some people, they might be the key to ending an addiction to nicotine.

However, despite these advantages, herbal cigarettes have some clear disadvantages too. For instance, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that these cigarettes are in fact not safe. Although they are free of additives and nicotine, they still contain substances that might be dangerous. As director of the FTC put it, “There’s no such thing as a safe smoke.”

Interestingly, many of these alternative and herbal cigarettes come in many candy-like flavors and are incredibly inexpensive, compared to regular cigarettes. For instance, bidis are sold for only $2 per pack. Experts claim that these cigarettes are made by child slave laborers in India to keep the costs down. Furthermore, because of some of the unknown ingredients in these cigarettes, some states are working towards banning them. Illinois, West Virginia, and Vermont are leading the way in this endeavor.

Also, although smoking cloves might at first seem like a good alternative to nicotine, these too have some dangers. Apparently, inhaled clove oil can raise the risk of pneumonia, bronchitis, and other types of lung infections. Some manufacturers of herbal cigarettes claim that smoking them is safer than smoking nicotine. However, the opposite is turning out to be true.

If you’re considering putting an end to your smoking regular cigarettes, why not consider ending the smoking habit altogether? Although it can be tempting to choose alternative cigarettes, particularly because of the health risks that experts are seeing more clearly.

If you want to quit smoking, there are a variety of national programs designed to help Americans quit smoking. One of them will provide free nicotine patches for a period of time. You can use patches to slowly wean off nicotine until you’re free of the drug entirely. You might also want to talk to your doctor about the healthiest way to put an end to smoking for good.

 

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