How To Roll A Cigarette

Cowboys knew how to roll a cigarette. Hipsters know how to roll a cigarette. And you can bet that James Dean knew how to roll a cigarette. But do you? Hand rolled cigarettes aren't just cool, they're cheaper than premade smokes as well. Keep reading to learn the art of rolling cigarettes.

Materials you will need: 

  • Rolling tobacco.
  • Rolling papers.
  • A lighter. (Okay, technically you don't need a lighter to roll a cigarette, but you're not just going to look at it, are you?)

Once you've got all that stuff, follow these steps and you'll be twisting up rollies with the best of them.

  1. Select a piece of rolling paper. Pull a piece of rolling paper from the packet. Lay it out with the gummed edge facing up and towards you.
  2. Grab a pinch of tobacco. Open up your pouch or tin of rolling tobacco and grab a pinch. It doesn't take too much. Remember, when all is said and done the finished product will be smaller than your pinky.
  3. Spread the tobacco on the rolling paper. This is the secret to rolling a good cigarette. Pull apart the clumps of tobacco and spread it evenly down the whole length of the rolling paper. Clumps don't burn correctly, so distribute the tobacco as evenly as possible. Allow a little tobacco to stick out of both ends.
  4. Roll it up. Fold the rolling paper in half and gently roll it a few times. The goal in this step is to form the tobacco into a lightly compressed cylinder. Don't make it too tight or the cigarette will be too hard to draw. When the tobacco has formed a cylinder, tuck the bottom edge of the rolling paper down inside and roll it until the gummed edge is drawn down to the cigarette.
  5. Lick the gummed edge. This is where you get to look the coolest. Give the gummed edge a quick lick to moisten the glue and stick it down. Just don't slobber on it too much or the paper will fall apart.
  6. Pinch the loose tobacco from the ends. You don't want a mouth full of raw tobacco, do you? Take a second to clean up the ends.
  7. Light it up! Give it a few seconds to dry then light it up and enjoy the fruit of your labors. Bonus points if you blow a few smoke rings.


  • Rolling papers come in different widths. The wider sizes are easier to learn with, so start with those if you're still learning.
  • If you want to add a filter to your rollie, you can. Look for them with the rolling tobacco when you're out shopping. All the above steps are the same, just drop a filter at the mouth end after you spread the tobacco.
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