This is This Is currently A Thing, wherein we check out the scientific research behind brand-new health trends.

You are watching: What happens if you smoke green tea

The thing: Billy55 is a brand-new company the has produced a cigarette made purely of environment-friendly tea—with no nicotine. While new in America, it’s to be commonplace in Vietnam because that at the very least a couple of decades, which is whereby acupuncturist and also Billy55 founder Ranko Tutulugdzija uncovered it.

As an acupuncturist, Tutulugdzija said he had actually lots of patients trying to discover a natural way to quit smoking, and he mental seeing environment-friendly tea cigarettes—rolled eco-friendly tea leaves v no nicotine in them. The idea? “Get the smoker to have the same sensation as smoking,” Tutulugdzija told “They don’t feel together guilty and also they have more motivation to stop.”

The cigarettes, named after Tutulugdzija’s mommy Biljana—referred to together “Billy”—come in regular and menthol varieties and also are made out of tea originating native Nanjing and Beijing in China. They price $2.50 per pack.

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The hype: Green tea cigarettes are part of a three-step, 90-day smoking cessation technique developed by Tutulugdzija. It’s an “all-natural” routine that includes taping 5 mustard seed onto acupressure points the Tutulugdzija claims can assist you quit.

Following the program, Tutulugdzija says, will eventually “downgrade” the seeks to a habit. “Habits space much easier to break 보다 addiction,” he says. “If friend smoke eco-friendly tea, you don’t have a chemical functioning on her neuroreceptors to reason addiction. There’s a huge difference in between something with nicotine and also something without it.”

The research: The FDA denied’s inquiry for comment, speak it “does not comment on the regulatory standing of details products except with the firms and individuals that space responsible for such products.”

CDC spokesperson Joel London claimed that while research study hasn’t been done into eco-friendly tea cigarettes specifically, a mix of counseling and medication has been proven to be most reliable in kicking a cigarette smoking habit come the curb.

Donna Richardson, a clinical society worker and also addictions specialist with Rutgers University’s Tobacco dependency Program, agrees. She said most addictions experts use one of the seven methods approved through the FDA, five of which include nicotine (the gum, patch, lozenges, nasal spray, one inhaler). “It’s the nicotine human being smoke for,” she says. “There’s a dopamine relax that happens with each puff. For this reason if they’re cigarette smoking tea, they’re not getting dopamine, and also they’d still it is in in withdrawal.”

Richardson says the an essential to quitting smoking doesn’t median quitting nicotine cold turkey. In fact, it’s rather the opposite. Smoking—”no issue if it’s lettuce or tea or rolled-up newspaper”—is the harmful act. That’s since the act of setting something ~ above fire release carbon monoxide, and also breathing the carbon monoxide in, no matter what the source, infiltrates red blood cells, which must be soaking up oxygen instead. “Our lung don’t prefer polluted air,” she says.

For his part, Tutulugdzija claims it has actually been only two months because his firm began experimentation the efficacy the the product because that quitters, however that “we’re getting positive feedback.”

Regarding the healthfulness that his product, Tutulugdzija says, “There’s no such point as ‘healthy’ smoking.”

The taste: Two society smokers at make the efforts the menthol and also plain ranges of green-tea cigarettes, which to be harder to irradiate than typical cigarettes. The two testers discerned virtually no flavor, yet the inhaled exhilaration did do the testers feeling lightheaded. The menthol kind was slightly minty, yet it, too, lacked any type of expected, discernible environment-friendly tea or natural flavor. Tutulugdzija describes the smell this way: “They don’t taste choose a cigarette, yet there’s a eco-friendly tea scent.”

The bottom line: Dr. Michael Steinberg, who heads the Rutgers dependency Program, claims this: “It’s more than likely not the safest way to try to battered smoking and there’s no strong scientific evidence it helps to quit.”

Steinberg acknowledges that environment-friendly tea cigarettes may address a behavioral component that makes quitting cigarette smoking challenging, yet thinks the oral fixation is better off handled with toothpicks, cinnamon sticks, or something else that doesn’t emit smoke.

Richardson echoes Steinberg’s skepticism. “I wouldn’t have anyone ns care around smoking green tea cigarettes come quit,” she said.

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Correction: An earlier version the this story contained a meaning of cigarettes misattributed to the FDA. That was contained in error and also has been removed.