History of Rolling Papers

The Illustrated Roller Handbook

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The history of the rolling papers is linked to the history of cigars. In the beginning there was only the cigar which consisted of rolling the tobacco in a tobacco leaf.

We find the first cigarettes in the paintings of Francisco Goya: The comet [see on the left], La merienda en el Manzanares (Picnic on the Manzanares river) and El juego de la pelota.

The beggars of Seville [Spain] collected from the ground the cigar butts left by the gentlemen, rolled them in a piece of paper and smoked. The custom of rolling tobacco into the paper became more popular after the Crimean War [1851] when British soldiers learned from the Turkish Army colleagues about rolling tobacco in the newspaper paper.

During this period the first companies are born: Rizla and Smoking, who are still market leaders and the rolling papers are perfecting.

History of Smoking Miguel y Costa Barcelona

Logo Smoking

The first documents about this company date back to 1725. At that time, the Miquel family handmade paper on the river Anoja. Approximately 100 years later they began to specialize in cigarette papers. In 1979 they moved the company to La Pobla de Claramunt and founded the MIGUEL Y COSTAS HERMAMOS. In 1929, the company became a joint-stock company under the name MIGUEL Y COSTAS & MIQUEL SA and they have the same name nowadays. …Official Story from the Smoking Official Website

The rolling papers booklets date back to 1800 and the Smoking brand was introduced in 1924. Since then, they have continued to search and produce new rolling papers, Miguel y Costas produce smoking papers for many other brands, some of which include Bambu, Skunk, Bob Marley, some for Gizeh / Mascotte. They also produce the “Pure Hemp” watermark that you find everywhere – eg Hempire.

History of Rizla

Logo Rizla +

The story begins in 1532, when a Frenchman Pierre Lacroix began to manufacture paper in the town of Angoulême. Legend tells that on a rainy day, Pierre bars a rolling paper for a Champagne bottle. From this moment he understood the potential of this business.

Only in 1736 Francois Lacroix bought the first paper mill and in 1796 Napoleon granted the license to produce smoking papers for the French soldiers.

It is said that in 1860 and 65, Pierre Lacroix finally perfected the formula used to make paper and for the first time used rice. Hence the new name “Riz La +”, a combination of the words Riz [ Rice ], La da La Croix and the + that in French is actually called Croix. Business was so good that in the beginning 900 the product spread all over Europe and the United States.

In 1942, “Riz La” acquired the patent to apply rubber on the edge of the paper leaf confirming as the world leader in the industry, in 1948 Rizla introduced the “Rizla Green with Cut Angles” which quickly became the most popular rolling paper in Great Britain and then in many other countries.

In 1944 the name changed to “Rizla+”, which is still in use today.

In 1978, Fernand Painblanc took control of the Rizla International group, marking the end of the Lacroix family tradition. In 1997, it sold Rizla to UBS and UBS – the Swiss bank – sold it to Imperial Tobacco.

Only in recent years Rizla has lost market share by failing to compete with Smoking for quality and variety of products.

In 2005, the transparent papers from aLeda and Glass came from Brazil. It is not a novelty, about every 10 years the transparent papers are introduced again because they are aesthetically appealing, but after a very successful start, the consumer realizes that the classic papers are thinner and they have a more neutral flavor.

RAW and RAW Organic

Logo RAW Papers

The latest real novelty are RAW and RAW Organic, a real innovation, copied by everybody: smoking brown, OCB virgin and Rizla Natural.

The concept is to use a less processed and chemically bleached paper. Classical RAWs are not whitened while the RAW Organic is whitened with light.

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