Cigarette Papers

1 Conversation

This Entry is not designed to encourage people to take up smoking- if you don't do it now, don't start just because you like the sound of rolling papers

Rolling papers, otherwise known by a number of slang terms, such as 'skins' are used to construct home-made cigarettes, with tobacco, or any other herbal mixture.

The variety of papers available in your local tobacconist has increased dramatically in
the last ten years, before you could usually only get hold of the major brand Rizla, nowadays
companies such as Swan, whose background was traditionally in the making of
matches have branched out to make papers, several
rolling tobacco manufacturers provide their own brand of papers with their tobacco, such as Amber Leaf, while Drum tobacco sometimes runs promotional schemes with their own papers.

What makes one paper different to another?


Standard Rizla type papers are approx 70mm x 35mm, while thier King Size products are 100mm x 40mm. There are also a number of speciality brands that produce papers larger than these, Rips being probably the most famous paper for length- one packet contains a roll of continous paper approx 70mm x several metres and you just tear it off the length you require.

Weight or Thickness

Cigarette papers come in a variety of thickness- from the ulta thin such as Rizla Blue and Club, through to the heavy weights like Zig Zag and Rizla White. Generally speaking, the thinner the paper, the less a smoker will be able to taste the paper. At the same time, the thinner the paper, the more chance of it disintegrating when licked.


Rizla papers use 'gum arabic', a vegetable based glue. Some brands, such as Brownie, which is actually made from tobacco, use no gum at all, the paper itself becoming sticky when wet. Ultra thin brands such as 'Club' also seal without gum, relying on the the thin paper and the roller's saliva to stick the sides together.

Filters and Roaches

Some tobacco cigarette smokers like to include a filter in their roll-ups. These usually consist of a cylinder of tightly woven cotton-wool like material, and come in a variety of sizes from 'King Size', which are the same size as ready made cigarettes, to 'Extra Slim", which are just 4mm in diameter. Those smoking more herbal mixtures use 'roaches', a piece of cardboard rolled into a tube.

When using filters, care must be taken not to use too thin papers, or wet the paper to much when licking, otherwise there is a risk the paper will tear where the end of the filter meets the tobacco, rendering the cigarette useless for smoking. This problem also exists with roaches, although to a less degree. The advantages of cut cornered papers for tucking in the paper as the roll begins is negated when using filters and roaches, although the advantages for rolling in the dark remain.

Popular Brands


These are papers that come on a roll in a box and you tear them off at the required length. The 'RS' brand comes in a similar dispenser.
  • Blue
    Medium weight, slow burning, vegetable gum. 53mm x 5m
  • Green
    Light weight rice paper, vegetable gum, low ash.
    44mm x 5m
  • Red
    Medium weight paper, vegetable gum. 37mm x 7m

  • Hemp

    Pure hemp paper, slow burning, vegetable gum.
    53mm x 5m


  • N°4A bench-mark for other brands, which appeals to a lot of people, thanks to
    its ultra thin paper, pure flax paper and natural arabic gum
  • King Size53 x 98 mm ultra thin flax paper
    and natural arabic gum
  • Slim ultra thin flax paper
    and natural arabic gum
  • 1.1/4 or more commonly known as 'Spanish size'
    ultra thin flax paper
    and natural arabic gum, size 45 x 77 mm
  • No8
    This booklet is made with an ultra thin, transparent and watermarked paper
  • Waterproof standard size papers that come in an orange double pack,
    you can smoke and roll in the rain with these.
  • The Jungle paper
    The paper is made from flax and hemp with a total neutral taste.


Club papers are extremely thin ungummed papers, which produce almost no ash when they burn. They are made entirely from natural fibres, with no additives such as bleach.

  • Cabaret are Club's standard sized papers.
  • Bistro are double-width papers.


Rizla are probably the most common brand in the UK, and have been making papers for rolling
since 1796. The brand name Rizla was created from a combination of the french family name,
Lacroix (the cross/la+), and Riz, the french for rice of which the papers were originally made. Rizla has become such a popular brand that the word 'Rizla' has become synonymous with 'cigaretter paper'. Rizla's different types of paper come in different coloured packets-

  • Red are medium weight papers, and the most popular of Rizla's range. These are available in standard and king size.
  • Green are similar to red, but have two small corners removed, allegedly these were designed for use in cigerette rolling machines, however the cut corners are easier to tuck in when rolling by hand. The corners are also a convient touch guide as to which way around the paper is, making rolling in the dark a much easier task.
  • Blue The thinnest papers in the Rizla range are those in the bue packets- these papers are very fine, and produce very little ash. The blue pcket colour is often copied as a guide to paper thickness, the only papers thought to be thinner than these is the Dutch/French brand OCB which comes in white packets.
  • Liquorice in orange packs, these papers offer a more refined taste with a hint of liquorice.
  • White A heavy weight perforated paper, supposedly giving a smoother smoke.


Swan's papers are very similar to the Rizla range, following the same colour code and types, with only the White variety missing from their range. Swan uses a different type of gum to Rizla, which many smokers feel is inferior. Their tag line "Taste the tobbaco, not the paper" gives the impression that their papers are thinner than most other brands, when in fact they are teh same weight as equivalent Rizla products.

Various other brands

  • Bambu All natural glue, the Caribbean's most popular paper.
  • Zig Zag Double wide cigarette papers ease of rolling and fatter fags. These papers have a very strong taste, which is not to everyone's liking.
  • Kulu Pure hemp cigarette papers. Super king size 110 mm. Natural Arabic gum.
  • E-Z Wider ultra lights 1 and 1.5 size cigarette papers for easy hand rolling
  • Mascotte super king size 100 mm. Ultra thin, finest quality rice papers
    from France. These cigarette rolling papers are translucent. Extra width for easy rolling
  • Jamaican Blunt 100% pure hemp cigarette papers. 1 and 1.5 size for rolling with ease. Made in Spain.
  • Redmont A heavy feeling paper, these papers are easy to roll with, and steady burning. Available in bundles of eleven packs.

Many other brands of papers are available, but those listed above cover most of the variants of types.

Bookmark on your Personal Space



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry


External Links

Not Panicking Ltd is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more