Types of Cigarettes in India: Ultimate Guide

Types of Cigarettes in India


Let’s face it. Cigarettes are one of the most consumed products globally. Love them or hate them, they are a fact of life, taking a toll on health, lives, and economies. Usually, smoking behaviors are influenced by the type of cigarette chosen. That calls for exploring the types of cigarettes in India. But before that, let’s glance over a few key stats.  

Cigarette Trends: Global

Total Cigarettes Sold 5.2 trillion units (2020)
Revenue Generated $0.8 trillion (2020)    
Growth Rate 2.55% (CAGR 2024-2028)
Per Person Spending  $131.10 

Cigarette Trends: India

Total Cigarettes Sold Nearly 81.3 billion Units (2017) 
Revenue Generated US$ 13.4 Billion 
Growth Rate   4.49% (CAGR 2024-2028)
Smoking-related Deaths About 1.2 million
  • Data Courtesy: Various 

Types of Cigarettes: The Ultimate Guide

Indian smokers are spoilt for choice. From homegrown favorites to iconic global brands, they have it all and more. It’s all about picking what suits you the best. Or better still, quit smoking and reclaim life. On the note that cigarettes are a health hazard, let’s categorize the available options based on sizes, shapes, flavors, and other parameters that matter. 

1. Types of Cigarettes in India: Size Does Matter

Cigarettes come in all shapes and sizes. However, the common denominator remains the 8mm diameter. Make no mistake, size does matter in this case. After all, size determines your smoking experience and personal preference.

1. Regular or Classic Size:

First up, we have the Regular or Classic size, ranging from 70mm to 85mm in length and 8mm in diameter. It is your standard cigarette size, the one you’re most familiar with. They are relatively cheaper and stronger-flavored. 

2. Kings Size:

Moving on to the King Size, which is slightly longer than the regular size, measuring between 84mm to 89mm in length and 8mm in diameter. King Size cigarettes offer a bit more tobacco, larger filters, and finer tobacco blends compared to their regular counterparts. Yes, they are typically pricier and milder than the regular cigarettes. 

3. Slim & Super Slim:

True to their name, Slim and Super Slim cigarettes are narrower with lengths ranging from 70mm to 100mm and diameters between 5mm to 6mm. Typically, smokers seeking a more delicate and sophisticated smoking experience or looking to cut down on tobacco consumption fall for these. Read More: Slim Cigarette: Top 10 Facts to Know!

4. 120’s & 100’s:

Then, there are the 120’s/100’s cigarettes. As the name says, they are longer than the King Size variety, measuring 100mm to 100mm in length with an 8mm diameter. These extra-long cigarettes offer an extended smoking time and are often chosen by those who enjoy a leisurely smoke or want to savor the flavor for longer.

5. Shorties:

Finally, on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Shorties. These cigarettes are shorter and stubbier, ranging from 50mm to 60mm in length. Shorties are for those looking for a quick smoke or for occasions where discretion is key.

Type  Length  Diameter Features
Regular or Classic: 70mm-85mm 8mm The standard-size cigarette
King Size 84mm-89mm 8mm Slightly longer than regular size
Slim/Super Slim 70mm-100mm 5mm-6mm Much narrower than regular cigarettes
120’s/100’s 100mm-100mm 8mm Longer than King Size
Shorties 50mm-60mm 8mm Shorter and stubbier

Types of Cigarettes in India: Flavors

The tobacco brands spoil smokers for flavor choices. You name it: regular, menthol, clove, candy, fruity, and herbal. Rather, they are hard-pressed to launch new, unique flavors to attract new smokers and retain the existing ones. 

1. Regular/Non-flavored Cigarettes:

These standard, no-frills options deliver the pure, unadulterated tobacco taste minus added flavors or enhancements. They’re the go-to choice for many smokers who prefer a straightforward smoking experience, a familiar and consistent taste that’s been enjoyed by smokers for generations. These classics are the most sold cigarettes globally. Read More  

2. Menthol Cigarettes:

These are all about that cool, minty freshness thanks to the menthol content in the tobacco. Menthol masks the harshness of tobacco to ensure a smooth, refreshing taste. Surprisingly, Menthol cigarettes are a rage among people of color, Hispanics, and youngsters with brands like Newport, Kool, and Salem leading the pack. Read More…

3. Herbal Cigarettes:

All cigarettes feature tobacco, give or take herbal cigarettes. Here, tobacco gives way to mixtures of herbs and plant-based materials to deliver different aromas that some wrongly perceive as therapeutic. Herbal cigarettes are striking a chord with those looking for a more natural smoking alternative or trying to give up smoking. Read More…

4. Clove Cigarettes:

Make way for clove cigarettes, or kreteks – born in Indonesia. These types of cigarettes in India are known for their spicy flavor and complex aromatic profile, with a hint of sweetness. With a blend of tobacco, cloves, and spices, clove cigarettes deliver a rich, exotic, and indulgent smoking experience but not without hazards. Read More…

5. Fruit Flavored Cigarettes:

How about a fruity explosion in your mouth with each puff? Enjoy strawberry, apple, grape, melon, peach, and more flavors with just a squeeze in the filter. Think Camel Crush or Marlboro Double Fusion – they’re all about adding a fruity twist to your smoking experience. However, puff responsibly, as they are as big a health hazard as any smoke. 

6. Candy & Sweet-flavored Cigarettes:

Think of them as a dessert in stick form, with flavors like chocolate, vanilla, toffee, and honey giving you that sweet tooth fix. They’re pretty tempting, especially for youngsters, with brands like Minsk and Djarum making them hard to resist. Since they also come with their own set of health risks, moderation is the way to go. Read More…

7. Coffee Flavored Cigarettes:

If you’re a coffee lover, you might want to try coffee-flavored cigarettes. These bad boys are blended with coffee extracts to give you that rich, caffeine-laden taste with every puff. Cigarette brands in India like Djarum Black, Esse, and Raison offer cigarettes infused with coffee for those who can’t get enough of that java goodness. 

8. Wine Flavored Cigarettes:

For the wine connoisseurs out there, there are wine-flavored cigarettes. Yep, you heard that right – cigarettes with a wine aftertaste, usually with flavors reminiscent of red wine grapes. Dunhill is the key player in this niche, offering a sophisticated smoking experience with a hint of vino. But you have to sweat it out to find them in India.

Cigarette Flavor Type  Key Features Top Brands
Regular No flavoring added, Pure tobacco taste.            Marlboro, Gold Flake, Classic, Navy Cut
Menthol  Provides a cool, minty flavor; Popular among youth and people of color  Newport, KOOL, Salem
Herbal  Made from mixtures of herbs; Perceived as a natural alternative & nonsmoking aid Aarogyam, Organic Smokes, Honeyrose, Ecstacy 
Clove Blend of tobacco and cloves; Spicy, Sweet indulgent taste Djarum, Sampoerna, Marlboro Clove, Bentoel
Fruit  Flavor capsules provide fruity tastes like strawberry, grape, etc Camel Crush, Marlboro Double Fusion
Candy & Sweet Sweet flavors like chocolate, honey etc; Targeted at youth & females Minsk Chocolate cigarettes, Djarum Sweet cigarettes
Coffee      Blended with coffee extracts; Rich caffeine taste  Djarum Black, Raison, Esse
Wine  Red wine grapes or wine aftertaste for a sophisticated experience Dunhill Romans cigarettes

Types of Cigarettes in India: Filter

You can classify types of cigarettes based on filters. While most have it, some don’t.

1. Non-Filter Cigarettes:

They are exactly what they mean, cigarettes without a filter. Instead, the paper wrapping goes all the way to the tip. Since there’s no filter to catch tar and nicotine, non-filter cigarettes tend to be harsher on the lungs and throat. Think of them as the original cigarettes and the norm before filter cigarettes swept the market. Non-filter cigarettes still find favors with smokers seeking a more direct experience and a stronger kick. Plus, these smokes are easy on the pocket. 

2. Filter Cigarettes:

The more common variety you’ll find on the market, they come with a handy cellulose acetate filter attached at the end. Call it a mini sieve for tar and other particles that you don’t want in your lungs. You end up with a cleaner and less harmful smoking experience. Plus, you’ve got options when it comes to length – whether it’s the shorter 60mm or the longer 100-120mm, you can pick based on how much filtration you prefer. Go for filter cigarettes until you decide to quit.

Non-Filter Cigarettes Filter Cigarettes
Filter Presence No filter Cellulose acetate filter attached at the end
Smoke Filtration  No filtration   Traps some components, especially tar
Smoke Harshness Direct and harsh Filtered and Smoother 
Tar and Nicotine   Delivers higher levels  Comparatively lower amounts
Available Lengths Usually standard length  Available in different lengths
Health Perception Considered to be more harmful  Considered marginally less harmful

Types of Cigarettes in India: Additives

There’s plenty of additive content in cigarettes. The difference in additive content defines some types of cigarettes.

1. Light Cigarettes:

Tobacco companies in India market light cigarettes as the safest bet. They come with lower tar and nicotine levels compared to regular smokes, thanks to those tiny holes in the filter. They supposedly dilute the smoke with air, making it feel easier on your lungs. But here’s the twist – studies show that smokers tend to compensate by either inhaling more deeply or smoking more of them to get their nicotine fix. In either case, any supposed benefits are canceled out. 

2. Ultra Light Cigarettes:

If you think light cigarettes are the lightest, think again. There’s the ultra-light option as well for smokers who wish to inhale the least possible amount of tar and nicotine. Their USP is the fancy filter ventilation with way more holes than the light counterparts. More holes mean more ventilation and an easier draw. Despite low tar and nicotine levels, these cigarettes are as harmful as any other. Top ultra-light cigarette brands include Esse, Vogue, Capri, and Camel Light. 

3. Organic Cigarettes:

A cigarette stuffed with organic tobacco grown without chemical additives and pesticides. Organic or regular, tobacco is equally addictive and harmful, make no mistake. So, while they might seem like a greener choice, don’t be fooled – claims of them being safer are still up in the air. Natural American Spirit is the leader in this niche. Read More….

4. Nicotine Free Cigarettes:

Another self-explanatory term, nicotine-free cigarettes are devoid of nicotine. The cigarette companies treat the tobacco to eliminate that addictive nicotine. Sounds like a win, right? Well, hold your horses. Even though they’re nicotine-free, these cigarettes still carry carcinogens, toxins, and tar just like in regular smokes. Plus, these smokes can reinforce those smoking habits and sensations only to increase the chances of relapse in folks trying to quit.

Cigarette Type Description  Key Features
Light Cigarettes Marketed as safer with lower tar and nicotine levels, thanks to tiny holes in the filter.  Lower tar and nicotine levels. Compensatory smoking behavior negates benefits
Ultra Light Cigarettes Offer even lower tar and nicotine levels with more filter ventilation More filter ventilation. Still harmful like any other cigarette
Organic Cigarettes  Made from organic tobacco without additives or pesticides Organic tobacco, but still addictive and harmful. Safety claims unproven
Nicotine Free Cigarettes  Devoid of nicotine due to treatment of tobacco No nicotine, but still contains carcinogens, toxins, and tar. Risk of relapse for those quitting

Types of Cigarettes in India: Price

A decision factor for smokers, price determines the types of cigarettes in the following segments. 

1. Luxury Cigarettes:

If you are a cigarette connoisseur, luxury cigarettes will exceed your expectations. Think of them as a concoction of superior tobacco blends, exquisite packaging, and innovative features to justify their hefty price tags. While Treasurer, Sobranie, and Dunhill rule the segment globally, Insignia is the priciest Made-in-India cigarette brand. Costing INR 500+, these crème de la crème are for high rollers who can splurge on their smoking experience. Read More…

2. Mid-price Cigarettes:

These cigarettes hit the sweet spot between affordability and quality. You’ve got your major players here, like Gold Flake Kings, Marlboro, 555, and Classic, offering a decent bang for your buck. Priced around INR 200 – INR 500, mid-priced cigarettes are accessible to a broader range of smokers without shelling out too much on flavor or satisfaction.

3. Value for Money Cigarettes:

These budget-friendly options compromise on tobacco quality but give you a bang for your buck. Charms, Bristol, Gold Flake Superstar, Navy Cut Virginia, Silk Cut, and Duke – they offer functional smokes at wallet-friendly prices, under INR 100. They fall in the regular size category, measuring around 69mm, depending on the brand. Read More… 

4. Sub-economy Cigarettes:

Priced below INR 50, they’re the go-to smokes for those watching every rupee. As obvious as it is, these brands cut corners on everything – tobacco quality, production, packaging, and marketing to restrict prices. Panama, Cavender, and Charminar – these sub-economy cigarette brands have to compete with bidis for market share. 

Types of Cigarettes Description & Features
Luxury Cigarettes Superior tobacco blends, exquisite packaging, and innovative features. Hefty price tags (INR 500+)
Mid-price Cigarettes Offer a balance between affordability and quality. Priced between INR 200 to INR 500
Value for Money Cigarettes Budget-friendly options that maintain some quality standards in tobacco quality & manufacturing 
Sub-economy Cigarettes  Affordable options cutting corners on tobacco quality, production, packaging, and marketing

Types of Cigarettes in India: Gender

The gender stereotype Certain types of cigarettes have been specifically marketed toward certain genders.

1. Female Cigarettes:

Brands often market cigarettes toward female smokers with feminist undertones. These cigarettes are usually longer, slimmer, and lighter, and available in a variety of colors to lure young girls into smoking. They can be non-flavored or flavored, carry less tar and nicotine, and feature elegant and stylish designs on both the packaging and the cigarette itself. A word of caution: besides causing cancers, heart diseases, strokes, and respiratory issues, cigarettes expose female smokers to additional conditions like infertility, pregnancy complications, and cervical cancer. Read More…

2. Men’s Cigarettes:

While most cigarettes are targeted toward men, some go on to market their offerings as “macho” and “rugged.” Take, Djarum Black, for instance. Portrayed as bold, daring, and adventurous tastes for men who like to explore, these are strong, full-flavored cigarettes designed with men in mind. Likewise, American Spirit markets cigarettes for “men who don’t want additives and are unafraid to be raw and real.” However, the most famous image is that of “Marlboro Man,” denoting masculinity. These men’s cigarettes are all about “masculine” branding and bold, full-bodied flavors.

Conclusion: A Call to Awareness

When it comes to cigarettes, we’re talking big numbers. A whopping 5.2 trillion cigarettes were sold globally in 2020, raking in a staggering $0.8 trillion in revenue. While the numbers might not be as mind-blowing as the global scene, they’re still pretty hefty. Nearly 81.3 billion cigarettes were sold here back in 2017, bringing in a tidy sum of US$13.4 billion. The types of cigarettes in India largely determine smoking behaviors, hence this detailed exploration.  

Regardless of the category, segment, or type, cigarettes are a risk to your health and those around you. Though it is easier said than done, you need to quit smoking and reclaim life. Remember, the sooner, the better. For those seeking an alternative, pan masala and gutka offer a sensory experience. As smoking trends evolve, individuals explore pan-masala brands and gutka brands. Don’t be tempted to use them as nonsmoking aids, as they are addictive and dangerous.


1. How many types of cigarettes are there in India?

The markets are flooded with types of cigarettes in India. From shorts to extra-large, slims to ultra slims, light to ultra lights, flavored to unflavored, and sub-economy to luxury, you are spoilt for choice.

2. What are the most popular cigarettes in India?

Gold Flake is the most popular cigarette brand in India followed by Classic, Navy Cut, and others.

3. Are there any organic or natural cigarette options available in India?

Yes, some brands in India offer organic or natural cigarettes made from tobacco grown without chemical additives or pesticides.

4. What is the price range for cigarettes in India?

The price of cigarettes in India varies depending on the brand and type. Generally, luxury or premium cigarettes are more expensive, while budget-friendly options are available at lower prices.

5. Are there any restrictions on the sale of flavored cigarettes in India?

Yes, the sale of flavored tobacco, scented tobacco, and tobacco mixed with an addictive is restricted in India as part of tobacco control measures.

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Feature Image by mdjaff on Freepik