Overheard On Campus: Are clove cigarettes addictive like regular cigarettes?

Contributed by Beau Dooley, M.S., M.P.H.
Introduction by Tyler Achilles

My first thought on this is yes. As a former smoker, I smoked clove cigarettes for about six months thinking that they were better because of the “taste,” and I felt that they still satisfied my nicotine craving. I’m not sure of the exact make-up of clove cigarettes, though, so I’ll let Beau Dooley, Associate Director of Student Wellness and Outreach at James Madison University, fill you in on the details. Beau says …Man smoking clove cigarette

A number of flavored tobacco products on the market have become popular among smokers, in part because they are perceived to be cleaner, more natural, and safer than regular cigarettes. Clove cigarettes are one such product. Clove cigarettes are imported tobacco products that contain 60% to 70% tobacco, 30% to 40% ground cloves (aromatic dried flower buds), clove oil, and other additives. It is the ground clove and clove oil that give these products their distinct flavor and odor.

Because clove cigarettes contain tobacco (and therefore nicotine – the addictive substance in tobacco), they are just as addictive as regular cigarettes. Moreover, some studies have found that some brands of clove cigarettes contain even higher levels of nicotine than American cigarettes, which would make them even more addictive. Furthermore, as with regular cigarettes, clove cigarettes also contain many harmful chemicals that may lead to cancer and other significant respiratory illnesses.

The bottom line is that clove cigarettes are neither less addictive nor safer than regular cigarettes.

What’s your experience with clove cigarettes?

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