A method for obtaining a smoking agent from smoke condensate obtained from the destructive distillation of cellulose or lignin material comprising subjecting the smoke condensate to extraction by an aqueous solution of a mineral acid to remove organic bases or with a mineral acid which does not decompose at temperatures up to 250.degree. C, in order to bind the bases. The product is then subjected to distillation under reduced pressure in an atmosphere of an inert gas with the addition of metallic dusts and in a second stage of distillation with the addition of a polyhydric alcohol. The obtained smoking agent from the distillation can be subjected to selective absorption of ballast or undesirable substances by passage through suitable adsorbents. In a modification the two stage distillation preceeds the extraction and in a further modification the active substances are first extracted with an organic solvent and then subjected to distillation under reduced pressure.