Anatomy of a Modern Cigarette

Anatomy of a Modern Cigarette

The cigarette is a highly engineered product with a primary design of delivering nicotine.

Chimicals in Smoke

Tobacco smoke is made up of more than 9,000 chemicals, including over 60 known or suspected to cause cancer.  [https://youtu.be/K9NTmAFQvfs]

Filter Fiber Fallout

Filter Fiber Fallout

Filter fibers and other filtering materials such as charcoal can detach from the filter tip during smoking and be ingested and inhaled into the airways. 

Cigarette Rod

The tobacco rod contains different amounts of real tobacco, reconstituted tobacco sheet, and puffed tobacco.

Cigarette Paper

Cigarette wrapping paper is made from thin and lightweight “rag fibers” (non-wood plant fibers) such as flax and hemp. Wrapping paper can come in assorted colors, even for “natural” brands.  Tiny perforation holes that help the tobacco stay lit along with chemicals sprayed onto the paper help to control burn temperature and the formation of the ash at the end of the smoldering cigarette.

Cigarette Tipping Paper

Tipping paper wraps the filter element and is attached to the cigarette rod. The paper is often perforated with ventilation holes. The color of the tipping paper (cork or white) is often falsely perceived by smokers as indicating the health risks of the product.

Filter Vent Holes

Cigarette vents close up

Filter vents make it easier to puff on a cigarette by reducing resistance to draw and mixing cooler air with the hot smoke.  Filter vents promote compensation as smokers may unknowingly take bigger and deeper puffs in order satisfy their nicotine addiction.

Filter Tow

Cellulose acetate filter tow

A range of materials have been used in making cigarette filters. Most filters are made from cellulose acetate and painted with titanium dioxide to give the filter tow a white appearance. This gives the illusion that the filter is clean and pure. There are typically 12,000 to 15,000 fibers in an individual filter plug. The fibers are held together by spraying plasticizer to bind the fibers loosely together, although not so tight as to make it hard to inhale the smoke.

Cigarette Paper

Cigarette wrapping paper is made from thin and lightweight “rag fibers” (non-wood plant fibers) such as flax and hemp. Wrapping paper can come in assorted colors, even for “natural” brands. Tiny perforation holes that help the tobacco stay lit along with chemicals sprayed onto the paper help to control burn temperature and the formation of the ash at the end of the smoldering cigarette.