Everything related to cigarette, tobacco remain the same as the raw material. Aside from other parts of the world, there is a type of different cigarette. What makes it different is that in Indonesia, we use a mixture of tobacco and cloves and call it as ‘Kretek’.

That name KRETEK, literally means burning sound that the cigarettes make, it happens when people smoke these cigarettes. The sound is caused by an extra cloves. The idea of adding cloves into cigarettes was originated in the late 18th century by a man named H. Jamhari. When he was feeling pain in his chest, then he rubbed clove oil on his chest and felt better afterward. He had the idea to add the cloves into the cigarette as he felt the savour of clove. Miraculously, he felt that his chest pain increasingly more improved because of his creations. Eversince, many people heard of this miraculous cigarette and the demand of kretek increases, until now the Indonesian cigarette market is dominated by clove cigarettes.

Beside the Kretek story, the history of the cigarette itself is very interesting. It is hard to say when smoking tobacco started. But the tobacco was certainly planted by the Maya tribe in Central America and they smoked at religious ceremonies. This habit is possibly started, continually spread out to the north of Mexico and the Yucatan peninsula.

Tobacco, the leaves of Nicotana tabacum, came in Europe from the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico in 1558. Early explorers of the New World, a French man who popularized tobacco, Jean Nicot (1530-1600), and a substance called nicotine is found in all tobacco. At that time tobacco was smoked using a pipe, adopted from Native Americans.


Tobacco grows around the world in more than 100 countries in which China is the largest producer, followed by the United States, Brazil, India, Zimbabwe and Turkey. There are three types of tobacco produced by these countries.

  1. Virginia, also known as bright tobacco because its color is ranging from yellow to orange, as a result of flue-curing process.
  2. Burley, brown tobbaco as a result of air-curing process, sugar level is nearly out, it gives cigar-like taste.
  3. Oriental, small leaves with high flavor and as a result of sun-curing process.

Tobacco plant itself is rude and smelly, with large leaves dangling from the central stem. The plants are cut they reach a certain height, so all nutritions are focused to the development of valuable leaves. Tobacco seeds are very small, one tablespoon may contain up to 60,000 seeds. One full-grown tobacco plants can produce millions of seeds.

The harvest time ranges from 2-5 months after the seed planted, depending on the type of tobacco. Tobacco leaves are harvested while green and have no characters, color and flavor before applying the process of curing or drying.

It is important to apply curing processes in the cultivation of tobacco :

  1. Air-curing, is done with tobacco leaves hanging in the open; resulting leaves with a low sugar content.
  2. Flue-curing, the process is used primarily for cigarette tobacco; artificial heat is applied and channeled through metal pipe or flue, resulting leaves with a high sugar content.
  3. Fire-curing, which is equal to the flue-curing, but with an open flame as a heat source and resulting homemade brown leaves and the scent of smoke.
  4. Sun-curing, done under the sun, resulting a sweet chewy tobacco as the sugar content is high. Passing the curing process, then the dried tobaccos are sorted on the grade basis and stored for certain period as needed.


As mentioned to earlier, kretek is cigarettes with a mixture of tobacco and cloves. But apart from its main raw material, there are a few other ingredients to make clove cigarettes, and cigarettes as in general.

Cigarette paper is a wrapping material for tobaccos and cloves which form a cigarette stem. This paper is made of cellulose and some additives may be added to keep the color white, maintain the ash in a good form and good cigarette burning. The Side seam adhesive is used in very small quantities.

Filter, which is plugged into a cigarette to capture most particles in cigarette smoke, is reducing the amount of tar and nicotine when the cigarette smoke is inhaled, as measured by standard test cigarette machine. The filter itself is divided in four parts; tow (a series of cellulose acetate in filter body), plasticizers (softening agent to bind the filter), plug wrap (fiber filter’s wrapper) and adhesive (as adhesive of plug wrap).

Tipping paper is a filter wrapping paper that reaches out to cigarettes. Tipping paper is a binding between cigarettes and filter rods, made of cellulose fiber and may be coated by chemical substances. Adhesive is also used to attach to the tipping paper and cigarette filter rods. Ink monogram is used to print cigarette brand. In BOKORMAS, there are some brand products printed in tipping paper and some are printed in cigarette paper.

Tar & Nicotine