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What to Look for in Fake Cigarettes

Updated April 17, 2017

The manufacture and distribution of counterfeit cigarettes has become a huge business, and they are flooding the market worldwide. Fake cigarettes are often difficult to spot, but it's important to do so, as they are more damaging and dangerous to your health than the genuine ones.

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Be wary of purchasing cigarettes at big discounts. You may think cigarettes that go for much less than retail prices are cheap because they're imported or duty-free, but in fact they are most likely counterfeits.


Fake cigarettes often have an unusual smell or taste that regular users can distinguish. This is because counterfeits have more nicotine and tar than regular cigarettes and may even contain sand and plastic.

Health Labels

Fake cigarettes often carry no health warning labels or have foreign safety labels.


Counterfeiters imitate well known brand cigarettes, but the logo on the box may be altered from the original.


The packaging is likely to be low quality, with labels and other small print on the box having misspelled words and other mistakes.

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About the Author

Foziya Khan

Based in New York, Foziya Khan has been writing health and fitness articles for more than six years. She is a nutrition counselor by trade, specializing in weight management. Khan holds a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a Master of Science degree in nutrition and food management from the University of Huddersfield.

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