Clove cigarettes - illegal?

So I was involved in a discussion last night about clove cigarettes. It came to my attention that there are some states in which these cigarettes are illegal. California isn’t one of those states, so I was surprised to hear that some states would outlaw clove cigarettes.

I decided to consult Google. I found general clove cigarette links that describe what’s in them, and the consensus on those sites is that clove cigarettes are legal in the US because they contain no illegal substances. However, other google results specifically referenced state statutes banning them.

For curiosity’s sake, I’m interested to know what states have outlawed clove cigarettes, but I can’t seem to find all that information in one source.

And since I ran a search here first and read a few threads about clove cigarettes, I’m hereby adding my disclaimer right now: I DO NOT SMOKE CLOVE CIGARETTES, NOR AM I CONSIDERING DOING SO IN THE FUTURE. I’m just asking out of idle curiosity.

Calm down dude, no one’s accusing you of being a goth.

This site looks like it will be your best bet, but I haven’t gotten through it all.

Actually, it doesn’t have any useful information at all, but it should answer most of your questions.

Most of your questions like, “why would anyone want to smoke cloves,” etc. Not that you asked.


Chairman Pow, there were probably 3 threads I read above cloves, and pretty much everyone was chastizing the OP for smoking them. I just wanted it to be obvious that I wasn’t interested in smoking them at all.

From your link (thank you!) it looks like they’re illegal in the following states:

New Mexico (this I knew, since it was the basis of my discussion yesterday)
Maryland (I saw a site elsewhere saying that their consideration was indeed enacted)
Florida (though its status is unsure, based on what I read elsewhere)
Utah (potentially)
Missouri (potentially)
Did I miss anything? Anyone have any additional information on additional states?

I knew that clove cigarettes were considered more dangerous than regular ones, but I’d never read much about them. Ick.

They aren’t illegal in MD. They’re illegal to “sell or offer for sale”. Meaning I could hop the D.C. metro from College Park, swing into Georgetown Tobacco, pick up a couple cartons, and return and smoke 'em to my heart’s discontent. I just couldn’t buy them at the Shell station down the street like I do here.

I can purchase cloves here in Missouri.

Question: Why all the vitriol directed at clove cigarettes and the people who smoke them? :confused:

Interesting, Mathocist. I found a link to a Florida case in which a guy was arrested for possessing clove cigarettes. Considering he walked into a Florida store, purchased them, and the state COLLECTED TAX on the item, it created a bit of a kerfuffle.

And the person I was discussing this with[sub]evil clove smoker that he is :D[/sub]would drive from New Mexico to Texas to buy them, but like you could smoke them when he got home. So I guess it is an important distinction to make.

Kreteks are alleged to be more dangerous to the health of the smokers than regular cigarettes. I haven’t seen any direct evidence of this, though I’m willing to believe it’s slightly true. They also have a thicker smoke (which, incidentally, makes them popular for use in theatrical and cinematic situations where the smoke needs to show up more clearly) more like pipe or cigar smoke.

Why so much more vitriol is poured on clove cigarettes than regular ones I couldn’t tell you. Whatever their consequences for the smokers themselves, I can’t imgaine that their secondary smoke effects are any significantly worse than regular cigarettes, and any at all worse than cigars and pipes. I think there’s a certain extent to which they’re seen as a youth/subculture market and people are more railing at the subculture as symbolized in the vice (see also: absinthe and the Left Bank).

I was about to post that I vaguely recall purchasing clove cigarettes in this state, but now I can’t quite remember where I got 'em. I smoked a couple and they sat in my fridge for a few years before I finally realized that, not only was I not going to smoke them, they were never fit for smoking in the first place.

So if they’re illegal here… that’s okay with me, I guess.

I used to smoke cloves. Then one day I realized that I could probably light up my mom’s Christmas ham for similar flavor and less coughing and went back to regular cigs.

As to why they’re so reviled, I don’t think they’re anymore reviled than cigars. And for the same reason. THEY STINK!

I like cloves. Djarum Filters. (Or non-filter.)

From the Wikipedia (

But it says nothing about their legality.

coughs up a lung

Non-filtered!? Cloves?! :eek:

I’d die! Literally. I’d die right there, one puff, cough, lose vital organ through mouth, die. Poof.

Regarding the query on the “bad reputation” they have - when they had a small following at university, they were almost exclusively consumed by people in the “ultra grunge” scene - that is, people so grunge that grungies mocked them. And that’s bad. Almost exclusively a male fad, you had to be underwight, have a goatee, be a liberal arts or communications major, and probably had a backpack with a sticker proclaiming “SKATEBOARDING IS NOT A CRIME”. Even the student Communist Party and the student SCA/D&D/Gaming club looked down on the clove-smokers, and when that happens, you know you’ve hit rock-bottom…

I actually like the way they smell, even though I detest smoking. Mostly that’s because my mom smokes and it takes me days to get the smell out of my stuff whenever I leave home. And they are such a goth thing. Whenever I step out of either of the goth clubs I patronize, there are always ten to fifteen people smoking them. As they do this in full view of the world, I would suggest this means that the are legal in MA, but I think that shold be clear from the fact that MA wasn’t on the list.

Me too. One of my friends in college (not a goth but he did fit Una Persson’s description except for the skating sticker) smoked them, and I thought they smelled kind of nice, at least compared to regular cigarettes. As far as I know they’re still legal in NH.


What could possibly be offensive about the smell of a clove cigarette? Much nicer than a regular butt or a cigar.

What I really want to know is how a State can ban the sale of something that is legal.

My guess is that it can’t. I bet dollars to donuts that all these “arrests for possesion of clove cigarettes” are really Minors being arrested for purchasing tobacco.

I just absolutely LOVE the idea of clove cigarettes. I just wish they weren’t even more dangerous than regular cigarettes, and nearly impossible to smoke

Not meaning to hijack this thread, but it has been implied that cigars or the 2ndary smoke from cigars is more harmful than cigarette smoke. I would like to see the facts on that if you please.
The aroma of a good cigar is a subjective matter IMHO. Many people enjoy the smell of a pipe or a good cigar.
BTW The nicotine content in cigarette tobacco is generally higher than that of pipes or cigars.

Um, by making it illegal.