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RPD Woodstock Bus

How To Roll Your Own Cigarettes

If you’re a smoker, you’re probably all too aware of the steadily rising costs of cigarettes. It seems like every year, another tax increase is passed to inflate the price of your packs. Cigarettes can quickly burn a huge hole in your monthly budget, especially if you’re a regular smoker. It may be time to try your hand at RYO or roll your own cigarettes. While it may sound like an intimidating task, smokers globally have been rolling their own cigarettes for years for the very same cost concerns. So, ditch the cartons, and start rolling!

Why should I roll my own cigarettes?

There are a number of reasons to finally make the transition from store bought to RYO. First, you have control over what tobacco and rolling papers are used, customization that is not really available when you’re buying cigarettes by the pack. It can be fun to experiment with the flavor or thinness of paper and tobacco until you find your ideal combination. It also removes any mystery of what’s really in your cigarettes, as there can be no extra chemical additives when you’re the one whose rolling them. Another reason people switch to rolling their own is so that they can save some money. If the average pack of cigarettes is about $7.50 and you smoke a pack every two days, you’re looking at about $112/ month. Meanwhile, a 1 pound bag of tobacco is about $15 dollars, and rolling paper booklets will cost you about $3. If each booklet has fifty papers, you’re spending somewhere around $27/month instead. Now that’s a huge savings, just by rolling your own smokes!

Though it seems like a daunting task, rolling your own cigarettes is actually a lot simpler than it seems. There are two different methods for rolling, either by hand or with a helpful rolling machine. We explain both processes in just a few easy steps:

Rolling your own cigarettes by hand:

  1. Set the rolling paper down in front of you. Many rolling papers come with a fold. This fold is where the tobacco is going to nestle. The end with the glue or gum should be facing up and should be furthest from you.
  2. Prepare the tobacco. You'll want about a gram and a half, which is a little bit less than a tablespoon. You'll get a better feel for how much tobacco to use after you've rolled a few cigarettes. Some people prefer slimmer cigarettes or tightly packed, and the more you roll, the more you’ll start to figure out your own preference.
  3. Distribute the tobacco evenly, so that when you're done rolling, there'll be just a couple of strands poking out the sides. You may find that when you roll a cigarette, you end up pushing the tobacco in the middle out to either edge. That means you're not using an ideal rolling method, but you can compensate for this by putting just a bit more in the middle of the cigarette.
  4. Now we start rolling. Pinch the paper above the part where the tobacco is nestling and use both thumbs to roll downwards on the edge closest to you. The goal is to roll the cigarette in such a way that the tobacco will be tightly packed (to give an even burn and a good draw), which means the rolling paper should wrap tightly around the tobacco. Roll it back and forth a few times to get the tobacco well-packed and to start shaping it into a cylinder. If you're including a filter, now's a good time to position that filter at the end of the cylinder.
  5. Once the cylinder feels tightly and evenly packed, you can lick the glue to seal the cigarette. Now all you need is a lighter!

How to use a cigarette rolling machine:

  1. Open the roller and place tobacco evenly inside the apron.
  2. Close the machine and turn the apron towards you a few times.
  3. Slide in a sheet of rolling paper into the machine, glue side up and facing you. It may take a few tries your first time, but you’ll get it.
  4. Roll the apron towards you again, until only the strip of glue is sticking out.
  5. Lick the strip of glue and roll the apron towards you a few more times to seal it up.
  6. Pop open the machine and voila! You have your cigarette.


Although it is a little more time consuming rolling your own cigarettes, it’s well worth the effort when you think of the money you’ll be saving every month. Don’t be discouraged if you’re cigarettes don’t come out looking pretty at first. It takes a little bit of time to get the hang of rolling evenly, but with some practice, you’ll be making picture-perfect cigarettes in no time. Quit the daily trips to the corner store, and start rolling your own artisan cigarettes.