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Not all cigarettes are the same. Smokers prefer many different tastes and British American Tobacco companies aim for excellence in every step of manufacturing.


Cigarette design is more complicated than it may seem. We work to understand the preferences of adult consumers and to design cigarettes accordingly.  It is the preferences of adult consumers that guide tobacco blends - the mix of tobaccos used - and we work to ensure that these grades of tobacco are always available to keep the tastes of our products consistent. The filter, paper and level of filter ventilation are all chosen to affect the sensory strength and smoke yield (the amount of smoke produced) from the cigarette when tested by a standardised cigarette machine. At each stage, there is constant quality control and testing.

Main parts of a cigarette

Diagram of a cigarette

Cigarettes have four basic components:

  1. The tobacco rod
  2. The cigarette paper
  3. The tipping paper
  4. The filter


The tobacco rod includes tobacco lamina (the flat part of the tobacco leaf) and tobacco stem (midribs of the leaf).

The cigarette paper includes paper and adhesive.

The filter is made mainly from cellulose acetate fibres, known as tow. Cellulose acetate is derived from wood pulp. The fibres are bonded together with a hardening agent, triacetin plasticiser, which helps the filter to keep its shape. The filter is wrapped in paper and sealed with a line of adhesive. Charcoal is sometimes added to filters.

The tipping paper includes paper and adhesive.

Design adjustments achieve different strengths and tastes, and can reduce smoke yields, as measured by a standardised machine method.

Visit our British American Tobacco Group website  to learn more.