First Appearance of Cigarette Sizes

September 9th, 2014 00:00
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Tobacco crop was initially introduced to European Civilization in the shape of Cigars. Cigars were very famous among aristocrats in Spain.  Needy people typically gathered cigar butts, folded them in a newspaper and then lighted up. For that reason in an effort to get satisfaction from each puff of these wrapped cigars, smokers inhaled the smoke for a long time. Thus cigarette smoking appeared.

Undoubtedly burning newspapers and other paper objects caused some inconvenience, so a company that was producing packing papers decided to elaborate special paper used to roll tobacco and get a cigarette. After this time, tobacco manufacturers started to think about sizes of cigarettes, which would be easy-to-smoke. As an illustration, Spanish cigarette makers gave their choice to smoking products with 78mm in length and 44mm in height.

At first this was the sole size that was applied in the whole European cigarette market. However, after some time, King James 1 enacted tough tobacco taxes, which forced the British market to turn to more compact cigarettes which possessed 25% less tobacco. This totally new size was already 70mm long.  The paper used to wrap cigarettes was known as “standard size” or “single wide”.   The authentic Spanish 78mm paper was called as “Spanish size

In the 1950’s filtered cigarettes became the most popular and wide spread among smoke lovers. Cigarette users were concerned that by smoking a filtered cigarette they were getting less tobacco as the filter occupied a great part of the cigarette that initially was filled with tobacco.  As a result cigarette producers decided to increase the length of cigarettes in order to adapt to the filter, thus cigarette size raised from 70mm to 84mm.  This new size was called “king size”, in honor of the King of England who was seen lighting up this new cigarette type.  Throughout the following decades the shorter cigarettes have been popular in the tobacco market until they were substituted by the new 84mm “king size”.

These days sales of king size cigarettes are the most popular being followed by slims and super slims varieties. There is often a confusion about the king size rolling papers, these date back to 1984 when Rizla released their 100mm rolling papers targeted towards women. Smokers at the start called them as “queen size”.  Some other company tried to go beyond Rizla and launched a 110mm paper, and named it king size. Even so this is wrong. King Size cigarettes are all 84mm long, as to the 110mm paper it is really longer than queen size and also much longer then the preferred 84mm standard king size.

By Sara Norton, Staff Writer.
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