Identifying fake or counterfeit cigarettes can be tough to do for the untrained eye, but with a little common sense and awareness, you should be able to spot a fraud with relative ease. Fake cigarettes represent a billion-dollar industry, and with tobacco taxes rising aggressively, they have grown in popularity with cash-strapped smokers. While saving a few dollars on your smokes may sound great, the nasty additives -- which include ingredients like feces and sawdust -- you inhale are even worse than that of a normal cigarette.
Compare the price of the cigarette pack or carton that you're buying with the price at the local liquor or grocery store. If there is a significant difference, that should raise your suspicions. According to a "New York Post" article titled, "Counterfeit Smokes, Unchecked, Growing in NY," the best way to identify fake cigarettes is if the deal is too good to be true.
Look over the packaging of the cigarettes. Counterfeiters have to duplicate similar logos, designs and wording of the real products. Try to spot any typos, foreign languages or anything that stands out of the ordinary. Health labels and tax stamps are also tell-tale signs of counterfeit tobacco products.
Check the quality of the packaging and the product. If there is loose tobacco falling between the cigarette box and the plastic wrapper, or if the cigarettes aren't packed correctly, chances are they aren't official products from the manufacturers it claims to be from.
Taste the cigarettes by smoking them. Since the ingredients and quality are not the same, you should be able to taste a difference between authentic cigarettes and counterfeit ones. If you notice anything out of the ordinary or have any suspicions about your cigarette, throw them out.
Counterfeit cigarette makers vary, so one pack of fake cigarettes may be harder to spot than another. The best way to avoid being duped is by buying your tobacco products from a vendor you trust.
It's best to avoid inhaling any fake cigarettes if you can. Only use a taste test if you can't avoid it or have already lit up a smoke without suspecting that you bought a fake. Fake cigarettes are not worth putting your health in additional jeopardy for.