Roll-your-own cigarettes, sometimes known as rollies, are made by the smoker from loose tobacco rolled into a cigarette with special rolling papers. A filter, either purchased or made from cardboard, may be attached to one end.
Many people think that because less manufacturing is involved, loose tobacco is safer than manufactured cigarettes.
In fact the opposite is true; roll-your-own tobacco has significantly more additives than manufactured cigarettes, including flavourings and humectants to keep the tobacco from drying out. In addition, roll-your-own cigarettes deliver similar levels of nicotine as well as carcinogens such as benzene to manufactured cigarettes.1,2,3,4 Decades of research has shown that smokers who smoke roll-you-own cigarettes are just as likely to develop lung cancer and other smoking related diseases. Despite this, the use of roll-your-own tobacco is rising worldwide5. Increasing rates of use among young people in Australia are most likely due to manufacturers reducing pack sizes to make them more affordable.
If you smoke roll-your-own cigarettes, quitting will benefit your health in both the immediate and long-term future. It will also benefit the health of your family and friends and save you money. Giving up smoking can be hard, so ask your friends and family to help, talk to your GP or contact the Quitline on 13 78 48 for help and advice.