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"Natural" cigarettes include clove cigarettes, also called kreteks (kree-teks), and flavored cigarettes, called "bidis" or "beedies." Both cigarette types are imported mainly from Southeast Asian countries. In addition to tobacco, they contain various flavorings. Kreteks contain ground cloves and clove oil. Bidis contain candy-like flavors, such as chocolate, cherry, and mango.
Some young people think that kreteks and bidis are safer than regular cigarettes because of the "natural" flavorings. Also, the packs often do not have warning labels. In fact, both kreteks and bidis deliver more nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide than regular cigarettes. Like smoking regular cigarettes, smoking kreteks and bidis can cause cancer and other diseases.
Another type of "natural" cigarette is the herbal cigarette. This is made from a blend of herbs, such as passion flower, jasmine, and ginseng. Although herbal cigarettes contain no tobacco or nicotine, the smoke contains tar, carbon monoxide, and other toxins. Inhaling any kind of smoke is harmful to your health.
Explore other publications and websites
Alternative Cigarettes May Deliver More Nicotine Than Conventional Cigarettes — This report provides information on the nicotine levels in clove cigarettes, bidis, and additive-free cigarettes. It explains the health effects of these products and discusses why they are not any less harmful than regular cigarettes.
Bidis and Kreteks — This publication provides information on bidis and kreteks, two types of imported cigarettes. It explains the health effects of these tobacco products and gives statistics on the use of these products by teens.
Questions About Smoking, Tobacco, and Health (Copyright © American Cancer Society) — This publication answers common questions about health and tobacco use. It provides information on the various health effects of smoking, addiction, and the harmful chemicals cigarettes contain.
Top Facts: Beedies and Clove Cigarettes (Copyright © The BACCHUS Network) — This brief fact sheet lists the information you should know about beedies (or “bidis”) and clove cigarettes.
Connect with other organizations
American Lung Association
National Cancer Institute, NIH
Prevent Cancer Foundation
Smokefree Women, CDC and NCI, NIH, HHS
State of Tobacco Control
Content last updated May 19, 2010.
Resources last updated May 19, 2010.
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