Clove cigarettes are a product consisting of tobacco, clove products, and other ingredients. They also contain nicotine and other toxins that carry the same health risks as conventional cigarettes.

Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical found in certain plants. The tobacco plant contains high levels of nicotine. As such, nicotine is present in most tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, clove cigarettes, and most e-cigarettes.

This article explores clove cigarettes and their nicotine content, discusses the dangers of smoking, and offers tips to help people quit.

Image of clove cigarettes against a dark blue backgroundShare on Pinterest
halbergman/Getty Images

Clove cigarettes, also known as “kretek,” are a type of cigarette made in Indonesia. They consist of tobacco, cloves, and saus, a blend of plant extracts and oils. Clove cigarettes generally contain around 60–70% tobacco and 30–40% cloves.

Like conventional cigarettes, clove cigarettes contain the addictive chemical nicotine. Around 80–90% of people who smoke regularly have a nicotine addiction.

A 2022 study analyzed the chemical composition of nine brands of clove cigarettes obtained in Brazil. It states that nicotine concentrations in clove cigarettes were lower than in conventional cigarettes. However, clove cigarettes were generally higher in other harmful ingredients.

A 2021 review notes that clove cigarettes often produce more tar and carbon monoxide than conventional cigarettes. These substances increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.

Clove cigarettes also contain additional ingredients. Their composition varies across brands, with manufacturers rarely disclosing the full ingredients and quantities.

The 2022 study found traces of unusual substances in clove cigarettes, including the antibiotic clindamycin and the amphetaminic stimulant octodrine. The presence of these substances raises concern about the compounds in clove cigarettes.

A 2021 systematic review concluded that clove cigarettes are at least as harmful as regular cigarettes. Although the review indicates that existing studies are of poor quality, it suggests an association between exposure to clove cigarettes smoke and several serious health issues, including:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 480,000 people die every year in the United States from first- or secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that over 16 million people in America have a disease caused by smoking. It adds that smoking is associated with the following conditions:

Smoking also increases a person’s risk of the following:

Learn more about the effects of smoking.

Exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke can cause many of the above health problems in individuals who do not smoke.

Other health problems associated with secondhand smoke include:

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things a person who smokes can do to improve their health. According to the CDC, it can add as much as 10 years to a person’s life expectancy. People can expect health benefits regardless of their age and the length of time they have smoked.

Some tips that may help a person quit smoking include:

  • setting a quit date for the near future
  • informing family and friends about plans to quit and asking for their help and support
  • creating a personalized quit plan, which may include:
  • learning about factors that trigger cravings and ways to avoid them
  • keeping busy to help distract from cravings
  • identifying and changing environmental factors that may make it easier to quit
  • finding ways to deal with withdrawal symptoms, such as using nicotine gums and patches
  • exploring supports, such as apps to understand smoking patterns and cravings or talking with an expert at a quit line, such as 1-877-QUIT-NOW

Talking with a doctor

Healthcare professionals can play a crucial role in helping people quit smoking.

They may be able to:

  • connect the person to additional resources, including support groups and quit lines
  • make a referral for talking therapy with a qualified and experienced therapist
  • prescribe medications to help with quitting smoking
  • arrange regular follow-ups to ensure continued support and to help prevent relapses

Learn more about medications that can help with quitting smoking.

Clove cigarettes are a type of cigarette that contain a mixture of tobacco, clove, and other ingredients. As with conventional cigarettes, they have high levels of nicotine, making them highly addictive.

Compared with conventional cigarettes, clove cigarettes produce higher levels of tar and carbon monoxide. They also tend to contain additional toxic substances that are harmful to health.

Quitting smoking can help mitigate or reduce the risk of many of the harmful effects of smoking, regardless of a person’s age and the length of time they have smoked.

People looking to quit smoking can call a quit line for support. A doctor can also provide advice and prescribe medications to help alleviate cravings. With the right support system, a person can quit smoking and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.