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Nicotine Tob Res. 2013 Aug;15(8):1453-7. doi: 10.1093/ntr/nts271. Epub 2013 Jan 7.

Make your own cigarettes: characteristics of the product and the consumer.

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  • 1Battelle Center for Analytics and Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21209, USA.



Despite a worldwide increase in the use of Make Your Own (MYO) cigarettes, there is little research characterizing MYO smokers in the United States and the cigarettes they make.


In a single laboratory visit, exclusive MYO smokers brought 5 MYO cigarettes they prepared at home, completed demographic and smoking history questionnaires, and prepared 25 cigarettes using their own tobacco and materials.


Participants were mostly male (86.7%), average age of 41.3 years, and smoked an average of 19.5 (SD = 7.9) MYO cigarettes per day. They produced two types of cigarettes-by rolling tobacco in a paper leaf (Roll Your Own [RYO, n = 56]) and by injecting tobacco into a tube (Personal Machine Made [PMM, n = 42]). The PMM cigarettes were significantly larger than RYO cigarettes (p < .001). Home- (0.97 g) and laboratory-produced (0.95 g) PMM cigarettes did not differ by weight; however, the RYO cigarettes made at home (0.45 g) were slightly, but significantly, larger than those produced in the laboratory [0.43 g (p < .05)]. There was significant internal consistency in the weight of RYO and PMM cigarettes (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.82, 0.84, respectively). Time to produce RYO cigarettes (53 s/cigarette) was significantly longer than that of PMM cigarettes (42 s/cigarette) (p < .01).


By using commercially available tobacco, tubes, and paper, experienced MYO smokers can quickly and consistently prepare cigarettes that may be useful in laboratory smoking topography and exposure experiments. Increasing the regulation of Factory Made (FM) cigarettes may lead to increased use of MYO cigarettes with unknown toxicant exposure and health risks to their consumers.

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