Rolling Paper Alternatives and Substitutes

Posted by: Jay Jones

Cigarette rolling papers have been around for a long time some say as early as the 16th century. During that time, and before the popularization (starting in the 18th century) of mass-produced rolling papers, it's fair to say that a huge amount of different materials have been used for rolling and smoking cigarettes. During the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon's soldiers used pages from books to roll tobacco indirectly leading to Napoleon giving a big boost to the growing Lacroix rolling paper company (which is still in existence today, though they have since changed their name to RizLa+).

Generally speaking, it's not smart to make a cigarette from anything but an actual rolling paper, and we don't recommend it. That being said, an expert cigarette-roller can make a cigarette out of practically anything. Here are some feasible alternatives if, for whatever reason, you can't get your hands on any papers and are in dire need.

As a rule, anything that's thin enough to be easily manipulated while being structurally sound enough not to rip will work but just because something work doesn't mean it's a good idea. It's possible to use printer paper, notebook paper, coffee filters, pages from a large book (though one wonders whether damaging a book is is too high a price for simply saving yourself a buck or two and a trip to the nearest convenience store) or a phone book, even non-thermal cash register tape...but all of these involve risks, since these are made from materials that weren't intended to be ingested. Some kinds of paper are a particularly bad idea, since they may have been exposed to toxic chemicals in order to make them white.

Some people roll cigarettes from corn husks. To use one, they dip it in a glass of water first to increase its flexibility. They then tear off a few of the fiber strands and set them aside. When the husk is sufficiently dry to be used, they cut it into a rectangular shape, roll the tobacco in it tightly (some people find that a cone shape works well), and secure it with the strands of fiber that they set aside earlier.

In general, if you do use something besides rolling papers to construct your cigarettes, make sure that it is free of chemicals and other synthetic substances. There are also other products like pipes or vaporizers that you can smoke out of. These products usually aren't as easy to carry around, but they do serve a purpose for an alternative to papers!