“The basic concept is very simple to understand: there are no cigarettes that do not cause damage and do not adversely affect health. Whether they are already packaged cigarettes, or handrolled cigarettes with tobacco, the nicotine in both cases causes an addiction, and in both cases the burning paper releases free carcinogens.”

To explain that there is no difference between the harmful effects procured from normal (packaged) cigarettes and “handmade” cigarrettes, those rolled by hand, we spoke to Dr. Licia Vanessa Siracusano, oncologist and coordinator of the Center for Anti-Smoking at Humanitas Cancer Center. According to Dr. Siracusano, the only difference that actually occurs among individuals who smoke the pre-packaged cigarettes and people who prepare them by hand, is that “in various cases one might smoke a little less and, perhaps save a bit from the economic point of view. However, the damage to health is the same.”


The risk associated with burning paper

Some smokers of cigarettes believe that smoking hand-rolled cigarettes is less harmful than smoking the packaged ones. “But this is not ttrue – continues Dr. Siracusano. The so-called “bulk” tobacco, can be bought in cartons, it is already flavored and treated at an industrial level as the one found in conventional cigarettes. The paper is wrapped around the tobacco, and it contains all the substances that are normally contained in the factory prepared paper, including petroleum, and thus carcinogens.”


Comparing the two

Compared to regular cigarettes that can be smoked with some ease because they are ready for use, the only real difference that could possibly be considered in favor of handmade cigarettes is that they require two hands to be prepared, which reduces the opportunities dedicated to their consumption. It is very difficult, for example, to prepare them while driving the car. But even then, there are many exceptions: “There are smokers that prepare them specifically in advance and store them in special containers to have them ready at all times, like normal cigarettes”, says the expert.