Types of cigarette filters

Written by nikki fiedler
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Types of cigarette filters
Shop-bought cigarettes have a filter on one side of the cigarette end. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Boris Aivaz invented the first pre-rolled cigarette in 1925. Because of lack of machinery before the 1930s, cigarette filters were not available until the mid 1930s. If you smoke cigarettes, you can smoke with or without a filter. Most prepackaged, shop-bought cigarettes have some type of filter made from fibre, glue and chemical additives. One of the main purposes of filters is to reduce the harmful toxins that you inhale while smoking, but there's no evidence that they work, according to Cancer Research UK.

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Light filters

The light filter is made up of typical filter parts such as glue, fibre and chemical additives to make tobacco taste better and to allow for nicotine to be absorbed faster. This filter is packed and woven very loosely to allow more of the tobacco flavour and smoke through during inhalation.

King filters

A king filter is packed very tightly to enable the cigarette to burn slower and to make the cigarette last longer. It is not intended to reduce the cigarette smoke and flavour but rather to enhance it and to provide a rich, full-flavoured experience for the smoker.

Menthol filters

Menthol filters have white pieces of fibrous cork that have been woven into a soft material. These filters contain a non-tobacco additive called menthol. Menthol has a minty flavour. Besides menthol filters, there are also clove, cherry, chocolate, orange mint, mango and blueberry filters on the market. If you roll your own cigarettes, you can choose flavoured rolling paper as well.

Plastic filters

Plastic cigarette filters are less common in cigarettes. These cigarettes have a long plastic-tipped filter on one end that also doubles as a cigarette holder. Typically, these types of cigarettes were commonly seen in classic old films about the war years. The plastic filter reduces the amount of smoke that can be inhaled and it also requires deeper and stronger inhalations to create enough smoke to inhale. This inhalation process causes most of the cigarette to burn down prior to the person being able to smoke its entirety.

DIY filters

If you roll your own cigarettes with loose-leaf tobacco and rolling paper, you can buy store-bought packs of filters or you can make your own. You can buy pads of filter paper cards in strips or you can just use any plain paper card such as bus or train tickets or even business cards. To make a homemade cigarette filter, you will tear or cut a 5 by 1 cm strip to be your filter and place it at one end of the rolling paper.

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