Quality Assurance

Making Cigarettes

What's in a Cigarette?

Our cigarettes are produced in factories across the world, and each brand has its own unique recipe. Cigarettes are made from:

  • tobacco, selected according to specific blends and leaf grades to maintain the consistency and distinctive character of each brand

  • ingredients, added to many of our brands to keep the tobacco moist, aid the manufacturing process, replenish natural sugars lost during leaf curing, and contribute to each brand’s unique taste

  • non-tobacco materials, such as cigarette paper and filters

How are Cigarettes made?

We operate 46 production facilities and produce over 800 billion cigarettes each year. Cigarettes are produced in factories around the world by processing the tobacco leaf, manufacturing the cigarettes, and preparing the final pack. Learn more below.


Selecting the right blend of tobacco is the first step in cigarette production.

Our experts use their detailed knowledge to carefully select the blend of different tobacco types (such as Virginia, burley, and oriental) and leaf grades used in our cigarette brands. The tobaccos are selected to maintain the consistency and distinctive character of each brand.

In addition to tobacco, which is the main ingredient in all of our cigarettes, other ingredients are added to many of our brands. Some ingredients, such as humectants, help maintain the moisture and pliability of the tobacco leaf. Others contribute to the taste and aroma of the tobacco leaf smoke.

After the tobaccos are blended together, the tobacco blend is finely cut before it passes through a drying cylinder to reduce moisture. When the moisture is at an optimal level, the blend is ready for cigarette manufacturing.


Cigarette manufacturing is a fast-paced, highly automated process.

Our machines can produce up to 20,000 cigarettes every minute.

The process begins by creating one long cigarette, called a ‘rod.’ To produce the rod, a spool of cigarette paper up 7,000 meters long is unrolled and a line of tobacco is placed on it. The cigarette paper is then wrapped around the tobacco, forming the rod.

Machines slice the super-sized rod into shorter pieces, inserting filters at both ends. The filters are then connected with ‘tipping paper’, the paper consumers see wrapped around the filter tip of a cigarette. Each shorter rod is then cut in half, producing two filtered cigarettes. The construction quality of each cigarette is checked at three different stages.

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