The History of Cigarette Sizes

Published on March 5th, 2013 00:00
tobacco size

Tobacco crop was first brought to European Civilization in the form of Cigars. Cigars were extremely popular among nobles in Spain. Street indigents generally picked up cigar butts and rolled them in newspaper in order to smoke. So in order to get pleasure from each puff of these paper wrapped cigars, indigents inhaled the smoke for as long as they could. This way cigarette smoking came to be.

Obviously burning newspaper had its own difficulties. A plant that was producing particular packing papers provided the first paper developed especially for cigarette rolling. For instance, in Spain, the size that was elaborated relying on consumer choice was around 78mm in lenght and 44mm in heigh.  In the beginning this was the main size that was used in the entire European tobacco market. Nevertheless, King James 1 passed major tobacco taxes, which led the British market to switch to a smaller size which contained around 25% less tobacco. This completely new small size was 70mm long.  This paper was called “standard size” or “single wide”. The genuine Spanish 78mm paper was known as “spanish size.

Already in the 1950’s filtered cigarettes began to dominate.  Smokers were worried that by getting a filtered cigarette they were obtaining less tobacco as the filter occupied a particular cigarette’s space that usually was filled with tobacco. Therefore major cigarette manufacturers replied to this by raising the length of cigarettes to adapt to the filter. Cigarette size raised from 70mm to a new 84mm size. This innovative size was known as “king size”, named after the King of England who was noticed openly smoking this new cigarette variety. Over the subsequent decades the shorter cigarettes have dominated the market until they were replaced by the new 84mm “king size”.

Nowadays that there is ultimately an 84mm rolling paper on the market, sales of that size are growing progressively and will probably become the most favored sizes, reflecting an extraordinary popularity of 84mm king size cigarettes. As about the king size rolling papers they are very often miss-named. These date back to 1984 when Rizla introduced their 100mm rolling papers focused towards women that liked the 100mm cigarette size. Smokers initially called this as “queen size”. A different company attempted to surpass Rizla and released a 110mm paper, and called it king size. Nevertheless this is a misnomer.King Size cigarettes are all 84mm long. A 110mm paper is really a longer queen size and is much longer then the favorite 84mm standard king size.

By Joanna Johnson, Staff Writer.
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