Kretek – the cigarettes from Indonesia

Kretek – the cigarettes from Indonesia

Kreteks are cigarettes, one third of which is filled with clove petals. These cigarettes are made of indonesian blends of tobacco, which is in addition to cloves contains special sauce. The sauce differs and depends on a trade mark. It may contain up to one hundred various components, including spices, fruit, coffee and many others. In some sorts of kretek the filter is covered by saccharin, which makes them a kind of smoking sweets. The kretek is considered to be a national heritage and one of the symbols of Indonesia. It is Indonesia, where exactly such cigarettes originate from, and they are mostly popular and widely spread in this country, unlike cigarettes of pure tobacco, we used to. There are over 2 thousand blends of kretek in Indoesia.

By smoking a kretek, you can hear a typical crackling of bursting cellular capsules with clove oil – and the same crackling hear we in the name of cigarettes. The smell of smoke from such cigarettes is not so acrid, as from the usual ones.

Kreteks appeared in 1880s. Indonesian Haji Jamhari used them as a medicine. Thus he tried to alleviate sufferings of those people, who were ill with asthma and feel strong chest pains. The fact of the matter is that burning cloves make eugenol escape. It is a substance of phenol class, which considers a natural anesthetic and antiseptic. Wrapped in the shuck of corn, they were very moisture-resistant, and this quality was of great value among the local farmers during monsoon raining seasons.

In Indonesia almost all people smoke, and they smoke almost all the time. As the statistics says, about two third of adult Indonesians are regular smokers, and recently more and more women (many of who were never squeamish about smoking) join their ranks. According to another data of the year 2006, there were 141 million smokers among 245 million inhabitants of the country.

Today the production of kreteks is one of the few productions in the country, which provide the permanent employment of population. The Indonesian kreteks can be hand-rolled and machine-rolled. The hand-rolled kretek is wrapped in the dried shuck of corn, not in paper. According to the received information, nowadays the hand-rolled kreteks are produced in Indonesia by 200 thousand people, mostly women. At that the largest manufacturers of the country switch over to mechanical work and new technologies.

Like cigarillos, kreteks may be filtered or not, medium-sized or small. Earlier the kreteks might contain up to 70 mg of resins (in some kinds of handmade cigarettes), but recent years they methodically approximate by these parameters to usual cigarettes. Due to high concentration of resins and nicotine, the import of kretek is completely forbidden in USA.

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