You know that it’s illegal to sell these “diet” products, but that’s where the confusion comes in. There are many such products out there. They have been falsely labeled as cigarettes, and the nicotine they contain has been abused and is “addictive” in the true, medical sense. However, more than 20 states have either banned the sale or phased out the sale of herbal cigarettes (as they have in the past). You’ve likely heard of NJ’s statewide ban on flavored cigarettes but may have trouble believing that similar bans exist in other states. While laws vary state to state, here is what you need to know.
Cigarettes have been around a long time. Shelf Life magazine wrote about the first electronic cigarettes in 2007. Since then, more and more companies have made similar products. I have purchased several and I use them myself. These cigarettes have changed my life.
Unlike a traditional cigarette, which you light with a match and a special kind of lighter, many of these new electronic cigarettes have one or more rechargeable batteries packed inside. This makes them much easier and a better alternative to light, traditional cigarettes. These newer types do not have the user place matches inside the mouth and are two-button cigarettes. You hold down the closed-end end of the cigarette where a button allows you to start or stop the burning of the tobacco or the nicotine in the cigarette. The blue LED lighting on the top of the device tells the user how many puffs are left.
For someone who still smokes, these vaporizers can reduce the nicotine in their tobacco by one-third. And for someone who currently uses an e-cigarette, it may help them cut down the amount of tobacco or nicotine they’re using. They are much less likely to reach for a cigarette if the percentage of nicotine is reduced or replaced.
With the ease of use, so many uses have arose, all for the purposes of being healthier. Some people are trading in their tobacco for an e-cigarette just because it’s trendy. Others are trying them to help them quit smoking for a much longer period, or maybe to help them beat an addiction. Even the health industry is recognizing the benefits of these products. As a business owner, I love them and I’m exploring some new ones myself.
Shelf Life contacted nine e-cigarette companies to see what they would tell them about their products. Here’s what they told us:
“Herbal cigarettes are not a substitute for cigarettes because they contain herbs, nicotine, and a variety flavorings,” explains Stephanie Arens, VP, objectives and efforts for WELLTOP® IQBANK, part of Welltok, Inc. “The herbs are ingredients that are allowed by the FDA in regulated forms,” she says. “Specifically, cordyceps, vetiver, orange peel, calabash, cocktail, and spearmint.”
Arens went on to say that herbs and other ingredients are “fine in tea and water” but “added flavors are not allowed.” Vinegar is allowed. Some flavorings are “tasting-safe” so that you can taste the herbs but flavors may not be available in a traditional cigarette.
You can smoke ’em like a regular cigarette and even ‘play’ with flavor combinations in order to control the intensity of the hit.
Stay away from this plant, its smoke, and the fresh herbs used in the cigarettes.
For the skeptics… Here’s what Lorenz Quist and his team concluded after 3 years of testing:
“Herbal cigarettes are not a new approach, but one that has … been refined… We found that the smoke from these plants creates a highly complex mixture of chemicals, with compounds that mimic the neurological effects of nicotine which are generally known to be addictive.”
The more you know… And the more you learn… The more questions you will ask yourself…
Much like food, herbs and teas are meant to be consumed in moderation…just like all food products are. Please enjoy what you are making at home with what you know and understand. Also, please do not underestimate the power of suggestion as well as other people’s warnings!
Labeling it as “not made from tobacco” or “not smoked by children” could jeopardize their FDA Approval…
Sex (and cigarettes) in the Limelight
Women have been using second hand smoke (essentially cigarette smoke) to scent their cigarettes since the turn of this century. Many women claim that smoking the herbs used in their fragrances gives their cigarettes that extra oomph. Many men also love the scent of these aromatherapy blends.
Not exactly sexy marketing, is it?
Many were quick to point out that some herbs being used in scented blends such as these are NOT even plant species, but shea butter and white castor oil (or other natural oils), are clearly derived from non-native plants and therefore aren’t FSCA compliant.
“Obviously, you do not have to be a scientist to make that judgement — if it makes you feel better, that’s fine. Ultimately, what’s in the product is up to the consumer, and they choose to add essential oils to their favorite blend.”
The sad news is we are all smokers because of a lifetime of exposure: nicotine, second hand smoke, and now due to the COVID-19 pandemic everyone else is inhaling this New Found Power! Society needs to resist more restrictions on these products and increase education & awareness. We must not oversimplify or condemn others for their choices because we ourselves might inhale something else from the vapor! Don’t let politics discourage your freedom!
Well… Cows must move, don’t they?
The Wow Factor
Herbal cigarettes can also be a great exchange of nicotine and aromatherapy blends…
Your baby won’t answer the door
Imagine snapping a radish & smelling its fresh heat.