Late last month the FDA outlawed the sale of cigarettes with flavors like clove, strawberry or vanilla. While there were some push back from smokers of clove cigarettes a recent report shows how important this restriction is to public health. There is a chemical in cloves that is responsible for numbing the throat and giving smokers the impression that these cigarettes are less harsh than others. The burning cloves releases a chemical called eugenol, a topical anesthetic used by dentists to numb the mouth. For smokers, inhaling clove smoke means numbing the throat, which allows them to breathe the smoke in more deeply. "Most officials agree that when young people smoke cloves, they can get hooked faster because of the anesthetic, eugenol, in the cloves," said Richard Hurt, director of the Nicotine Dependence Center at the Mayo Clinic. "In many respects, clove cigarettes are more dangerous" than other flavored cigarettes, he said.
What you need to know:
- Clove cigarettes are a thing of the past thanks to the FDA
- Manufacturers of cloves are exploiting a loophole to keep their product on the market (creating little clove cigars)
- The burning of cloves releases a dangerous chemical, eugenol
- Eugenol is a dangerous additive that numbs the throat and increases the likelihood of addiction