Herbal Cigarettes – Not a Panacea, But a Help
A good half of smoking cessation methods is based on the use of manifold substitutes – nicotine patches, gums, electronic cigarettes and etc. You broke up with a cigarette through exchanging it for one of these substitutes; unequal exchange, of course, but smokers believe it is better than nothing. All of the above alternatives have one thing in common: they still contain nicotine that bolsters up the addiction; and this is where herbal cigarettes stand out from the crowd. Such cigarettes are nicotine-free, which means that their substitution effect has more psychological rather than a biochemical nature.
Basically, herbal cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, though sometimes they are produced with no filter (especially Asian cigarettes). An average filler is represented by a mixture of dried herbs with no tobacco additives. A specific set of plants used in production depends on the preferences of the manufacturer; and that’s why doctors do not rush to approve herbal cigarettes, since not all the plants offer a healing or at least positive effect. European herbal cigarettes are typically comprised of mint, thyme, clover and nard; while Eastern and Asian products oftentimes contain basil, turmeric, cloves, licorice and etc. In some cases, herbal filler is not enclosed in a paper envelope and wrapped with natural leaves.
Herbal cigarettes review: the options
Virtually all the herbal cigarettes can be divided into two major groups – the Western and the Asian one. The composition peculiarities and different production approaches form the main differences between these encircling forces.
The western type was originally designed as a replacement for conventional cigarettes; these herbal alternatives are primarily produced with filters and look like ordinary coffin nails. The filler mixture typically includes neutral herbs, such as mint or thyme, with a slight taste and delicate fragrance. The products representing this group aim at replacing conventional cigarettes for a short period of time and help to get rid of the cacoethes.
Indian cigarettes (Nirdosh is one of the most prominent brands) originally existed in the region as an independent phenomenon. However, the manufacturer has recently adapted the business to the process of getting rid of nicotine addiction. Indian cigarettes include a large number of herbs with a very specific tastes and flavors (cinnamon, cloves, galangal, basil and many more); Indian herbal cigarettes are oftentimes wrapped in dried leaves (e.g. eucalyptus leaves).
Are herbal cigarettes safe?
The question about harmfulness is a very slippery question because here there are substantial differences between the opinions of men of medicine and manufacturers. European producers insist that their products are safe and cannot cause harm to the body even in case of prolonged use, while Indian manufacturers and importers argue that herbal cigarettes smoking is an ancient tradition that even has a healing effect.
However, medical scientists stick to an opposite point of reference, pointing out the following adverse effects:
- Resins. Despite the lack of nicotine, the cigarettes still contain resins. Moreover, depending on the composition of the filler content, the amount of resins may be even higher than in ciggies.
- Carbon monoxide (combustion products). Another negative factor affecting the body is carbon monoxide and various combustion products, penetrating directly into the lungs. Particularly dangerous in this regard are the herbal cigarettes types that come without filter.
- Indefinite composition. As mentioned, manufacturers tend to fill herbal cigarettes with different components, and sometimes the components are indicated rather vaguely. Thus, some ingredients may not suit you and even have a damaging impact on the body.
- Secondary addictive. In some cases, the transition from regular cigarettes to herbal ones transforms into another psychological addiction. As a result, instead of one problem, smoking cessation, a smoker has to deal with two problems: now he needs to get rid of herbal cigarettes as well.
Herbal cigarettes, as well as other conventional smoking substitutes, are not completely safe (the opposers refer even to a ‘disastrous’ herbal cigarettes health damaging effect). However, their primary function is to help the smoker in the process of giving up the habit; therefore, such cigarettes should be used for a short period of time just to smoothen the stressful period. Definitely, smoking herbal cigarettes is not a panacea, though it’s a reasonable way to quit cigarettes quite easily.