Herbal cigarettes are made with a variety of dried herbs. Some herbs commonly used are passion flower, jasmine, ginseng, calea, wild lettuce, hops, damiana, kava, and lavender. Because most herbal cigarettes do not contain tobacco or nicotine, they are sometimes smoked by those trying to stop smoking regular cigarettes and by nonsmoking actors in films. The perception that smoking herbal cigarettes is safe or safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes is common. Many--including American, Canadian and UK government agencies--disagree.
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Though filled with herbs, herbal cigarettes produce tar and carbon monoxide when lit. Inhaling smoke of any kind is dangerous, no matter its source.
Herbal cigarettes are often less expensive than tobacco cigarettes.
Herbal cigarettes come in a variety of flavours--including cherry, menthol and vanilla.
Because they do not contain tobacco, herbal cigarettes are available to those under 18 years old. They can be bought online or at some tobacconists, even at some natural health stores.
Often touted for their tobacco-free and nicotine-free qualities, herbal cigarettes are sometimes packaged in boxes that communicate safety or a "natural" quality. The FTC has fought this. According to paragraph 10 of the FTC's Docket No. C-3956 Complaint, "their smoke, like the smoke from tobacco cigarettes, contains numerous carcinogens and toxins, including tar and carbon monoxide."
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