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Smoking Guide

Terminology

What do the numbers mean?cigarette smoking
The numbers like “100’s” and “120’s” refer to the length of the tobacco rod in millimeters.

Menthol, and Regular… is there anything else?
You bet there is! The next major ‘flavor’ is Clove. You know cloves… the spice they put on hams – well, turns out they can be mixed with tobacco too! Some brands are extremely strong. Djarium Black is not something one should smoke while driving… or walking. Find a nice place to sit down first. Seriously, you’ll thank me.

What is the difference between menthol and… whatever they call non-menthol cigarettes?
The other kind of cigarettes are called ‘non-menthol’ or regular. The difference is menthol cigarettes have a major non-tobacco additive that make them minty tasting. Very few people enjoy switching from one type to the other… but I do.

Menthol, Regular, and Clove… I got it.
Wait there are tons more! Most are self-explanatory; cherry, chocolate, orange mint, mango, et al. One good one worth explaining is Perique. The only brand I know that uses this is American Spirit. It has a quite different taste that I describe as “vaguely cucumber-y… in a good way”.

What about Lights, Mediums, Ultra Lights, and all that?
I’m not sure exactly how lower tar and nicotine levels are produced, but I suspect it has to do with the filter. Lights typically have 50-70% the level of nicoine, Ultras have about 30%.

Does filter/non-filter make a difference?
Oh MY Yes! Non-filter cigarettes come in short stubby packs, and don’t have a filter end. You can light either end – I choose the end that looks most cohesive to stick in my mouth. Non-filter cigarettes are a completely different smoking experience. They are very easy to inhale from (no resistance from a filter). It is almost as easy as breathing through a straw. The amount of actual smoke you get is much higher (none is absorbed by the filter). If you are just starting – DO NOT start on non-filter cigarettes. Try one after you get a few packs down. Non-filters have tar and nicotine levels 30-45% higher than their filter counterparts.

Why would I want Lights? Aren’t I just getting less smokey goodness?
Some people find “full flavored” to be too harsh. Other people think they are doing something ‘good’ for themselves. Most of the time people will just smoke more Lights, or inhale deeper to get the nicotine levels they want. Buying lights is like getting a Big Mac with a Diet Coke. If you like the taste of Diet Coke; Good for you! But the meal is still fattening.

Read More: Flavored Brand Reviews

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