Two cigarette smoking questions

I dont smoke cigarettes but hang around with a lot of people who do but for some reason there are a few things I have never picked up on.

What is the purpose of “packing” a new box of cigarettes. I assume it has something to do with making all the ends meet at the very top.

Different brands and types of cigarettes taste different right? A flavor noticeable enough for people not to like certain brands correct?

I think the answer is to pack it so it burns better. Burns more tobacco per drag. Kind of like a joint.

All the cigs taste different and have different strengths. Other than “normal tobacco flavor” and “Menthol flavor” I’m not sure what other flavors there are.

Denser tobacco makes for a more regular burn, and smoother taste. The space left at the end of the cig that doesn’t have tobacco makes it easier to light.


Theres all sorts of flavors. Some Dogooder busy bodies want to BAN THEM!

Back in the 80’s when I smoked there was a brand of cigarettes
named BRIGHT

They weren’t menthol, they were mint. Like smoking a pack of Life Savers. Man, they were good! I haven’t smoked in over 15 years but if they came out with those again I might have a couple.

The Master Speaks:

end likely answer:" 7. *We don’t know why we’re doing this, but by God there must be some reason, and sooner or later we’re going to figure out what it is."

My WAG is that it’s just an attempt to look cool, and other dudes do it.

I’ve found that with a cigarette that is loosely packed, the burning end can fall off when flicking the ash. Tapping it to pack the tobacco tighter lessens the chance of that happening.

What Kal said - keeps the cherry from falling out. Cecil’s one big screwup, IMHO.

Packing is a leftover from the era of unfiltered cigarettes. It helps keep loose bits of tobacco from falling out of the cigarette.

It’s also a real pain in the butt (hurk) when you’re flicking the ash away and realize the entire middle of your smoke is empty. This happens more often with cheaper cigs, but it can happen to any machine rolled cigarette.

The different brands have distinctly different tastes to many smokers. Camel and Marlboro, for instance, have very different flavor palettes. It has a lot to do with quality and species of tobacco and additives, so that’s why most regular smokers have a preferred brand. It may be more noticeable the longer you smoke the same brand, as well.

In theory it’s to make the tobacco more dense and compressed, so it burns easier; but it’s really mostly psychological. I don’t “pack” my cigarettes unless I’m opening a brand new box – it’s part of the ritual.

Hell yes. Flavor is everything.
(Though I’ll smoke a lower-brand cigarette if I’m out and need to bum from someone…)

Ditto. Don’t pack it, and you’ll inevitably be smoking, absent-mindedly flick the ashes, take a draw, and taste stale smoke because your cherry is gone.

To me, the difference in taste between Marlboro and Winston is slight enough that I’ll buy whichever is cheaper. If you’re really jonesing, then you won’t care much which brand it is. YMMV

Winstons, prior to their new “additive free” blend, had a very distinctive smell. You could tell it was cigarette smoke you were smelling, but it was very smooth, and almost pleasant, whereas every other brand just stunk like cigarette smoke.

There are also sweet tobaccos, such as what they use in Lucky Strike Filters and Lights. I tried ordering cigarettes from overseas about 10 years ago, before customs put a stop to that sort of thing, and they were selling Kents for $9.00 a carton. I ordered 10 cartons and they were out, so they substituted them with Lucky Strike Filters. They were so sweet, it took a while to get used to it.

I agree with all of the above but must add as an English ex smoker I would have done anything other then smoke American cigarettes.

They had a very noticible taste that to those of us used to English cigarettes was extremely distasteful.

We were told that U.S. cigarettes had Saltpetre in them to help with the burning,but I am by no means convinced that this is/was true.

I was told that the saltpeter was in the paper to keep the whole thing burning.

I smoked on & off for 20 years (more on than off) and I noticed a much better draw when I packed my smokes at least 5 times. More packing wasn’t really necessary.

And about flavors: in Indonesia lots of the lcoal brands contain clove oil, which gives them a very distinctive smell and flavor. Sale of clove cigarettes has been banned in many areas of the United States because of their health impact and the fact that scary goth and punk rocker kids used to smoke them.

Cigarettes are sold by the each, not by weight.

The tobacco companies have done many things to get folks smoking more and make more profits, not unlike most other companies.

Would anyone be surprised that some companies and cheaper brands put less tobacco in each cigarette, possibly adding additives to enhance the effects of the smaller amount of tobacco?

I have smoked many brands and the last 15 years just smoked filterless.
I did notice in my packing days and so did my friends that cheep off brand smokes were much less dense and after packing would revile much more empty space at the end. Premium smokes on the other hand really didn’t pack all that much. American Spirits hardly pack at all. And I don’t think a Nat Sherman would either.

So back to the original question.

People pack for several reasons.
Habit, Smoking is filled with ritual. Watch individual smokers they do many thighs exactly the same way. over and over again. Not just packing but they way they open it, what they do with the wrapper, turning over a lucky cigarette. Packing is just one.

Control the density of the tobacco as explained above.

And other reasons mentioned by other posters.


I pack 'em – they seem easier to light when I do. But I also think that I pack 'em because I always pack 'em :wink:

I also turn a lucky.

As to taste – definitely!

Not only do different brands taste different, the same brand from different countries taste differently.

I remember Spanish Marlboro Lights being a lot harsher than American Marlboro lights.

Even with a brand you like, you will sometimes get a pack that is “off”. I usually attributed it to age and staleness.

I never did the packing thing.

I don’t do this, except when I’ve just opened a fresh pack and am trying to get the first one out, so I wouldn’t know.

Yes, definitely.