Clove Cigarettes

Everything You Must Know about Kretek Cigarettes


Clove cigarettes or kretek are a most popular Indonesian cigarette and still popular until today. This is concerning to the ingredient in which it is made of dried tobacco leaves, clove, and special ingredients.

There is still pros and cons of dealing with smoking, especially in the healthy aspect. For a better understanding of smoking clove, you can read the information below.

Table of content

  1. About Kretek
  2. Buy Kretek Cigarettes Online
  3. Term of Flavored Cigarettes
  4. Type of Clove Kretek
  5. The Ingredients of Clove Kretek
  6. Facts about Kretek
    1. Health Risk
    2. Popularity of Kretek Cigarettes
    3. Smoking clove in America
    4. Kretek in Indonesia

About Kretek

Clove cigarettes is kretek. The word “kretek” seems unfamiliar in some countries but it is a famous word in a specific country such as Indonesia. Kretek is derived from the sound of the burning cloves.

What is kretek? Kretek is a cigarette made of tobacco leaves and cloves. In the next development, the manufacturer adds other ingredients to give a strong flavor to the cigarette.

Buy Kretek Cigarettes Online

In the term of kretek history, kretek cigarette was made in the late of the 19th century. It was originally made by a man named Haji Jamhari from a small city in Indonesia known as Kudus.

There was an interesting story behind the founding of the kretek cigarette. At that time, Jamhari was suffering from chest pain and tried to find alternative medicine.

Clove Cigarette

Then, he tried to use clove oil to overcome the pain. He also tried to smoke dried cloves wrapped by banana leaves.

Amazingly, Jamhari said that his asthma and chest pain was gone and he felt healthy. Since then, people smoking clove as herbal cigarettes or alternative medication and became a popular thing among Indonesian people.

Kretek Father
Haji Djamhari

The Term of Flavored Cigarettes

After a few years, some experts believe that cigarette smoking is bad for health and it triggers a variety of diseases such as lung cancer. Moreover, people who don’t smoke are disturbed with the bad odor of the smoke.

To overcome this problem, some of the cigarette manufacturers produce flavored cigarettes. Just like the name of the cigarette, a flavored cigarette is a tobacco cigarette with added flavoring.

The flavor is various including apple, cherry, chocolate, honey, grape, menthol, mint, bubble gum, mint, peach, and many more. The flavor is to cover up the bad odor from the smoke of the kretek.
Machine Rolled Cigarettes

Type of Clove Kretek

A beginner smoker thinks that there is only one type of clove kretek. Actually, there are several types of this cigarette. At least, there are 5 different types of cigarette kretek you can find in the market so far.

  1. Corn Husk Paper Cigarette 
    It is a traditional kretek cigarettes and one of the most popular cigarettes in Indonesia. The unique part of this cigarette is the material to cover the dried cloves.The dried tobacco and cloves are covered by a corn husk paper or known as “Klobot” in Indonesia. The paper is made by hand and it is used to make people can smoke the this fast.
  2. Hand-Rolled Cigarette
    This kretek cigarette uses a paper to wrap the dried tobacco and cloves. This is also a unique cigarette in which the production is using a hand-rolling machine.This clove cogarettes was produced for the first time in 1913. Another unique thing is that this is the only cigarette that doesn’t have any filter.
  3. Machine-Rolled Cigarette
    The hand-rolled cigarette was popular until 1970 in which the government asked the manufacturers to develop the system. As a result, the manufacturers have to use a machine to produce clove kretek.This is the reason why it is called a machine-rolled kretek cigarette. Officially, this type of kretek cigarette was produced in 1974. Moreover, this cigarette also has filters and the design is similar to western cigarettes. Still, it has a strong character such as the blotchy stains on the wrapper because of the clove oil and it makes this cigarette different than the western cigarette.

    • Machine-Rolled Mild Cigarette Kretek
      Due to the health issue, the machine-rolled cigarette kretek was developed into a machine-rolled mild cigarette kretek.The difference is that the machine-rolled mild cigarette kretek is made with a low level of tar and nicotine.
Kretek Cigarettes
image: Djarum

The Ingredients of Clove Kretek

To understand more about the kretek cigarettes, let’s find out the kretek ingredients. Just like the name of the product, the cigarette is made of cloves.

The cloves are mixed with any other ingredients such as dried tobacco, other additives, and flavors.

Due to the ingredients, a kretek cigarette has a high concentration of nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide.

kretek Brands

Interesting Facts You Must Know about Kretek

You also need to know that there are some interesting and unique clove kretek facts. Let’s learn about those facts deeper below.

The Fact about Its Health Risks

There are pro and con related to the health risks for cigarette smokers. Based on several studies, clove cigarettes contain a higher level of nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar than regular cigarettes (conventional cigarettes).

Because of that, kretek cigarettes is claimed as the cause of several diseases including acute lung damage, heart disease, cancer, and many more.

Kretek Cigarettes
Kretek Cigarettes

The Fact about the Popularity of the Kretek Cigarettes

Kretek cigarettes is not only popular in Indonesia but in some of the countries around the world.

Despite the health issue, Indonesian clove kretek has been exported to several countries including Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Middle East, Germany, and the United States.

Even, One of the biggest cigarette companies in Indonesia, Djarum has a license to produce a product in Brazil and provides kretek cigarettes to the Latin America region.

Clove Cigarettes Illegal

The Fact about Cigarette Kretek in the United States

Clove kretek entered the United States in the early 1980s. It was a massive trend, especially in high school and university students in California.

After the research done in 1985 showed that cigarette kretek were more harmful than the original cigarette, the United States Food and Drug Administration or FDA stated that clove cigarette illegal, especially cigarettes which made of clove or clove oil.

In America, to protect the public and create a healthier future for all Americans, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act), signed into law on June 22, 2009, gives FDA authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products.

Indonesia, which used to export clove cigarettes to the US, submitted a complaint to the WTO that the law was unfair as it allowed menthol cigarettes, which are mostly produced in the US, while banning clove cigarettes, produced mostly in foreign countries, chiefly Indonesia.

Djarum Clove Cigarettes

Kretek Cigarettes in Indonesia

Smoking clove kretek is like a tradition in Indonesia. Some people do it as their daily habit. Because of that, the kretek industry grows larger in this country.

There are several popular clove cigarettes brands in Indonesia that easily find in the market such as Marlboro Filter Black, Dunhill Mild, Lucky Strike Light, Sampoerna A Mild, Gudang Garam Surya, Djarum Super, Djarum Black and Gudang Garam International, Dji Sam Soe (234) kretek.

Djarum cigarettes are considered as one of the biggest cigarette companies which have exported its products to some countries in the world.

The kretek cigarette prices but is it affordable enough. In Indonesia, you can get a pack of clove cigarettes in $1.3 to 1.7. A pack of kretek cigarettes commonly consists of 12 to 16 of cigarettes.

Clove Cigarettes
Article Name
Clove Cigarettes
Clove cigarettes or clove kretek are a most popular Indonesian cigarette until today. Smoking clove is a lifestyle and part of everyday life in Indonesia.
Publisher Name
Smoking Room
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