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What are Nicotine Free Cigarettes?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Nicotine free cigarettes are real cigarettes made from ingredients other than tobacco. Many versions are made from cocoa beans that have been specially prepared to provide good flavor that is as satisfying as the real thing. They are generally used to help smokers quit by offering a non-addictive substitute to help with cravings.

Since nicotine is a natural substance found in tobacco, nicotine free cigarettes have to use something else as the main ingredient. Nicotine is the addictive drug found in most cigarettes and cigars, and it is what causes most cravings for smokers as they try and quit. Nicotine free options provide them something to simulate the feeling of smoking and provide a pleasing flavor similar to conventional cigarettes. The only difference is that they are not habit-forming, so smokers are weaned off their addictions.

There are also nicotine free cigarettes that use water vapor produced using a battery. These are called electric cigarettes, and they come in varieties with normal, reduced, and no nicotine content. They are also used primarily for those who want to cut down or quit smoking altogether. Electric varieties may come in various flavors, including tobacco, menthol, cherry, and chocolate.

It should be noted that even nicotine free cigarettes contain harmful substances that can be damaging to the lungs. While they may be a good alternative for those who are trying to quit, it should not be assumed that they are a safe option for long-term consumption. No cigarettes are safe cigarettes. Even nicotine free options and electric options contain tar and chemicals, and the lungs are affected in much the same way as with conventional cigarettes.

Nicotine free cigarettes can be found online, through specialty retailers, and some varieties may be sold by independent sales representatives. Prices for paper filter cigarettes are comparable to conventionally made tobacco cigarettes. Electric varieties may cost more up front, but they generally last longer and may help smokers save money over time.

Consumers who wish to quit smoking should contact a doctor or medical professional to discuss the best options. Some may be more suited for nicotine patches, gum, or inhalers. Others may be able to get a prescription medication to help curb cravings. Individual health or the presence of certain conditions may make the use of nicotine free, or any, cigarettes too much of a health risk. Smoke free options are often a safer alternative, although each individual should use the option most effective for him.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By lluviaporos — On Oct 26, 2014

@MrsPramm - There have been mixed reports about how safe those electronic cigarettes actually are. Some testing shows them to be still quite bad for your lungs and I know they've been banned in a few places.

I used to smoke, but I honestly don't miss the nicotine at all. I never really liked the rush from the nicotine, as it used to make me feel dizzy. I know I was physically addicted and would crave cigarettes because of that, but now that the addiction is gone, what I miss is the habit. Having something to break up the day and a way of meeting people. Having something to do with your hands. That's the kind of thing I miss.

By MrsPramm — On Oct 25, 2014

@pastanaga - I have heard very good things from a lot of people about those nicotine free electronic cigarettes. You can start out using them with a little bit of nicotine and gradually reduce it until it's completely gone and you're just breathing steam. But, at the same time you've already switched to just breathing steam with the nicotine, so it's already healthier than breathing in smoke.

It's not really the nicotine that's so dangerous, it's the other chemical compounds that tend to be in commercial tobacco.

By pastanaga — On Oct 24, 2014

I remember when I was still smoking and trying to figure out a way to quit I went into a shop where they sold herbal cigarettes and asked at the counter if they had any that weren't going to be harmful to my lungs.

The man at the counter didn't quite laugh me out of the store, but it was close. He essentially told me that anything that you draw into your lungs that isn't pure air is going to be harmful in some way.

I found that going cold-turkey was the best way to quit my nicotine addiction anyway. I'm pretty sure if I kept smoking some other kind of cigarettes, they would have just reminded me so intensely of normal smokes that it would have been impossible to stay away from them.

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