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Smoking Mattster:

Tell my friend that clove cigarettes are worse for you than regular cigarettes. Thank you.

-- A Friend, Chula Vista

Dear Your Friend: Clove cigarettes are worse for you than regular cigarettes. Best regards, Your Friend's Friend Matthew. P.S.: Those reeking stench-sticks are somewhere around 70 percent tobacco anyway. The remaining space is taken up with ground cloves, the same things Mom sticks into the Christmas ham but has the good sense not to light and smoke after dinner. There might also be twigs and mulch and spice stuff in your smokes. Hard to tell, really, quality control being what it is. But, hey, Friend, you're how old-- 11? 12? Can't put anything over on you, can we? Especially not this "Kretek Madness" rap. We can even hear you thinking, so why is a clove cigarette worse than a reeking stench-stick from Phillip Morris? Doctors say it's because the eugenol in the cloves is an anesthetic, the same stuff dentists use to numb your gums. Clove cigarettes numb your throat and make smoking "easier." A throat full of clove smoke is easier to get used to than tobacco smoke.

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