We never set out to encourage people to take up smoking cigarettes, or to smoke more. Our cigarette business is based on understanding and meeting the preferences of today’s adult smokers with products that are manufactured to high standards and marketed responsibly.

How cigarettes work

Diagram of a cigarette

A standard cigarette have four basic components:

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

When the tobacco rod is lit, the user inhales smoke through the filter.

The preferences of adult smokers guide the types and blends of tobaccos that we use in the tobacco rod. We do not add nicotine to our tobacco; it occurs naturally in all varieties of tobacco plants.

Food-type ingredients and flavourings are added to some types of cigarettes – typically American style blends – to balance the natural tobacco taste, replace sugars lost in curing and give individual brands their characteristic tobacco flavour and aroma. Other ingredients may control moisture, protect against microbial degradation and act as binders or fillers.

Filters are traditionally made from cellulose acetate fibres, known as tow. Recent innovations include flavour capsules in filters and tube filters. The filter, paper and type of filter are all chosen to affect the sensory strength and smoke yield of the cigarette.


Read more about nicotine on our Group website .

Why do cigarettes pose serious health risks?

The reason why cigarettes can be harmful to health is because burning tobacco generates toxicants in the smoke that is produced. Inhaling these smoke toxicants is the cause of most smoking-related diseases.