'I'm killing myself, but I'm saving the planet': rolling tobacco smokers' perceptions of rolling papers



Moodie C & O'Donnell R (2022) 'I'm killing myself, but I'm saving the planet': rolling tobacco smokers' perceptions of rolling papers. Tobacco Control, 31 (3), pp. 479-482.

Introduction Despite the global growth of rolling tobacco, we are unaware of any research that has explored smokers’ perceptions of the types of rolling papers available, or plain rolling papers, which are now required in Canada and Israel. Methods Eight focus groups were conducted with rolling tobacco smokers (n=50) in Greater Glasgow (Scotland) between February and March 2020. Participants were shown a number of packs of promotional rolling papers (natural, transparent, prerolled cones, flavoured) and plain rolling papers. Results Rolling papers were often viewed as functional, a necessity for making roll-ups. The appeal of papers was based on the packaging, with a booklet-style pack of natural papers viewed very positively, as well as novelty, usability and taste/smell. Participants often associated papers with particular users, with prerolled cones and some flavoured papers thought to be used by cannabis smokers or younger people and those just starting to smoke. In terms of harm perceptions, natural papers were viewed as a healthier choice than standard papers and more environmentally friendly, whereas transparent papers raised concerns about safety to both the user and the environment. Participants were generally ambivalent towards plain papers, which they did not feel would alter their purchasing or smoking behaviour, although some felt they may be less appealing to youth as the branding would be diminished. Conclusions The panoply of rolling papers available offers consumers considerable choice. As some promotional papers can increase appeal or create misperceptions of harm then standardising papers would help to counter this.

Tobacco Control: Volume 31, Issue 3

FundersCRUK Cancer Research UK
Publication date31/05/2022
Publication date online23/11/2020
Date accepted by journal12/10/2020

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Professor Crawford Moodie

Professor Crawford Moodie

Professor, Institute for Social Marketing

Dr Rachel O'Donnell

Dr Rachel O'Donnell

Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Social Marketing

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