Guide to Rolling Your Own Cigarettes

Man holding cigarette in mouth

People across the world have been consuming tobacco, through one technique or another, for thousands of years. Early tobacco consumption can be traced as far back as 5000 BC, with links to shamanistic rituals and ceremonies. Although the construction of a cigarette has changed fairly little over that time, production methods and technology has advanced beyond expectation, allowing us to combine an authentic experience with the finest tobacco.

Rolling a cigarette can be something of a fine art, and can take some practise to do so. Therefore, in this article, we’ll be looking at a step by step process of rolling a great cigarette.


Firstly, you’ll want to ensure you have all the necessary parts of the cigarette. These are:

  • Tobacco: This should be loose leaf tobacco that can be bought from most supermarkets, corner stores, or if you’re looking for something a little more specialist, us here at Havana House. You could try using pipe tobacco, although this can be longer and wetter; therefore, a smaller amount is required.
  • Papers: Rizla is often the go-to brand for smokers in the UK as the papers. They are affordable, of good quality and come in various sizes and thicknesses.
  • Filter: These are designed to minimise harmful chemicals being drawn into your lungs and to stop any tobacco from falling into your mouth. They can also add a flavour to your smoke, with menthol being the most popular.
Person holding cigarette on steering wheel

Preparing the Cigarette

Preparing the cigarette is important as it will dictate how good the smoke is at the end of it. First, you’ll need to measure out your tobacco and start to mould it into a basic cigarette shape. We’d suggest choosing a decent and level rolling surface if you’re just starting out. Something like a table or small chopping board will be perfect, ensuring that the colour doesn’t match that of the tobacco. Make sure that the tobacco isn’t too tightly packed together either, as this could affect the rate at which it burns.

Once you have your designed shape and length, grab your paper and rest one end between your thumb and middle finger, allowing your index finger to push on the top and your ring finger on the bottom to create a chute. Once you have this shape, ensuring that it is stable, begin to add tobacco evenly into the paper. When you’re first starting out, it’s worth experimenting with different amounts and the density of the tobacco to see which is your preferred style and taste. More tobacco will mean it could be harder to seal when it comes to rolling.

Cigarette smoking in the bath

Rolling The Cigarette

From where your thumb has been positioned, use this space to create room for your filter. Drop this into the end and start to roll the open chute between your fingers to create the desired size of the cigarette. You should then be able to align the edge of the paper with the top of the tobacco and fold the edge over the top to tuck it in behind the tobacco. Once you have tucked the paper in, begin to roll the cigarette between your thumb and index finger, maintaining even pressure as you roll. At the end of the paper, there is an adhesive section which can be activated by licking from one side to the other. Once you have done this, you will be able to seal the cigarette.

If you choose to use a cigarette rolling machine, then your method will be slightly different. Cigarette machines work by packing tobacco into the crease, closing the fold over and rolling the tobacco into a cigarette shape. After this, you feed in a paper to the gap between the rollers, licking the adhesive before it goes in, and continue to roll until the tobacco is enclosed in the paper. When using this method, ensure to insert a filter with the tobacco before rolling.

No matter how you choose to roll your cigarettes, make sure you choose the best tobacco. We have an excellent range of hand-rolling tobacco online, which can be seen in our store here! You can also check out our blog for more information on smoking and other hobbies.

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