It is a complex, highly automated process, taking place around the clock in 26 JTI factories worldwide.
This is the process of converting different types of tobacco and grades of leaf into a consistent tobacco mix, ready to make into cigarettes. Several steps take place during the course of this process.
1. It begins with conditioning, where tobacco is processed to ensure that it retains elasticity by passing it through a controlled environment at just the right temperature and humidity levels.
2. This is followed by pre-blending, ensuring a balanced mix of different types of tobacco.
3. The leaf is then cut into fine strands, dried to a precisely defined level of moisture and given its ‘top flavoring’. The flavors used both complement and balance the taste of tobacco and also protect the quality of the product. However, not all types of cigarettes contain flavorings. For example, traditional virginia blends often contain no flavorings
Further information on our cigarettes can be found on our ingredients database.
Drying takes place toward the end of the tobacco conditioning. This is a precise process and is designed to retain just the right amount of moisture.
JTI invested heavily in a manufacturing innovation that is known as flash drying. The first flash dryer was installed and piloted at the JTI manufacturing plant at Lisnafillan, Northern Ireland in 2008.
This technology dries the tobacco at higher temperatures and therefore more quickly than the conventional dryers. The shorter drying time reduces tobacco degradation and energy consumption.
Most cigarettes are produced by highly complex machines, the most advanced of which can produce up to 20,000 cigarettes per minute.
The cut and conditioned tobacco, known as cut filler, is wrapped in cigarette paper by machine to produce a ‘continuous cigarette’. This is then cut to the appropriate length and the filter is added and wrapped to the cigarette rod with tipping paper. The tipping paper is often printed to look like cork, a material that was used in cigarettes before the invention of modern filters.
One or two rows of holes are laser-drilled into the tips of cigarettes to moderate the way that they burn and how smoke is delivered.
Paper used for wrapping tobacco is designed to control the burning rate of the cigarette and the stability of the ash.
This is the process of loading cigarettes into individual packs. One of the more common configurations is 20 in a pack.
To preserve their taste, cigarettes are usually wrapped in aluminum foil inside the pack, which is itself wrapped in airtight polypropylene material. This packing process involves cutting, folding and gluing.
After the individual packs have been produced they are packed into cartons, normally containing a total of 200 cigarettes. For ease of handling and storage plus protecting the product during transportation, these cartons are then packed into shipping cases, normally containing a total of 10,000 cigarettes.