A Fag is a product consumed through smoking and manufactured out of cured and finely cut tobacco leaves and reconstituted tobacco, combined with other additives then rolled or stuffed into a paper-wrapped cylinder (generally less than 120mm in length and 10mm in diameter). The Fag 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 Fag holder. The term Fag, as commonly used, refers to a tobacco Fag but can apply to similar devices containing other herbs, such as cannabis.
Fags are proven to be highly addictive, as well as a cause of multiple types of cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, circulatory disease, birth defects (which include mental and physical disability) and emphysema.
A Fag is distinguished from a cigar by its smaller size, use of processed leaf, and white paper wrapping. Cigars are typically composed entirely of whole-leaf tobacco.
Fags contain nicotine, an addictive stimulant which is toxic. They deliver smoke to the lungs immediately and produce a rapid psychoactive effect.
2.2 Tobacco blend
6 Graphics on Fag packets
7 Smoking bans
8 Fag litter
9 Fag advertising
A reproduction of a carving from the temple at Palenque, Mexico, depicting a Mayan priest smoking from a smoking tube.The earliest forms of Fags 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 Fag, and the cigar, were the most common method of smoking in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America until recent times.
Fags 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.
The Fag was named some time in the 18th century: beggars in Seville began to pick from the ground the cigar ends left by the señoritos ("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 Fag factory.
The use of tobacco in Fag form became increasingly popular during and after the Crimean War. This was helped by the development of tobaccos that are suitable for Fag use. During World War I and World War II, Fags were rationed to soldiers. During the second half of the 20th century, the adverse health effects of Fags started to become widely known and text-only health warnings became commonplace on Fag packets. The United States has not yet implemented graphical Fag warning labels, which is considered a more effective method to communicate to the public the dangers of Fag smoking. 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 Fag 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 Fag) 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.
Commercially manufactured Fags are seemingly simple objects consisting mainly of a tobacco blend, paper, PVA glue to bond the outer layer of paper together, and often also a cellulose acetate–based filter. While the assembly of Fags is straightforward, much focus is given to the creation of each of the components, in particular the tobacco blend, which may contain over 100 ingredients, many of them flavourants for the tobacco. A key ingredient that makes Fags more addictive is the inclusion of reconstituted tobacco, which has additives to make nicotine more volatile as the Fag burns.
Main article: Fag paper
The paper for holding the tobacco blend may vary in porosity to allow ventilation of the burning ember or contain materials that control the burning rate of the Fag and stability of the produced ash. The papers used in tipping the Fag (forming the mouthpiece) and surrounding the filter stabilise the mouthpiece from saliva and moderate the burning of the Fag as well as the delivery of smoke with the presence of one or two rows of small laser-drilled air holes.
The burn rate of Fag paper is regulated through the application of different forms of microcrystalline cellulose to the paper. Fag paper has been specially engineered by creating bands of different porosity to create "fire-safe" Fags. These Fags have a reduced idle burning speed which allows them to self-extinguish. This fire-safe paper is manufactured by mechanically altering the setting of the paper slurry.
New York was the first U.S. state to mandate that all Fags manufactured or sold within the state comply with a fire-safe standard. Canada has passed a similar nation-wide mandate based on the same standard. Many other U.S. states have passed or are considering fire-safe mandates. 
The tobacco part viewed from a FagThe process of blending, like the blending of scotch and cognac, gives the end product a consistent taste from batches of tobacco grown in different areas of a country that may change in flavour profile from year to year due to different environmental conditions.
Modern Fags produced after the 1950s, although composed mainly of shredded tobacco leaf, use a significant quantity of tobacco processing by-products in the blend. Each Fag's tobacco blend is made mainly from the leaves of flue-cured brightleaf, burley tobacco, and oriental tobacco. These leaves are selected, processed, and aged prior to blending and filling. The processing of brightleaf and burley tobaccos for tobacco leaf "strips" produces several by-products such as leaf stems, tobacco dust, and tobacco leaf pieces ("small laminate"). To improve the economics of producing Fags, these by-products are processed separately into forms where they can then be possibly added back into the Fag blend without an apparent or marked change in the Fag's quality. The most common tobacco by-products include:
Blended leaf (BL) sheet: a thin, dry sheet cast from a paste made with tobacco dust collected from tobacco stemming, finely milled burley-leaf stem, and pectin.
Reconstituted leaf (RL) sheet: a paper-like material made from recycled tobacco fines, tobacco stems and "class tobacco", which consists of tobacco particles less than 30 mesh in size (~0.599 mm) that are collected at any stage of tobacco processing. RL is made by extracting the soluble chemicals in the tobacco by-products, processing the leftover tobacco fibres from the extraction into a paper, and then reapplying the extracted materials in concentrated form onto the paper in a fashion similar to what is done in paper sizing. At this stage ammonium additives are applied to make reconstituted tobacco an effective nicotine delivery system.
Expanded (ES) or improved stems (IS): ES are rolled, flattened, and shredded leaf stems that are expanded by being soaked in water and rapidly heated. Improved stems follow the same process but are simply steamed after shredding. Both products are then dried. These two products look similar in appearance but are different in taste.
Whole tobacco can also be processed into a product called expanded tobacco. The tobacco is "puffed", or expanded, by saturating it with supercritical carbon dioxide and heating the CO2 saturated tobacco to quickly evaporate the CO2. This quick change of physical state by the CO2 causes the tobacco to expand in a similar fashion as polystyrene foam. This is used to produce light Fags by reducing the density of the tobacco and thus maintain the size of a Fag while reducing the amount of tobacco used in each Fag.
A recipe-specified combination of brightleaf, burley-leaf and oriental-leaf tobacco will be mixed with humectants such as propylene glycol or glycerol, as well as flavouring products and enhancers such as cocoa, licorice, tobacco extracts, and various sugars, which are known collectively as "casings". The leaf tobacco will then be shredded, along with a specified amount of small laminate, expanded tobacco, BL, RL, ES and IS. A perfume-like flavour/fragrance, called the "topping" or "toppings", which is most often formulated by flavor companies, will then be blended into the tobacco mixture to improve the consistency in flavour and taste of the Fags associated with a certain brand name. As well, they replace lost flavours due to the repeated wetting and drying used in processing the tobacco. Finally the tobacco mixture will be filled into Fags tubes and packaged.
In recent years, the manufacturers' pursuit of maximum profits has led to the practice of using not just the leaves, but also recycled tobacco offal The stem is first crushed and cut to resemble the leaf before being merged or blended into the cut leaf.
Fags are a significant source of tax revenue in many localities. This fact has historically been an impediment for health groups seeking to discourage Fag smoking, since governments seek to maximize tax revenues. Furthermore, some countries have made Fags a state monopoly, which has the same effect on the attitude of government officials outside the health field. In the United States, the states determine the rate of Fag taxes, and states where tobacco is a significant farm product tend to tax Fags least. It has been shown that higher prices for Fags discourage smoking. Every 10 percent increase in the price of Fags reduced youth smoking by about seven percent and overall Fag consumption by about four percent. Thus increased Fag taxes are proposed as a means to reduce smoking.
Many people in the UK now illegally import Fags due to the increasing tax. A packet is less than half the price in all other countries, making illegal importers a large profit, while still providing very cheap Fags. The average price for 20 legal Fags is £5.20, while imported packs are sold for less than £3, this is due to the extreme taxation.
A smoking symbol, usually signifying that smoking is allowed.
A Woolworths supermarket Fag counter in NSW, Australia. Other Australian states currently prohibit such large displays.Before the Second World War many manufacturers gave away collectible cards, one in each packet of Fags. This practice was discontinued to save paper during the war and was never generally reintroduced, though for a number of years Natural American Spirit Fags included "vignette" cards depicting endangered animals and American historical events; this series was discontinued in 2003. On April 1, 1970 President Richard Nixon signed the Public Health Fag Smoking Act into law, banning Fag advertisements on television in the United States starting on January 2, 1971. However, some tobacco companies attempted to circumvent the ban by marketing new brands of Fags as "little cigars"; examples included Tijuana Smalls, which came out almost immediately after the ban took effect, and Backwoods Smokes, which reached the market in the winter of 1973–1974 and whose ads used the slogan, "How can anything that looks so wild taste so mild."
Beginning on April 1, 1998, the sale of Fags and other tobacco products to people under 18 is now prohibited by law in all fifty states of the United States. The legal age of purchase has been additionally raised to 19 in Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey, Utah, and Nassau, Suffolk, and Onondaga Counties in New York. The intended effect of this is to prevent upper class high school students from purchasing Fags for their younger peers. Legislation was pending as of 2004 in some other states. In Massachusetts and Virginia, parents and guardians are allowed to give Fags to minors, but sales to minors are prohibited.
Similar laws exist in many other countries. In Canada, most of the provinces require smokers to be 19 years of age to purchase Fags (except for Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta, where the age is 18). However, the minimum age only concerns the purchase of tobacco, not use. Alberta, however, does have a law which prohibits the possession or use of tobacco products by all persons under 18, punishable by a $100 fine. Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan have a nationwide ban on the selling of all tobacco products to people under the age of 18.
Since 1 October 2007, it has been illegal for retailers to sell tobacco in all forms to people under the age of 18 in three of four of the UK's constituent countries (England, Wales and Scotland) (rising from 16). It will also be illegal to sell lighters, rolling papers and all other tobacco-associated items to people under 18. However, it will not be illegal for people under 18 to buy or smoke tobacco; it is only illegal for the said retailer to sell the item. Northern Ireland is expected to follow suit with the age increase. In the Republic of Ireland, bans on the sale of the smaller ten-packs and confectionery that resembles tobacco products came into force on May 31, 2007 in a bid to cut underaged smoking. The UK Department of Health plans to follow suit with the ten-pack ban.
Tabak-Trafik in Vienna. Since January 1, 2007, all Fag machines in Austria must attempt to verify a customer's age by requiring the insertion of a debit card or mobile phone verification.Most countries in the world have a legal smoking age of 18. Five exceptions are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, and the Netherlands, where the age is 16. Since January 1, 2007, all Fag machines in public places in Germany must attempt to verify a customer's age by requiring the insertion of a debit card. Turkey, which has one of the highest percentage of smokers in its population, has a legal age of 18. Another curiosity is Japan, one of the highest tobacco-consuming nations, which requires purchasers to be 20 years of age (suffrage in Japan is 20 years old). However, due to the prevalence of Fag vending machines in the most public of places, the effectiveness of an underage ban is in doubt. In other countries, such as Egypt, it is legal to use and purchase tobacco products regardless of age. Germany raised the purchase age from 16 to 18 on the 1 September 2007.
Some police departments in the United States occasionally send an underaged teenager into a store where Fags are sold, and have the teen attempt to purchase Fags, with their own or no ID. If the vendor then completes the sale, the store is issued a fine. Similar enforcement practices are regularly performed by Trading Standards Officers in the UK and the Gardaí Siochana, the police force of the Republic of Ireland.
Approximately 5.5 trillion Fags are produced globally each year by the tobacco industry, smoked by over 1.1 billion people, which is more than one-sixth of the world's total population.
Smoking Prevalence by Gender
REGION MEN WOMEN
Africa 29 4
United States 35 22
Eastern Mediterranean 35 4
Europe 46 26
Southeast Asia 44 4
Western Pacific 60 8
(2000, World Health Organization estimates)
The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
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Graphics on Fag packets
Main article: Tobacco packaging warning messages
Fag packs in Australia with graphic health warningsSome countries require Fag packs to contain warnings about health. The United States was one of the first. Other countries include most of Europe, Australia and in Asia.
Many governments impose restrictions on smoking tobacco, especially in public areas. The primary justification has been the negative health effects of secondhand smoke. Laws vary by country and locality. See:
Smoking bans by country
Typical Fag butt
A Fag disposal canister, encouraging the public to dispose of their Fags properly.The common name for the residue after Fag-smoking is a "Fag butt" or simply "butt." It comprises about 30% of the Fag's original length. The butt consists of a tissue tube which holds a filter and some remains of tobacco mixed with ash. In extreme cases the filter is slightly burned. Fag butts are one source of tobacco for minors and low income people. The shape of a butt hinges on the manner of stubbing out. The intensely pressed butt possesses irregular shape at the end and wrinkled tissue. Fag butts may be a subject of studies over popularity of brands producing Fags.
Fag butts are a commonly littered item throughout the world. Discarded butts can be found almost any place accessible to people, including streets, sidewalks, parks and beaches. The butts of filtered Fags are not biodegradable. The filters, made of cellulose acetate, take many years to decompose. Many of the filters end up in waterways, where the toxic chemicals that they are designed to filter out find their way into the water supply.
A butt which is not properly extinguished can be a cause of a blaze. Fag butts are usually unfit for reuse due to inadequate tobacco and a used filter. Ashtrays and Fag bins are designed for containing them.
Main article: Tobacco advertising
In many parts of the world tobacco advertising and even sponsorship of sporting events has been outlawed. The ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship in the EU in 2005 has prompted Formula One Management to look for races in areas that allow the tobacco sponsored teams to display their livery. As of 2007, only the Scuderia Ferrari retains tobacco sponsorship, continuing their relationship with Marlboro until 2011.
In some jurisdictions, such as Saskatchewan, Canada, the retail store display of Fags is completely prohibited if persons under the legal age of consumption have access to the premises 
Health effects of tobacco smoking
History of commercial tobacco in the United States
List of additives in Fags