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Mythbusting: "Roll-your-own cigarettes are less harmful."

In fact, roll-your-own cigarettes are just as harmful as factory-made cigarettes. Let's take a look.

"Roll-your-own” cigarettes or "rollies" are becoming more popular, especially with young people.

This might be because tobacco companies are promoting them heavily. They have also cleverly reduced the size of roll-your-own pouches so they seem cheaper than buying a pack of factory-made cigarettes.  

Some smokers mistakenly believe that roll-your-own tobacco is more “natural” and does not contain the additives that factory-made cigarettes do. This means that some smokers believe roll-your-own cigarettes are less harmful. This is not true!

When it comes to rollies, it's important to know that the dangers come from inhaling burning leaves, not additives. When you burn tobacco, three things happen:

  • Proteins and sugars in the leaf get heated together and create flavours and aromas 

  • Proteins, sugars, fats, cellulose and other things basically get split up (by the heat) and put back together in all sorts of ways to make toxic and cancer-causing chemicals 

  • Tiny solid particles are created 

Whether you smoke loose tobacco or factory-made cigarettes (or any other dried plant), you inhale - deep into your lungs - all these nasty solids and gases in the smoke created by burning leaves. And lungs just weren't designed to deal with inhaling these nasty solids and gases day after day. 

For more information about roll-your-own cigarettes, or if you're thinking of quitting, chat to one of our friendly Quitline counsellors. Or request a Quitline callback.

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