Myth busted! Roll-your-own tobacco is not safer
There are two questions about roll-your-own tobacco that smokers are often unsure of the answers to.
1. Are roll-your-own cigarettes healthier?
Roll-your-own tobacco is not less harmful than standard cigarettes.
They are just as deadly as factory or ‘tailor-made’ cigarettes.
There has been an increase in the number of smokers turning to rollies, especially as the price of cigarettes increases, and many believe that roll-your-own smokes do less harm.
Have you heard a smoker say “Roll-your-owns are healthier than tailor-made cigarettes” as a reason for switching over? Well, rollies have the same health risk as cigarettes. Both are harmful, as the smoker is inhaling particles and chemicals from burning tobacco each time they smoke.
You might think that rollies are ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ and therefore ‘healthier’, but this is not true. Roll-your-own tobacco still contains addictive nicotine and other harmful additives, including those to retain tobacco moisture and reduce the smell of the smoke.
And if you roll ‘thinner’ cigarettes, this may mean you have to inhale harder, which increases how much tar goes into your lungs.
Visit the US Food and Drug Administration website to find out about the more than 7000 chemicals in both factory made and roll-your-own cigarettes.
2. Are roll-your-own smokes cheaper than other cigarettes?
If you have switched to roll-your-own cigarettes to save money on cigarettes because you think they are taxed differently and are therefore cheaper, you should know that the tax on loose tobacco was equalised with manufactured cigarettes in September 2017 so they are no cheaper.
- The average 25g pouch of loose tobacco is more than $30, with each rollie costing around 90c a stick.
- By 2020, with tax increases, the average 25g pouch of loose tobacco will increase to more than $50*, with each rollie costing more than $1.50 a stick.
Go to the Cancer Council SA cost calculator to work out how much money you can pay yourself if you quit smoking.
Now is a good time to think about quitting before prices go even higher – the earlier you quit, the more money you save.