Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’, keep them dog-ends rolling…

Experts have Said and Studies have Shown that rollies aren’t safer than readymade smokes.

This worries those who like to believe that anyone gives a shit what they think because –

In the UK, use of the cigarettes has increased from two per cent to 23 per cent among women and from 18 per cent to 39 per cent among men between 1990 and 2010.

Entirely attributable to the relative cost of rollies vs. readymades. Absolutely no other explanation required. You don’t want people to smoke rollies? Stop making the readies unaffordable. Current prices are, I am told, around £8 a pack – more than the hourly wage of 90% of Local Shop’s staff. Including me.

It’s not about health, of course. There is less tax to be had from loose baccy than from readymade cigarettes. It makes no difference to the tobacco companies profits, only to the tax take. It’s even cheaper to buy boxes of tubing baccy than to buy the equivalent in readies. Last time I did it, it was about £13 for a box of baccy to make 80 smokes and another pound for 100 tubes. That worked out at £3.25 per 20. Around half the price of buying readies. And I made 83 out of that box.

This is a precursor to raising the tax on loose baccy, nothing more. You can tell because the lies are blatant –

Professor Edwards explained that in New Zealand the ‘concentration of additives is higher in loose tobacco at about 18 per cent, compared with 0.5 per cent for factory-made cigarettes’.

If there was 18 percent additives in that tobacco, you could bloody well see it! The figure of 0.5% is believable, that’s where those ‘600 chemicals’ are. They are each 1/600th of 0.5%, or 0.0008% of the tobacco. Around 0.05mg per cigarette at a rough guess tempered by a bit of Lochlan. Not enough to shut me up but enough to make me not bother reaching for the calculator.

Nearly one-fifth of the tobacco is additives? And nobody noticed even though they had it in their hands and were looking at it as they rolled? You could hide all sorts of things in a readymade but in loose tobacco the end-user sees the product. If 18% was chemical additives there’d be dirty great crystals in there! Especially when it dried out.

There are no additives in my tobacco. None. I know this for a fact because I’m smoking pure leaf now. I still have that leaf I tried curing in an anaerobic jar and I still have some from two years ago that I left in a sealed jar with a dash of brandy. Still waiting. I am amazed at my own patience here. It’s nearly time to start the seeds again. I believe Junican has started already but this far north, the frosts continue until later in the year. I don’t want my plants getting pot-bound while I wait until it’s safe to put them out.

So if the Expert is now saying that it’s the additives that do the harm, and I don’t have any, where does that leave all the ‘nicotine is deadly’ claims and all the ‘tobacco is deadly’ hype?

Now it’s all about the additives. So the solution is simple. Don’t add any.

Then we can forget all this smoking ban nonsense and get back to listening to people who actually have some idea what they are talking about.

Oh wait… we made them all redundant, years ago.

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45 thoughts on “Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’, keep them dog-ends rolling…

  1. Pingback: Rollin' rollin' rollin', keep them dog-ends rol...

  2. Frankie Laine: what a guy. Great songs. Not sure which is my favourite. He sang the theme tune to ‘Blazing Saddles’ which I think is one of his best, albeit a decade or two past his glory days.

    I had always assumed that readies weren’t safer than tailors because they had no filter. Isn’t that supposed to be the point of a filter? Or are you sucking in bits of filter, making them problematic?

    And one more thing while I’m here. Why all the additives? Why haven’t the EU/WHO banned them as they care soooo much about our health (hahahahaha)? I thought the additives in readies constituted a vast proportion of the tobacco – much more than in RYO. Of course, there are several additive free rolling baccies on the market.

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    • Why all the additives ?

      Because tobacco was rendered tasteless by previous anti-tobacco meddling and they had to put some sort of flavour back to sell it at all.

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    • Sucking in bits of filter was certainly problematic with “Kent” fags in the 1950’s. For a period they had filters made of crocidolite (blue asbestos – the nastiest one) and were marketed as being safer to smoke. I kid you not!

      Presumably it was well-intentioned as crocidolite is very good at absorbing various toxins – I may be wrong but seem to remember it was one of the filter materials in WW2 gas masks. Plus the “miracle material” status asbestos held at the time would have been something of a brand selling point. In fact even earlier, maybe in the ’30s, “Radium” brand cigarettes were sold when radioactivity was all the rage, although this could well have just been a brand name rather than indication of content.

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      • A thought has just occurred… does anybody know the relative timing of the introduction of the Kent crocidolite filters and the publication of the Doll and Hill Doctors’ Study?

        Could this be an early case of dangerous unintended consequences?

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        • There were Crocidolite filters in British WW2 military gas masks

          “Boots produced gas masks between 1939 and 1945 at two sites in Nottingham. The women packed asbestos filters into the masks and stitched these in place.

          They produced civilian and military masks. The military units used blue asbestos, a good defence against a potent arsenic gas called Blue Cross. Blue asbestos, or crocidolite, is many times more dangerous than the white form.”
          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/women-to-sue-over-asbestos-illnesses-wartime-factory-workers-seek-compensation-for-pain-and-suffering-after-exposure-to-risk-during-assembly-of-gas-masks-susan-watts-reports-1413830.html

          Crocidolite asbestos fibers in smoke from original Kent cigarettes.

          The original version of the Kent Micronite cigarette filter used crocidolite, a form of asbestos, from 1952 until at least mid-1956. Cigarettes from intact, unopened packs of the brand from this period were examined. One filter contained approximately 10 mg of crocidolite.”
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7757969

          But where they sold in Britain at the time?

          London Hospitals study was published in 1950

          “The British Doctors Study is the generally accepted name of a prospective cohort study which ran from 1951 to 2001, and in 1956 provided convincing statistical proof that tobacco smoking increased the risk of lung cancer.”

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          • Well, it is true that Doll was involved in research for the asbestos industry aimed at falsifying any link to lung problems, so who knows? It’s possible this could have been part of an attempt to shift blame to smoking but I’m not so sure. It appears Lorrilard (the manufacturers of Kent) made the decision to use asbestos off their own back. No company, not even “evil” tobacco, is likely to set out to intentionally kill its customers or invite future law-suits.

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      • “For a period they had filters made of crocidolite (blue asbestos – the nastiest one) and were marketed as being safer to smoke.” Actually, I believe the American Medical Assn may have come out in 1953 (?) with some sort of statement recommending the safety of Kents. Whatever reference I had for that came from a LONGGG time ago though (pre-1980s), so I have no idea how accurate it was.

        – MJM

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  3. I thought there were less additives in rollies which is one of the reasons you constantly have to relight them. You can buy filters for them if you want, but I am much too mean.

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  4. I’ve been smoking Golden Virginia since about 1965, apart from periods when I’ve lived in countries where it wasn’t available. I’ve always found that tailor-mades taste, well, a bit chemical, although I did smoke Camel plain (up to 5 packs a day…) for a few years when I was in Australia in the 70s, and I quite liked those. I’ve tried using filters in my rollies, but just didn’t get on with them – I’ve still got the nearly full pack on the shelf next to me, where it’s been for the past 8 years.

    I’m sure they do use flavourings in rolling tobacco, and probably other additives to keep it fresh and aid in the manufacturing / curing process etc, but 18%? I think not.That is stretching credulity to breaking point. And if those additives are so lethal, then I must have the constitution of a bull elephant, since I will have smoked quite literally tons of the stuff over the past four or five decades, and I’m still quite alarmingly healthy.

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  5. At one time Rollys were frowned upon as a “Dockers fag” or something the window cleaner would smoke.

    This perception appears to have gone by the board.

    I have seen Bank managers, military officers, and even “Lords and ladies” smoking them these days, without a bat of an eye-lid.

    Surely it can not ALL be bacause of price?

    Maybe it is just BETTER(?)

    (Except on a motorbike! Try rolling a fag doing 90 up the M6 in a hale storm. (Tebay services YOU BASTARD!))

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    • Our milkman of old, when I was a kid, bucked the trend somewhat and smoked cigars! Big fat ones too.

      I never enjoyed him coming round for his money on cold Friday nights: while he stood there chatting the inrush of icy wind would fill the house with the smell of cigars which I absolutely hated. Strange, considering that the bloke next door smoked a pipe in the garden and I would go outside on purpose when he did because I loved the smell.

      To this day I love the smell of pipes. Cigarettes are fine too but for some reason cigars still don’t appeal. Not that I’d be particularly bothered if someone smoked one nearby, but certainly not something I’d want to smoke myself.

      It’s quite interesting how the same leaves can produce three smells so distinct that, to me at least, they seem like totally different materials. Certainly highlights the craftsmanship involved in drying, curing, rolling and even method of smoking to attain the desired smoke.

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        • I love the smell of a pipe and cigars. I used to smoke a pipe many years ago and my missus of the time used to hate it. I’d go to an old fashioned tobacconists which sold my favourite brand of tobacco, ‘Newport Cherry’- absolute heaven. Very occasionally I’ll enjoy a good quality cigar with my son. So bloody expensive though.

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  6. ‘Experts have Said’…’Studies have Shown.’ You forgot ‘Research Suggests’ and ‘Scientists Say.’
    Roughly translated: ‘The Grant money’s running out!’

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  7. At the risk of upsetting all the roll-upers here, I have to say I have noticed that more and more people now roll what we would have called ‘prison rollies’ back in the day. Trying to roll something with the diameter of a matchstick they then add insult to injury by trying to roll a ‘slim’ filter in with it. The result looks stupid…a drooping white (or more often than not these days ‘see thu’) cocktail of paper around a single strand of Cutters Crap.

    I’m not surprised Nisaki couldn’t ‘get on’ with filters. People seemly don’t know how to roll a cigarette these impoverished days. A ROLL UP SHOULD BE THE SAME SIZE AS A ‘PROPER’ CIGARETTE! And thanks to TL4U.me et al there is no reason of economicals for not.

    Firstly forget trying to roll by hand…yes we all can and someone of us even one handed but the human hand will never get the exactness required for a really good smoke. Use a rolling machine and NOT one of those ‘cloth’ ones (ie a piece of silicon plastic between two plastic rollers). They roll too tight and the sheet ‘gives’ producing a sub standard cigarette.

    Use something with metal rollers…the way Granddad did. http://antiguedadesmecanicas.com/2010/10/26/familia-concinnum/ (RYO Porn !)

    Use a packet of card tips/roaches http://www.multihigh.com/images/large/raw%20tips%20internet_LRG.jpg, roll one around a pen first and put it in the rolling machine with the tobacco. Roll with a proper cigarette weight paper https://tinyurl.com/o4bbo9p
    not those durex-thin rice sheety things. When you have produced your perfect cigarette then ‘screw’ into the roached tubed end a standard sized filter and you have something you can be proud to be seen smoking and once you roll this way then you will never go back to rolling ‘jewboys’ (as we also used to call ‘prison’ rollies).

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      • Actually I blame the 3-Rizla-long brigade for ruining the art of handmaking cigs! Durex thin papers, XXL Rizlas and ‘mats’ are all inventions of the Devil. Pick up a packet of “PAY PAY” papers (the original 200 year old papers) sometime and you’ll see what I mean. You can write a shopping list on them! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay-Pay

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    • Now THATS a roll up! A roll up that is really a hand made cigarette, a cigarette you can offer to straight smoking guests and display with pride in a cigarette case. It will smoke evenly and burn evenly down to the filter and won’t get soaked with saliva.

      Try it and see…and you’ll realise why antique metal cigarette rolling machines cost a fortune on ebay! https://tinyurl.com/nnb7bmb

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      • You will be pleased to know that my roll ups are the same diameter as a standard cigarette, complete with filters and made with a rolling machine.

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        • Rose, yes that does please me (ROLL UP FASCIST that I am) to hear but it doesn’t excuse your penchant for mutants-thats just Nekulturny! Oh well at least you show good taste in your smokes. BTW try the tip of rolling a roach paper tube in first THEN inserting a filter, makes a much much better smoke…a smoke you can tap on the dashboard ashtray and it won’t get rollers droop.
          Here http://i59.tinypic.com/2w2ohoh.jpg a pic of the butt end of one of my not-so-successful ‘Tigerente’ cigs to demonstrate what I mean about inserting a filter AFTER rolling not rolling with.

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            • But I bet you still get a ‘ring of confidence’ between the end of the tobacco and the start of the filter- I mean that inward fold/indentation when you draw? By using a roach paper tube that is longer than the filter you put in, you avoid that tell-tale sign of a rollie-that ‘waistline’ between tobacco and filter- cos the tobacco fills the very top of the tubed roach. …very much like in a factory made ciggy.

              The roach paper tube is also good on it’s own without a filter inserted. Tends to keep the bits out of one’s mouth and also stops wetting. When I roll without a filter then I tend to roll a really long roach in and have a russian style smoke http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/x/russian-cigarette-14522698.jpg where you double pinch the tube to keep the baccy from going into your mouth.

              …oh and why would anyone want to ruin a perfectly good cig with THC. Use a bong for F**KS sake or some of that herbal tobacco muck!

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                • ““A” level Craft, Design and Practice, gave me transferable skills. : )”

                  Ahhh yes now I understand. “A” levels…back when “A” stood for “Advanced” and not “Average” nor yet “Averageish-but don’t worry dear cos you still totally ROCK as a person”.

                  “Wilston Church ‘ill ‘e woz like the King Of England in the first world war like[sic]” or ” Wotz IRA?” both from an A level History student of my son’s acquaintance.

                  * switches saddles from his high horse called ‘Cigarette Making’ to his even higher horse ‘Education-Education-Education’ and rides off into the sunset to tilt at some Wind turbines…innit*

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                  • If that’s the state of play, I do sympathise.
                    It didn’t occur to me at the time, but I have reason to be grateful for the wonderful education I had, until now I had not realised how well it had prepared me for the fray.

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        • Mine too, when I moved house I couldn’t get Sharrow standard filter in the shops but get them on eBay now. I only use cigarettes if I am going out in the hope I might be able to smoke somewhere! But much prefer tobacco now.

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    • Firstly forget trying to roll by hand…yes we all can and someone of us even one handed but the human hand will never get the exactness required for a really good smoke

      I would beg to differ, BD. Having been rolling cigarettes by hand for nearly fifty years, I can roll one to any thickness I desire and as even and exact as if it had been rolled by machine. It will burn down perfectly evenly, too. By choice, I don’t roll them as thick as tailor-mades, because I don’t like them as fat as that. I also use Dutch Rizla Blues, which are very fine paper (thinner than English Rizla Blue) because I prefer smoking tobacco to paper, although I draw the line at Rizla Silver, which are just too thin. I hate thick papers – they make the cigarette taste foul and, I suspect, contain saltpeter to make them burn more readily.

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  8. As usual, not getting the full story,

    ‘Any notion that loose tobacco is more “natural” is severely undermined by evidence that the concentration of additives is higher in loose tobacco, at about 18% of dry weight, compared with 0.5% for factory made cigarettes (for British American Tobacco products), as calculated using legally mandated data from tobacco companies operating in New Zealand.

    Some of these additives, including sweeteners such as honey, sugar, dextrose, and sorbitol, often at much higher concentrations than in factory made cigarettes, potentially make the product more acceptable to children. The high concentration of other additives would probably surprise RYO cigarette smokers. For example, RYO tobacco in New Zealand is up to 7.5% propylene glycol by dry weight. Among the 139 individual additives listed for loose tobacco are the less than wholesome sounding trans-benzaldehyde, ethyl butyrate, and phenylcarbinol.’

    http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.f7616

    Propylene glycol is used in e cigs
    Ethyl_butyrate – natural fruit juice flavouring
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethyl_butyrate

    Doesn’t mention Dihydrogen monoxide.

    ‘Generally, hand-rolling tobacco, pipe tobacco, cigars and chewing tobacco products do not include any non-tobacco components, although some cigars and filter cigarillos can include filter material, tipping paper (including inks) and adhesives. Smokeless snus tobacco is contained in a pouch.,

    http://www.bat-ingredients.com/servlet/PageMerge?mainurl=%2Fgroupms%2Fsites%2FBAT_6X3ENK%2Ensf%2FvwPagesWebLive%2FDO6X3GFE%3Fopendocument%26amp%3BSKN%3D1

    ‘Although ingredients in some types of cigarettes include sugars, cocoa and fruit extracts, they do not create a sweet, chocolate-like or fruity taste in the smoke. In short, our cigarettes still taste like cigarettes and not sweets or candy.’

    http://www.bat-ingredients.com/

    Perhaps they’re all liars.

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  9. Rollies AREN’T safer than other cigarettes – they’re ‘at least as hazardous’ as any other type, doctor warns

    That rollies are more natural and healthier than other cigarettes is a myth

    That bit is easy, as you have to buy your tobacco from memory now that the displays are covered up, you are also supposed to forget why you chose that brand in the first place, so that only anti-tobacco statements remain.

    From the new Tobacco Products Directive.

    “A ban of any misleading labelling (such as “natural” or “organic”).
    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_PRES-13-284_en.htm

    Though how such a statement can be misleading if a brand truly is natural and organic, could only be explained through the convoluted reasoning of anti-tobacco.

    Clive Bates and co. explain why there are any additives in cigarettes at all. – 1999

    “Prior to 1970, the use of additives in tobacco products was prohibited without special permission from the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, under Section 176 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1952. This permission was given only within very strict limits and mainly in respect of flavourings in tobacco products other than cigarettes. The prohibition extended to the importation of tobacco products containing additives as well as a ban on the production of cigarettes with additives for export.”

    “The rise of additives in tobacco products is intimately linked with the strategy to reduce tar yields. The amount of tar and nicotine in smoke is measured by a standard smoking machine in which the cigarette is smoked with a fixed puff volume and frequency with tar and nicotine residues collected on a filter and weighed. Governments have insisted on reducing tar levels as measured by this approach, hoping that this would reduce tar exposure to smokers — and therefore lead to reduced harm.

    “The tobacco industry argues that one of the key purposes of additives is to make lower tar cigarettes more palatable. The ISCSH accepts this and notes:
    “Some smokers find existing low and low to middle tar brands unsatisfying, but if those who smoked middle or middle to high tar cigarettes could switch to low tar brands whose acceptability was improved by additives, the dangers of smoking could be reduced.
    The Committee recognises the potential value of using flavouring additives in this way.”
    http: //old.ash.org.uk/html/regulation/html/additives.html

    Now password protected, but the Tobacco Documents rarely let me down.

    Tobacco Additives / Cigarette Engineering and Nicotine Addiction – 1999

    ASH London
    Jul 14, 1999

    Authors –

    Clive Bates Action on Smoking and Health London
    Dr. Martin Jarvis Imperial Cancer Research Fund London Dr. Gregory Connolly Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program Boston

    “In the European union over 600 additives may be used in the manufacture of tobacco products under an extremely loose and de-centralised regulatory framework. Although tobacco additives are generally screened for their direct toxicity, there is virtually no assessment of the impact additives have on smoking behaviour or other undesirable external consequences.”
    http://tobaccodocuments.org/product_design/CgHmNON19990714.Rs.html

    Of course the demand for reduced nicotine and “tar” came from the American scientists at the National Cancer Advisory Board in 1964 , so naturally we followed suit, rendering tobacco tasteless.

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    • If there was 18 percent additives in that tobacco, you could bloody well see it! The figure of 0.5% is believable, that’s where those ’600 chemicals’ are

      Happily, still lurking in a dark corner of the BBC World Service.

      Whats in a cigarette?

      “Brown & Williamson – In 1994 they published a list of 599 additives used in their cigarettes.
      You’ll be surprised how innocuous they sound.”

      Gives the tobacco industry explanation, the Anti tobacco explanation and a chemist’s explanation.

      For example –

      PRO-TOBACCO LOBBY
      “Common food item”

      ANTI-TOBACCO LOBBY
      “Flavour enhancer. Appealing for children”.

      PROF. GORROD
      “Like many of the other substances, honey is put in to produce a particular flavour which is attractive to the customer. People buy cigarettes of a specific brand. They prefer one brand to another, and once they’ve found one they like they will stick with it. Certain additives maintain the consistency of the smoke. They control the pH balance, the rate of burning etc. I don’t believe they are added for any underhand reason. They are there as flavour enhancers”.

      His conclusion
      “One wonders if these health experts whose salary is being paid to protect the public aren’t more interested in scaremongering than research for the truth.

      You can stop people smoking by education, scaremongering isn’t the right way. The general public are intelligent and if you give them the truth they will heed the warnings.

      Stop throwing silly names at them to scare them! It doesn’t work”.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/sci_tech/features/health/tobaccotrial/inacigarette.htm

      The list of additives is huge and complete with explanations, so I suggest you take a copy while it’s still online.
      These are permitted additives but they are not necessarily used.

      “In 1959, The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association of the United States (FEMA) took its initial actions to establish a novel program to assess the safety and “GRAS” (generally recognized as safe) status of flavor ingredients under the authority provided by the 1958 Food Additives Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Federal law governing the regulation of flavors and other food ingredients. ”

      1. ACETANISOLE – FEMA GRASS
      found in beef, cranberry, guava, grape, mango, peppermint; used in frozen dairy products, hard candies.
      2. ACETIC ACID GRAS FEMA GRAS
      found in banana, beer, beef, apple juice, apricot, blue cheese, blueberries; used in condiment relishes.
      3. ACETOIN GRAS FEMA GRAS
      found in apples, butter, yogurt, asparagus, black currants, blackberry, wheat, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cantaloupe; used in baked goods.
      4. ACETOPHENONE; FEMA GRAS
      found in apple, cheese, apricot, banana, beef, cauliflower; used in chewing gum.
      5. 6-ACETOXYDIHYDROTHEASPIRANE – FEMA GRAS
      used in baked goods, instant coffee/tea, snacks, soups, seasonings, meat products.
      6. 2-ACETYL-3-ETHYLPYRAZINE – FEMA GRAS
      found in pork; used in soups.
      7. 2-ACETYL-5-METHYLFURAN – FEMA GRAS
      found in coffee, roasted filbert, tomato juice; used in soups, nut products, snack foods, gravies.

      (Source: Brown and Williamson, 1994)
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/sci_tech/features/health/tobaccotrial/inacigarette599.htm

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  10. I only started off those seedlings to check the viability of the seeds. I decided to let them go because I couldn’t be bothered to keep watering them in the shallow tray with garden soil. I’m going to start again early March using the propagator. The plantlets should be ready to plant out mid-May.

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  11. This post contains personal opinion. Take that and be forewarned.

    Back in the 1980’s, some of the boys were comparing cig brands and it was our opinion that nonUS-made cigs had the habit of going out in the ashtray, whilst US-made cigs would sit in the ashtray and burn to the fag-end. “What’s up wit’ ‘dat?” We were told that it was the lack of a particular additive (yeah, I know. It is of no benefit to the smoker for the cig to burn up in the ashtray, but a cig burnt is a cig that will be replaced. We made cigs.)

    Hand-rolled cigs were what poor people, prison inmates, old cowboys, and my grandfathers smoked. Hell, you saw someone smoking a hand-rolled, you assumed they were smoking pot. That does not mean that I did not have a sneaking admiration for a man who was able to drive a 1961 Chevy pickup at sixty miles per hour while the windows were down and roll a cigarette with one hand, while driving with the other and carrying on a conversation with the kid in the passenger seat (it’s all in the thumb action).

    BTW, regarding filters on cigarettes. What, pray tell, is the filter supposed to do other than keep tiny bits of tobacco from being sucked into your mouth? Seriously, is sucking on a cellulose filter really any healthier than a nonfilter cigarette? How?

    It is going to be a terrible, terrible shock to many healthNazis, but they are going to die, someday, of something. Smoke or not, they’re going to die. I guarantee it, even though I have no part in making it be so.

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  12. What, pray tell, is the filter supposed to do other than keep tiny bits of tobacco from being sucked into your mouth ?

    As far as I’m concerned, precisely that.

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  13. This is almost certainly the the report they refer to:

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/9/194

    One I frisked a while back (section 1 of the essay):

    http://www.tichtich.com/number-of-cigarettes-from-tobacco-pouch.html

    Essentially the findings from NZ are utter s…e.

    Scenario’s this. Cameron has been rogered well and good on kiddies in cars as well as plain packs. Last year Osborne reverted to the 2% escalator and did not go further in their wish to see rolling tobacco taxed the same as it’s smoked. They have adopted the 0.5 gr of tobacco for each roll-up, same as they have in NZ. That means 50 gr of tobacco should cost the same as five packets of manufactured cigarettes (roughly £33 to £40)

    They have very good reason to believe they have the upper hand at the moment. Certainly Younger Miliband does use the whole smoking business to his advantage – and in all fairness – he’s gained serious traction. This is another effort to force their hand.

    Section 5 of my essay covers that issue (though I know I’m preaching to the converted on this blog).

    Budget day is 19 March 2014 and the deadline for submissions is today. 14 February.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/budget-2014-have-your-say

    My opinion is they’ve decided to give this one a go and, being devoid of any worthwhile British studies that serve their purpose (there are many, however they invariably say that with respect to roll-ups it’s like herding goldfish), they’ve reverted to the NZ studies. Those in turn revert to antiquated studies out of Norway and the Netherlands where they used to smoke far stronger shag type tobaccos, many of which have been gelded or completely discontinued.

    So Cameron and Osborne have a choice. Pacify the health lobby, that’s currently flexing its muscle, or keep their fingers crossed that a 20% hike in the cost of rolling tobacco will be forgotten by the paltry 6 to 8% of the UK population that rolls before the May 22nd EU elections.

    At some point it will dawn on someone in the Tory party that the people behind this have a great deal to gain by pushing people down the UKIP route and – if they can keep it up until May 2015 – then Labour will indeed be able to form the next government.

    The only question is whether the Tory mandarins may be able to do so before 19th March.

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  14. I’m surprised no one has mentioned my long time favorite rolling machine: The V-Master. Unfortunately it is no longer made AND… to make things worse… the 14″ long papers for it are also no longer made. It would quickly and efficiently roll a “long” cigarette of standard diameter that would then drop into a slot. There was a lever you would push and the long cigarette would be chopped up into either four king size or five standard sized cigarettes that were indistinquishable from commercial ones. They even had an arrangement for adding filters, although it made the process more fussy and took up time.

    – MJM

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    • If you go to ebay and enter

      v-master cigarette

      you’ll see several of the long rollers on sale. They’re all the really old original ones though: made out of metal. I had two versions of a newer, plastic variety that had the drop through chop-em slot and preferred them. Unfortunately they had a weaknesss: a tendency for the plastic to break at one particular pressure point during the rolling process. I repaired them a few times, but then, with the difficulty of obtaining proper papers, eventually moved over to the little single-cig machines: they’re slower, but decent ones *will* roll a nice smoke.

      – MJM

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  15. To avoid ALL the additives, buy pure leaf and shred it yourself. There’s no tax on leaf, as it’s classed as an agricultural product, so it’s approx 1/8th as expensive as shop tobacco. The tax is supposed to be paid when it’s shredded, but that’s up to you!

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