Cigarette

A cigarette (French "small cigar", from cigar + -ette) is a product consumed through smoking and manufactured out of cured and finely cut tobacco leaves and reconstituted tobacco, often combined with other additives,[1] then rolled or stuffed into a paper-wrapped cylinder (generally less than 120 mm in length and 10 mm in diameter). The cigarette is ignited at one end and allowed to smoulder for the purpose of inhalation of its smoke from the other (usually filtered) end, which is inserted in the mouth. They are sometimes smoked with a cigarette holder. The term cigarette, as commonly used, refers to a tobacco cigarette but can apply to similar devices containing other herbs, such as cannabis.

Rates of cigarette smoking vary widely. While rates of smoking have leveled off or declined in the developed world, they continue to rise in the undeveloped world. [2][3]

A cigarette is distinguished from a cigar by its smaller size, use of processed leaf, and paper wrapping, which is usually white, though other colours are available. Cigars are typically composed entirely of whole-leaf tobacco.

Cigarettes are the most frequent source of fires in private homes and the European Union wishes to ban by 2011 cigarettes that are not History
A reproduction of a carving from the temple at Palenque, Mexico, depicting a Mayan priest smoking from a smoking tube.

The earliest forms of cigarettes have been attested in Central America around the 9th century in the form of reeds and smoking tubes. The Maya, and later the Aztecs, smoked tobacco and various psychoactive drugs in religious rituals and frequently depicted priests and deities smoking on pottery and temple engravings. The cigarette, and the cigar, were the most common method of smoking in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America until recent times.[5]

Cigarettes were largely unknown in the English-speaking world before the Crimean War, when British soldiers began emulating their Ottoman Turkish comrades, who resorted to rolling their tobacco with newsprint.[6]

The cigarette was named some time in the 18th century: beggars in Seville began to pick from the ground the cigar ends left by the seƱoritos ("rich, young men"), wrapped the tobacco remains with paper and smoked them. The first attested use in this habit can be seen in three 18th-century paintings by Francisco de Goya: La cometa (The Kite), La merienda en el Manzanares (Picnic by the River Manzanares) and El juego de la pelota a pala (The Ball and Paddle Game).

In the George Bizet opera Carmen, which was set in Spain in the 1830s, the title character Carmen was at first a worker in a cigarette factory.

The use of tobacco in cigarette form became increasingly popular during and after the Crimean War. This was helped by the development of tobaccos that are suitable for cigarette use. During World War I and World War II, cigarettes were rationed to soldiers. During the second half of the 20th century, the adverse health effects of cigarettes started to become widely known and text-only health warnings became commonplace on cigarette packets. The United States has not yet implemented graphical cigarette warning labels, which are considered a more effective method to communicate to the public the dangers of cigarette smoking.[7] Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, however, have both textual warnings and graphic visual images displaying, among other things, the damaging effects tobacco use has on the human body.

The cigarette has evolved much since its conception; for example, the thin bands that travel transverse to the "axis of smoking" (thus forming circles along the length of the cigarette) are alternate sections of thin and thick paper to facilitate effective burning when being drawn, and retard burning when at rest. Synthetic particulate filters remove some of the tar before it reaches the smoker.
source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigarette

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