The business of counterfeit or fake cigarettes is huge; not only in India but worldwide. In some regions, there are more fakes than originals. The fake cigarette business operates underground and therefore, it is very difficult to predict the magnitude of the problem.
Unlike others, the business of fake cigarettes is very organised with large distribution centres fetching fortunes for the top hierarchy. It is one of the top-notches business and with the ever-increasing taxes, it is very popular with cash-crunched smokers.
While saving a little money on your smokes may sound great but with the inclusion of nasty additives like faeces and sawdust, you are likely to inhale even worse than that of a normal cigarette.
Ingredients of fake Cigarettes:
Not exactly tobacco but there are several other harmful ingredients contained in cigarettes. You can easily find sand, plastic and other materials. Fake cigarettes have been tested in laboratories, and it is observed that they contain far greater amounts of carbon monoxide, nicotine and tar (63%, 28%, 75% respectively) than original cigarettes which greatly increases the chances of cancer and other diseases for those who smoke them.
If you thought that the bargain was good, think again!
Identifying fake or counterfeit cigarettes is not an easy task and can be extremely challenging for untrained eyes. If you apply a little common sense, one can easily distinguish an original and a fake.
1. Price – This is always the first step to detect any counterfeit. Compare the prices of the cigarette pack that you’re buying with the price at a liquor or grocery store or online. If there is a significant difference and too good to believe, think again!
2. Packaging – Closely observe the packaging of your cigarette pack. Counterfeiters tend to duplicate logos, designs and text of the real products. Try to spot any typo errors, foreign languages or anything that stands out. Health labels and tax stamps are also good signs of counterfeit tobacco products.
3. Quality – Check the quality of the packaging and the product. If you come across loose tobacco falling between the cigarette box and the plastic wrapper, or if the cigarettes aren’t packed correctly, there are high chances that the product is not what it claims to be.
4. Taste – Smoke the cigarettes and if the ingredients and quality are not the same, you should be able to make out the difference in taste between authentic cigarettes and counterfeit ones. If the cigarette raises suspicions about its authenticity, throw them right away.
The best way to avoid consuming a fake cigarette is by buying it from a trusted vendor. Smoking cigarettes as it is poses serious threats to your health and you can only imagine what jeopardy a fake cigarette would cause.
In truth, it’s practically impossible to completely avoid counterfeit cigarettes. The shops have huge stocks of them and the vending machine too can have them. Well, in case of cigarettes the best alternative to refrain from buying a fake cigarette would be giving up on smoking entirely!