A cigarette ( French cigarette , diminutive of " cigar ") is a smokable tobacco product made from the fermented , dried and finely chopped leaves of the tobacco plant, which are stuffed, twisted, folded or rolled into paper. Tobacco smoke is used as an intoxicant and was particularly widespread in the 20th century. In the meantime, cigarette consumption in western countries has fallen sharply due to various measures to curb smoking. The reason for these measures is mainly the carcinogenic Effect of tobacco smoke.
Central American Indians smoked tobacco wrapped in corn paper and brought it to Europe by the Spanish colonizers in the mid-16th century. Tobacco smoking was introduced in England in 1586 and spread across Europe via Holland. Otherwise, tobacco was mainly snorted .
Cigarettes were first made from tobacco scraps in cigar factories in France and southern Spain around 1850 . These were collected and wrapped in paper and initially smoked mainly by the workers in the factories, as they were much cheaper than cigars.
In Germany the cigarette was unknown until the middle of the 19th century. Joseph Huppmann (1814–1897) introduced them from St. Petersburg. He ran a cigarette factory there from 1852 and set up a branch in Dresden in 1861 under the name "Laferme" with a tobacco cutter and six workers. In this branch Georg Anton Jasmatzi was given a position as technical works manager in 1868, before he later went into business for himself and founded his own cigarette factory .
The first independent German cigarette factory ( Orientalische Tabak- und Cigarettefabrik Yenidze ) was opened in Dresden in 1862 , the first in Austria in 1865. In 1854, the "Maschinenfabrik Wilhelm Quester" was founded in Cologne-Sülz , the first company to manufacture processing machines for cutting , Drying and roasting of tobacco.
After the First World War, the large tobacco companies known today were formed. In Germany, handcraft production was predominant in small and medium-sized businesses until the middle of the 20th century, while machine production was more widespread in the United States.
In 1934 the first filter cigarette in the world was manufactured in the Greiling cigarette factory in Dresden.
Most finished cigarettes nowadays have the size or the format king size with a length of 83 mm. There are also cigarettes in the Super King Size format , they are 99 mm long. Filterless cigarettes, so-called rod cigarettes, are mostly shorter than “king size”. On the German market, f6 cigarettes are an exception, as they still have short filters.
The share of cigarette consumption in total tobacco consumption rose from 13% to 73% between 1912 and 1954. In 1913, 15 billion cigarettes were smoked in the United States. In 1940 it was 170 billion and in 1953 400 billion.
In 2016, the People's Republic of China, with 2.3 trillion cigarettes smoked, was responsible for 42% of the world's 5.8 trillion cigarette consumption. Per capita cigarette consumption was particularly high in some Arab and Eastern European countries. Belarus had the world's highest per capita cigarette consumption in 2016. Here, for every person over the age of 15, there was an average annual consumption of approx. 2900 cigarettes.
The production of a cigarette in a cigarette factory is roughly divided into two areas:
- Tobacco processing (primary),
- Cigarette production, filter production (secondary).
In addition to these areas, in which the individual components of a cigarette are manufactured and brought together, there are other areas for the storage of raw materials and finished goods as well as a material warehouse.
The cigarette industry in Germany employs over 10,000 people and in 2012 generated sales of 20.1 billion euros.
The production of cigarettes by hand (colloquially: rolling) is also not insignificant. For this purpose, fine-cut tobacco is loosely rolled into cigarette paper. This can be done either with just the hands or, if the manual dexterity is insufficient, with simple cigarette rolling machines. The mostly gummed cigarette paper is finally moistened with saliva and glued. Another variant is the use of cigarette tamping machines , with which the same quality can be achieved as with bought filter cigarettes.
After a massive increase in tobacco tax in the 1990s, tobacco producers in Germany switched the range of fine-cut tobacco from 50-gram to 40-gram packs. Since 2006, more and more 35-gram packs have been offered instead of 40-gram packs.
Tobacco, which can be purchased as no-name product in supermarkets and from some tobacco shops and which are usually around a fifth cheaper than branded tobacco, now has a high market share .
Varieties and brands
Finished cigarettes are available in different "strength grades", which differ primarily in their nicotine content. Since January 1, 2004, the smoke from a cigarette may contain a maximum of 1.0 mg of nicotine according to standard measurements according to EC regulations. Cigarettes with a value of 0.8 mg or more are labeled by the producers with names such as “Full Flavor”. For cigarettes with a lower nicotine content, there is a more extensive nomenclature of strength categories, but in many countries these names are no longer allowed to be used for marketing purposes (among other things, this has been in force in the EU since 2003 according to EC Directive 2001/37 / EC :) Medium (approx , 7 mg), light or mild (approx. 0.4–0.6 mg) and super or ultralight (0.4 mg and less).
The ban on adding additions such as “medium”, “light” or “mild” to the names of cigarette brands is justified by the fact that these expressions could be interpreted by consumers as an indication of a reduced health risk. As a result, the cigarette manufacturers renamed their respective variants in a non-uniform way: Instead of full flavor it is sometimes called “red”, instead of light often “blue”, “silver” or “gentle flavor” and instead of superlight “one” or “number one” ". The trend is evidently more and more towards blurring the old starch categories, as the consumer can only differentiate them using nicotine values, which in addition are no longer allowed to be printed on the packs in the EU, as they could lead to the assumption that certain cigarettes are less harmful than others. There are also variants of individual varieties that are "full flavor" in the sense of "full taste" (or at least are advertised as such), but have lower nicotine levels.
Since nicotine is the main addictive ingredient in cigarette smoke, the nicotine content remains the most important differentiator. It has been proven that the amount of nicotine actually arriving at the consumer is decisively influenced by smoking behavior: For example, smokers tend to inhale more deeply with cigarettes whose smoke contains smaller amounts of nicotine and tar in order to be able to absorb more nicotine. In addition, after smoking such a cigarette, smokers often still feel the "need" for nicotine, which is why the desire for another cigarette remains. Accumulations of ammonia and urea also increase the pH value of the smoke, which supposedly means that the lungs should absorb significantly more nicotine. However, a study from autumn 2011 refuted this assumption. Thanks to a compensatory smoking behavior, the nicotine content actually consumed can correspond to that of conventional brand name cigarettes, even with so-called "light" cigarettes. The risk of addiction emanating from these cigarettes is therefore just as high.
Occasionally the variants differ in the aromas added to the cigarettes; Menthol cigarettes in particular should be considered here, but also specialties such as vanilla or clove cigarettes (Kretek). The additives used to flavor the tobacco are not subject to declaration and are usually not published by the manufacturers. They fundamentally shape the flavor typical of the variety and at the same time help to make it easier to inhale cigarette smoke. The cigarette is becoming a more easily consumable product, which is particularly aimed at younger consumers.
By far the largest share of the market today is enjoyed by cigarettes made from blends of light tobacco, for example the so-called American blend, a blend of 60% Virginia, 30% Burley and 10% Oriental tobacco. Cigarettes made from black tobacco are of less and less importance in the market.
As a rule, cigarettes are offered with filters, less often without them. The filter of a cigarette is made of cellulose acetate, a substance with a fibrous structure. This cigarette filter causes a partial mechanical retention of particles and alkaloids (for example nicotine) from the tobacco smoke. In addition, the mouthpiece can contain an activated carbon filter and / or be sweetened to refine the taste.
The usual length of a cigarette is 74-85 mm, which manufacturers also market under the name “King Size”. There are also excess lengths (100 mm, 120 mm), but also shorter 70 mm cigarettes. The latter can still be found frequently in Eastern Europe and North Africa, for example.
In addition to the (more common) round shape of the cross-section, there are also oval cigarettes, which are thus arranged somewhat differently in the pack.
Due to lower taxation, the market for non-finished cigarettes is of particular importance in Germany - and the trend is rising. First and foremost, this includes the classic rolling tobacco, i.e. fine cut , which is only processed into cigarettes by the consumer with the help of separately purchased cigarette paper and possibly rotary filters. For a short time so-called tobacco sticks (pre-portioned fine cut) were offered as a further variant. Although these already had a paper cover, they were not smokable and had to be manually inserted into a cigarette cover. After a ruling by the European Court of Justice on November 10, 2005, the so-called tobacco sticks had to be taxed like finished cigarettes and then disappeared from the market again.
Also for reasons of lower tax and thus lower price and given the profit margin of the retailer of around four percent for cigarettes are available in Germany for some years, cigarette large to buy filter cigarillos, which can be smoke like cigarettes.
Numerous substances are added to natural tobacco during cigarette manufacture. The tobacco content in an average cigarette is 700 mg. The cigarette paper also contains chemicals. Many of the substances found in tobacco smoke are produced by the combustion process.
Substances added to tobacco
Many substances are added to tobacco in order to increase the absorption of nicotine and its effects in the body and thus increase the potential for addiction . Some substances have the property of making tobacco smoke tolerable even for children.
According to the tobacco companies, many additives are used to improve taste, to keep moist, to preserve, for better combustion and to bind components. In Germany, the Tobacco Ordinance regulates which substances may and may not be added to a cigarette or tobacco product.
- From ammonium chloride (containing ammonium or other compounds) has been claimed, they would nicotine deprotonate and thus make it more readily available for the nervous system. This claim was scientifically examined by the Dutch RIVM ( Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu - National Institute for Public Health and Environment): Two brands of cigarettes with significantly different ammonium levels in tobacco were compared (brand 1 contained 0.89 mg ammonium / g tobacco and brand 2 3, 43 mg ammonium / g tobacco), but the same nicotine content in the smoke. 51 study participants each smoked one of the cigarettes (mark 1 in the morning and mark 2 in the afternoon). Both brands had to be smoked according to an identical puff protocol. The individual train volumes were determined for each participant. After smoking, nicotine uptake and nicotine excretion in the blood were measured. No differences in nicotine intake were found between the two brands of cigarettes. The ammonium content in tobacco therefore has no influence on nicotine intake. In Germany, ammonium chloride is only approved for snuff and chewing tobacco, but not for tobacco for smoking.
- Sugar caramelises together with the ammonia, creating a soft taste; During sugar pyrolysis , acetaldehyde is produced, which as an MAO inhibitor inhibits the breakdown of adrenaline , dopamine and serotonin and thus increases the addictive potential of the cigarette.
- Menthol and cloves reduce the sensation of irritation and pain in the respiratory tract, so that the smoke can be inhaled more deeply and with less pain.
- Humectants such as glycerin , propylene glycol , triethylene glycol and 1,3-butylene glycol
- Shellac as an adhesive
- Tea and tea-like products
- Cocoa and cocoa products are said to make the smoke milder
Ingredients of tobacco smoke
The smoke of an (average) cigarette contains up to 12,000 different substances, including in the gas phase (the information on the content of cigarette smoke relates to machine smoking in accordance with the DIN / ISO standard):
|Carbon monoxide||14-23 mg|
|Nitric oxide||100-600 µg|
|Prussic acid||400-500 µg|
|Aliphatic amines||3-10 µg|
In the particle phase are u. a. the following connections can be detected:
|Non-volatile hydrocarbons||300-400 µg|
|Naphthalene derivatives||3-6 µg|
|Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons||0.1-0.25 µg|
Other substances that could be detected in tobacco smoke are:
A cigarette filter is intended to reduce the proportion of harmful substances such as condensate and gases in the smoke of the cigarette. In addition, the filter makes the smoke a little milder, which is why some smokers remove or shorten it for a more intense taste. In a classic filter cigarette, the filter is encased in a cork-colored mouthpiece so that the brown color of the filter cannot be seen. White mouthpieces are also used for some cigarette brands that are primarily aimed at female target groups. Most industrially manufactured cigarettes are fitted with a filter. Do-it-yourselfers can buy filters in tobacco shops.
The basic material for the production of cigarette filters is cellulose (obtained from wood). It is converted into cellulose acetate in a chemical process . The cellulose acetate flakes are dissolved in acetone and spun into long threads from a spinning solution. The diameter of the fibers is 30–50 µm. A large number of threads are brought together to form an endless belt. Adhesion with triacetin takes place at certain points in order to maintain gas permeability. The filter retains particles up to a diameter of less than 0.2 µm.
Easily by modifying the filter
In many light cigarettes, the filter is provided with tiny holes. This is intended to dilute the smoke with air so that it contains less tar and nicotine. This is actually the case when the cigarette is inserted into a smoke meter. But if the smoker covers a large part of the holes when inhaling, the inhaled smoke contains a multiple of the concentrations of tar and nicotine indicated on the box as well as the remaining combustion products. This fact became known as early as 1969 through the so-called “lip study” by the tobacco company Philip Morris, but the terms “light” and “mild” were only banned by the EC from 2003 onwards. The EU Tobacco Directive 2014 finally led to a complete ban on the affixing of these inconclusive values on the box. Almost 100% of all smokers of supposedly “light” cigarettes compensate for the measures that are supposed to lead to a reduction in the absorption of pollutants through their smoking behavior. This includes smoking more, inhaling deeper or covering the holes in the filter with lips and / or fingers.
Such “light” cigarettes often even contain stronger tobacco than “normal” cigarettes, and the filter construction should then filter out some of the pollutants. On the other hand, one can argue that, from this point of view, the EU ban on cigarettes containing more than 10 mg of tar contradicts the effects mentioned here.
Easily by modifying the tobacco
The results of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2015 indicate that cigarettes that actually contained weaker tobacco with significantly less nicotine instead of modifications to the filter were able to significantly reduce the craving for nicotine and tobacco in the test subjects. The researchers want to carry out further studies in the area of heavily nicotine-reduced cigarettes in order to be able to recommend them to governments as an effective measure for reducing tobacco consumption.
When inhaling, the finest fibers are transported into the lungs, which increase the number of substances inhaled. At the same time, the greater resistance when sucking leads to a longer suction phase and thus to a deeper inhalation than with filterless cigarettes. It is therefore controversial whether filter cigarettes are less harmful than filterless cigarettes.
Smoking cigarettes can lead to very serious health problems and reduces the average life expectancy. According to the findings of the WHO , the European Union and many health authorities, smoking tobacco products can be identified as a certain cause of lung cancer , larynx , mouth and trachea cancer . Smoking can also lead to infertility and increases the risk of heart attacks , especially in men . In women, smoking during pregnancy is associated with risks for the unborn child and increases the risk of stillbirths . Around one in four smokers dies as a result of their addiction; that is around 110,000 people in Germany every year. Unpleasant side effects are also the premature aging of the skin, bad breath and a reduced sense of smell .
Although the alkaloid nicotine has little addictive potential, it triggers a strong dependence in connection with other components of tobacco smoke . Nicotine can be detected in the body for a maximum of three days. Nicotine replacement therapies have proven unsuccessful. The psychological dependency due to the social behavior shaped by smoking is very important .
Another often underestimated danger comes from the fine dust particles in the smoke. The particles are respirable and together with the other pollutants are deposited in the lungs. Most cigarettes also have a low level of radiation exposure, as the tobacco plants required for production are contaminated with the radioactive decay product polonium .
Cheap cigarettes from contraband or e-commerce are particularly risky. In these, the pesticide exposure can be up to 200 times higher than the permissible limit values, which increases the risk of cancer and kidney damage.
Consumption of cigarettes
Cigarettes or cigarette butts that are consumed by small children in particular pose an additional risk .
Fire hazard from cigarettes
According to the European Commission , most fatal fires in Europe are caused by unsupervised burning cigarettes. Since November 17, 2011, this risk is to be contained by a safety barrier, the so-called RIP or LIP process (for Reduced Ignition Propensity or Lower Ignition Propensity). To this end, the Commission has published safety regulations in the Official Journal of the European Union which reduce the flammability of cigarettes. This is achieved by reinforcing the cigarette paper with rings in two places. Here less oxygen comes through the paper, so that the embers go out if the smoker doesn't pull on the cigarette. There are also special embers to put out the cigarette. This procedure already exists in several countries outside of Europe, such as the USA, Canada and Australia.
Air currents from outside also fuel cigarette burns. Nevertheless, it is a widespread bad habit to let cigarette ashes slip off the airstream and to throw smoldering cigarettes (leftovers) out of motor vehicles. Ash is swirled around in the air and ends up in the unprotected eyes of cyclists. Tschickstummel or the embers alone sometimes end up on flammable parts of the following vehicles: in soundproofing in the engine compartment, through open vehicle windows on seats, carpets or clothing, as well as on loading areas - due to turbulence even on not sufficiently densely planned. Railway wagon windows are mostly closed permanently today. Burning cigarettes are also thrown out of house windows or on the street by non-motorized people; they sometimes fall into the basement through cellar windows that are not glazed or are sufficiently finely barred.
Disposal of cigarettes and embers
Fires in trash cans and especially waste paper containers are common. Taking this into account, metal trash cans with a wide funnel-shaped ring have been customary since around 1980, which, in the event of rubbish igniting, hinder the rise of the fire gases and thus the supply of fresh air to such an extent that there is a high probability that the fire will suffocate.
Globally, cigarette butts are the most common waste product found on both coasts and cities . An estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are carelessly thrown away every year. The natural decomposition of conventional cigarette filters made of cellulose acetate takes about ten to 15 years, in salt water it is even assumed to be 400 years. The filters are now made from biodegradable cellulose.
Spread of cigarette smoking
The annual per capita consumption in Germany was 571 cigarettes in 1936, 2214 in 1966, and 1072 in 2011.
For a very long time, cigarette smokers were predominantly men. However, in the last few decades it has been observed that more and more women are taking up cigarettes. The health hazards that smoking pose for women are even higher than for men. The differences in the incidence of lung cancer and mortality between men and women up to now are increasingly being equalized by a significant increase among women. Scientists see the causes of this development in the fact that smoking is viewed as a male attribute and many women want to claim this for themselves.
In Germany, the proportion of young smokers is falling. It fell from 28 percent in 2001 to 9% for girls and 10% for boys under 18 years of age in 2014.
The German Youth Protection Act prohibits the distribution of cigarettes to young people under the age of 18. Due to the amendment to the Youth Protection Act of April 1, 2003, all German cigarette machines have been converted on January 1, 2007 so that cigarettes (paid for by cash card or coins) can only be purchased after age verification using the cash card on most EC cards -Chip is possible, which has saved an age characteristic. Some machines also accept an EU driver's license or a German ID card as proof of age.
In Switzerland , the proportion of young smokers is as high as in Germany . There is also a decrease. Compared to 2001, the proportion of people who smoke fell in 2008 in all age groups for both sexes. For 14 to 19 year olds the decrease is eight percentage points (from 31% in 2001 to 23% in 2008).
In California, on the other hand, the percentage of adolescent smokers is around eight percent, which is attributed to the fact that smoking is less socially acceptable there than in Europe. The countries with the highest proportion of smokers in the population are Kiribati , North Macedonia , Papua New Guinea , Bulgaria , Tonga and East Timor . In East Timor, one in three people smokes every day, and the proportion of men is as high as 61%.
An EU directive from 2001 stipulates that larger and more urgent warnings must be printed on cigarette packs within the EU than before.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the cigarette pictures in Germany reached an audience of millions and the tobacco companies were present in almost all living rooms and children's rooms in the German Reich through informative and lavishly designed scrapbooks on many topics .
Since June 18, 1974, cigarettes are no longer allowed to be advertised on radio and television in the Federal Republic of Germany. An EU-wide ban on tobacco advertising for cinemas, newspapers and magazines will also take effect in the next few years. Sponsorship of Formula 1 races, for example , will also be affected by this. The advertising industry fears a loss of income totaling over 110 million euros. The federal government, both the Kohl and Schröder governments, tried in vain to take action against the advertising ban in Brussels.
Due to the advertising bans already in place in many countries, it can be observed that tobacco manufacturers are resorting to substitutes in order to circumvent the official ban. For example, “special editions” of the cigarette packs are increasingly being brought onto the market, which have a (limited) advertising effect but are not advertising in the traditional sense. Sponsorship bans are often circumvented by the fact that racing cars or motorcycles are graphically strongly based on the cigarette brand in question without the brand name itself appearing (examples: “Go !!!” white on a blue background stands for Gauloises , “ Biaggi ” in Camel Font, "Team Spirit" in Mild Seven font). Another loophole in advertising bans can often be found in tobacco shops: If tobacco companies pay money to have their brands displayed in special displays, then this does not necessarily count as advertising (because advertising at the point of sale is still allowed). Finally, in France , for example , matches and other smoking utensils are also advertised with the brand logo of the cigarette manufacturer. You can also still buy posters from cigarette brands, as these are not considered advertising, but fan articles.
In Austria, tobacco advertising in public spaces (posters, etc.) was banned many years ago, with the exception of tobacconists and vending machines as well as on radio and television; later the ban was also extended to advertising in newspapers and magazines. Advertising in the shop windows of tobacco shops and cigarette machines is correspondingly intense. When blue-white LEDs were new and still very expensive, their first widespread use was in shop window advertising for a cigarette brand: as around 12 flashing stars on an approximately 0.4 m² cardboard display with a starry sky.
In Switzerland, the regulation is incumbent on the cantons, billboard advertising in public spaces is prohibited in most cantons, but cinema advertising in only four out of 26. Tobacco advertising via the media of television or radio is also prohibited in Switzerland by federal law. It was also stipulated that tobacco advertising may not be aimed at young people under the age of 18.
Cigarette smuggling is in Germany a significant form of organized crime is. The background is the ever increasing tax burden on tobacco products today (2011) more than 70 percent. For this reason, smuggling is a significant economic factor, especially in times of economic crisis. B. cigarette smuggling in post-war Germany . According to estimates, the German Federal Customs Administration alone is missing out on revenues of around four billion euros a year, as around 22 billion cigarettes are sold unpaid on the street. Makes like Jin Ling from Kaliningrad are sold in front of supermarkets for around two euros per box. Cigarette smuggling has become more lucrative than drug smuggling and imports are in the hands of Eastern Europeans, while Vietnamese are mostly involved in sales.
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