Types of Tobacco

When you think tobacco, you think cigarettes. But there are other forms of tobacco that are harmful, as well. We’ve put together a list, along with the hazardous effects. But first, take the Cig Quiz to see how much you really know about cigarettes and smoking.


Cigar smoking increases the risk of death from cancer of the larynx more than 39 times and cancer of the oral cavity/pharynx by seven times.1

  • Addiction potential? Cigars contain anywhere from 100 to 444 mg of nicotine. The average cigarette contains 8.4 mg.2
  • Compared to non-smokers, cigar smokers have a 27% higher risk of coronary heart disease and a 45% increased risk of chronic obstructive lung diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis.3
  • Little cigars (Black & Milds, Cigarillos): Download a fact sheet.

Spit Tobacco

  • Spit tobacco contains 28 cancer-causing chemicals such as formaldehyde and polonium-210.4
  • Download a fact sheet.
  • Information from CDC
  • Information from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, including information on snus.


  • Puffing a hookah can actually put nearly twice the amount of nicotine in your system than you would get from puffing a cigarette.9
  • Smoking tobacco through water does not filter out cancer-causing chemicals.10
  • Download a fact sheet.
  • Download the free BACCHUS White Paper on hookah use.

Menthol Cigarettes

  • Those who use mentholated cigarettes are relatively more likely to experience health consequences compared to other cigarette users due to a cooling effect that allows smokers to inhale more deeply and hold the smoke longer. They are also less likely to want to quit or to quit successfully.7
  • Menthol cigarettes are of special concern for African-American students, because 70% of African-American smokers smoke menthol cigarettes compared to a little over 20% of Caucasian American smokers.8
  • Download a fact sheet.

Bidis (pronouned beedis or beedies)
Bidis are small brown cigarettes, often flavored, consisting of tobacco hand rolled in tendu or temburni leaf and secured with a string at one end.

  • One bidi produces more than three times the amount of carbon monoxide and contains more than three times the amount of nicotine and more than five times the amount of tar than one cigarette.5
  • Download a fact sheet.

Clove Cigarettes or Kreteks
Kreteks, the Indonesian name for clove cigarettes, are made from tobacco that has been sprayed in clove oil and contain large amounts of tobacco and unfiltered organic material.

  • Kreteks contain two to three times more nicotine and tar than American cigarette brands.6
  • Kretek smoking is associated with an increased risk for acute lung injury, especially among susceptible individuals with asthma or respiratory infections.5
  • Download a fact sheet.


  1. American Cancer Society. (2013 Jan 17). Cigar Smoking. Retrieved on June 6, 2013 from the World Wide Web at  https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/tobacco-and-cancer.html
  2. Windish, Katherine. (2010 Jan 28). Tobacco use: Why do it?. Retrieved on June 6, 2013 from the World Wide Web at https://www.dcmilitary.com/
  3. Iribarren C, Tekawa IS, Sidney S, Friedman GD. Effect of cigar smoking on the risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer in men. New Engl J Med 340: 1773-80, 1999.
  4. National Cancer Institute. (2010 Oct 25). Smokeless Tobacco and Cancer. Retrieved on June 6, 2013 from the World Wide Web at  https://www.cancer.gov/
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012 Nov 15). Bidis and Kreteks. Retrieved on June 6, 2013 from the World Wide Web at  https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/tobacco_industry/bidis_kreteks/index.htm
  6. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). (2002 Feb). Tobacco Threat: Flavored Cigarettes. Retrieved on June 6, 2013 from teh World Wide Web at www.no-smoking.org/