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Packet of 20 NTB menthol herbal cigarettes, Surrey, England, 1999

Made from a mixture of herbs and tar, these herbal cigarettes contained no tobacco or nicotine. The maker, Arkopharma, marketed them as a way to help people give up smoking without giving up the ‘feel’ of smoking. Although advertised as a ‘healthier cigarette’, the product still contained potentially cancer-causing tar, but in reduced amounts compared to cigarettes made with tobacco.

Object number:

2000-4

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    Glossary: smoking

    A practice where a substance, most commonly tobacco is burned and the smoke inhaled. It is currently practiced by over one billion people worldwide (2008)

    Glossary: tobacco

    No description.

    Glossary: herbal cigarette

    No description.

    Glossary: tar

    Inflammable blackish viscous liquid obtained by the distillation of wood or coal. As a constituent of cigarettes, tar is known to have cancer causing properties.

    Glossary: nicotine

    A chemical compound that forms 0.6-3.0 per cent of the dry weight of tobacco. Nicotine acts as a stimulant in mammals, and is one of the primary reasons for smoking addiction.

    Glossary: cancer

    Any cancerous tumour. It arises from the abnormal and uncontrolled division of cells which then invade and destroy the surrounding tissues. Cancer cells spread and can form secondary tumours some distance from the original.