I should have nothing good to say about Herbal cigarettes- they taste absolutely revolting and they smell utterly vile. I was accused on more than one occasion of smoking something illegal, so much so, that when I went outside of the pub/restaurant to have one I stated " I am going for a wacky baccy" Yes even though they are not real cigarettes- they still fall under the smoking ban.
No I certainly could not recommend them as a consumer choice- if that was what they were about I would say give them a very very wide berth.
But, here is the important bit- as bad as they were- they helped me give up smoking- I was a smoker for many many years and now I am not and so what more of a recommendation do they need.
When, as a smoker, I felt the overwhelming desire to put something into my mouth and set fire to it- then I reached for the herbals.
I used to light them, have as many puffs as I needed to allay my addiction and that was that. Giving up smoking is nothing short of a nightmare, and to be honest I don't think I could have done it without the help of herbal cigarettes. In fact even though I have given up for some time now, I still carry my part finished final pack of herbal cigarettes, in case something happens in my life that makes me want to reach for the dreaded weed. I haven't touched one for about 10 months now and hopefully will never need to again- but as I say carrying them is a security blanket.
The pack says the maximum period you should use them for is three months- it took me longer than that, but my internet research did not report any side effects and my Dr. said it was better that I continued with the occasional herbal rather than risk returning to normal tobacco.
I guess there might be some people out there who would think they tasted wonderful and salivated at the aroma- but as I say I am not one of them.
So if you are a smoker and have to go thru the withdrawal symptoms and know that you are going to die if you don't get your fix- maybe these might help you too.
My advice would be to buy a pack, but not to smoke one until you are climbing up the wall, fit to burst and ready to annihilate anyone that gets in your path- then reach for the lighter.
The ones I used were called NTB and I got them from my local Holland and Barrett at £2.00 for twenty. I found I preferred the Menthol flavoured packs.
Each and every Herbal cigarette that I have ever tried has been...Well im struggling to find the right word... but maybe the only suitable word is awful!
I am sure that they are an acquired taste and if you smoked them regularly you would just accept them for what they are.
While most herbal cigarettes don't contain nicotine the majority of them do contain tar, although the tar levels seem to be lower than in a conventional cigarette. The tar in cigarette smoke coats the lungs like a chimney and increases the risk of bronchial disorders and lung cancer.
A herbal cigarette doesn't contain any nicotine, a highly addictive substance that stimulates the nervous system, of course once the nervous system recovers from the initial nicotine inhalation and starts to return to normal it then discovers its missing something...the nicotine! So the vicious cycle begins.
Now im not preaching to anyone because im a smoker myself. But I struggle to see that replacing an ordinary cigarette with a herbal cigarette can be good forward planning.
Surely it has to be all or nothing?
There's no such thing as a safe cigarette...right or wrong?
Any kind of cigarette containing tar and carbon monoxide represents a danger to our health.
Alternative cigarettes ( otherwise known as Herbal cigarettes) are becoming increasingly popular, especially among the younger generation.
The most popular are Bidis and Clove cigarettes.
Bidis are imported from Asia and India, they are available in just about every flavour that you can think of, from chocolate to mango. They can be bought extremely cheaply via the Internet, but it does seem that the manufacturers use child labour to produce the cigarettes.
Clove cigarettes emit dangerous chemicals when they burn, inhalation of clove oil can make you susceptible to lung infections or bronchitis or even pneumonia.
So neither of these seem very attractive alternatives.
It seems that Herbal cigarettes are favoured by actors, William B. Davis who plays the smoker in The X Files used to be a smoker, so rather than take up using nicotine again he chose to use herbal substitutes whilst filming.
Herbal cigarettes are widely available, if you have a look on EBay and Amazon you will see many different types, all offered very cheaply.
I have reservations, rightly or wrongly I think that you would just be trading one addiction for another.
Another thing that needs to be considered is the pungent smell that comes from the herbal cigarettes, my daughter was relaxing and enjoying her herbal smoke and was asked to leave the premises!
The hotel owner was convinced that she was smoking an illegal substance, of course she wasn't but it was embarrassing and that was the last time she ever smoked any herbal product in public.
As an average 20 herbal cigarettes will cost in the region of £2.20 so that is approximately half the cost of a packet of normal cigarettes but definitely not half of the health hazard.
A safer alternative to smoking - I don't think so, OK the nicotene is absent but you won't find a list of ingredients on a pack of herbal cigarettes. Furthermore they taste and smell revolting - in fact when I tried to quit "proper" smoking using a herbal brand I was frequently accused of inhaling something illegal. Herbal cigarettes are not a worthwhile way of attempting to quit smoking, they are like providing a binge eater with a calorie free food - it's not going to satisfy you and neither will it re-educate. To quit smoking you need to change the thoughts you have about why you do it and kearn to enjoy life without a cigarette. If you don't smoke you wouldn't want a herbal fag, if you do smoke you'd prefer the real thing.
I have already reviewed Zyban in the stop smoking section. I stopped smoking eleven weeks ago using it. I have on two occassions in past two weeks, had cravings so strong that I thought I just couldn't bear going another hour without a smoke. However, I do know that the nicotene has left my system and that I no longer have a dependency on it. It just didn't work though, the more I told myself that I didn't need tobacco anymore, the stronger the urge got. A friend suggested herbal cigarettes and I decided to try one. They contain no tobacco or nicotene. The taste was awful but the menthol variety (from Holland & Barrett) were better than nothing. It worked. I didn't go to the shop and buy a packet. I wouldn't advocate a complete switch to herbal cigarettes. After all, it can't be good for anybody to smoke those either. I don't use them as an alternative to tobacco but I do have them in the drawer so that if I get that really strong craving again, I can always light one. Strangely enough, I bought a 20 packet twelve days ago and I've smoked two...well less than that because I put the second one out. It doesn't even occur to me to light up but I do know that, psychologically, if it gets really bad I can have one. I won't fall off the waggon!