|Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make a cigarette?
There are two ways to make your own cigarette, the rolling format (RYO) and the stuffing format (MYO). With the rolling method, you use a simple hand-held machine, a loose cigarette paper and a loose filter (if you want a filter). Rolling a cigarette takes a certain amount of manual dexterity, but can be mastered with practice. RYO cigarette papers are currently available from a variety of manufacturers in regular, king size, and 100mm lengths. There are extra-long paper variations (i.e., multi-cigarette length that you cut to order) in the rolling format, but the machines and supplies are not reliably available at present. These extra-long papers are also much more expensive than MYO tubes so we do not support this line of products.
The second format for making or "stuffing" a cigarette employs a stuffing machine (hand-held or desktop) and a cigarette tube. A cigarette tube looks like a finished cigarette without any tobacco in it. Stuffing/injection machines range in price and complexity, but the tubes actually cost less than the separate papers and filters. The stuffing method is more economical, quicker to use, and produces a cigarette with a manufactured look. The stuffing machines work best when not over-packed with tobacco, must be cleaned regularly, and they require some strength to pull the mechanism. Tubes are available in regular (filter and non-filter), king-size, ultra-slim and 100mm lengths.
Why would I want to make my own cigarettes?
The main reason people make their own cigarettes, even with the excise tax and tobacco settlement (MSA) costs included, is a much lower price.
The second most common reason people make their own cigarettes is quality of the smoke. Economists call this purchasing pattern "conspicuous consumption." (Some folks just want to be seen smoking a superior quality, premium cigarette). Customers coming from the generic brands are most appreciative of our products, but all our customers would agree that a Bec's Accessories, homemade cigarette just tastes better.
What type of cigarette tubes should I buy?
Most people do not realize that you make a "light" or "full flavor" cigarette by selecting the correct type of tube, and not by selecting a tobacco with light characteristics. We currently sell a wide range of brands and styles of cigarette tubes to satisfy the needs of our customers. I believe you will find that our prices for tubes are the lowest anywhere.
If you desire a regular length (70mm), non-filter tube, you would select the Excel tube made by Clinton Tube Company (CTC). When making price comparisons, remember that these non-filter, short cigarette tubes are packaged 500/box. We sell two brands of filtered 70mm (regular length) tubes for our customers who desire a short smoke, Rayo Regular length and Century. Most of the remaining tubes in our current assortment are king-size or 100mm, filter tipped, and packaged either 200/box or 100/box with brand variations. We have recently added two new sizes of MYO tubes. The first is a "cigarette size" tube sold by Rizla to be the same dimension as a manufactured cigarette. The other size variation is the new "ultra slim" from Clinton Tube, available in Premier and Rayo brand tubes. Another exciting new option available to the MYO smoker is the revolutionary brown tube from Vera Cruz.
CTC manufactures Premier, Premier Light, Escort, Filterite, Filterite Light, Windsail (our private label brand), Vera Cruz (the exciting new brown tube) and the Rayo brand cigarette tubes. The Premier tube is full flavor with a brown filter tip, Premier Light has a white filter tip, and the Escort is a light (ventilated) tube with a brown filter tip. Windsail is the worlds only full flavor tube with a white filter tip. (A white tip is sometimes associated with menthol cigarettes). Rayo cigarette tubes are available in full flavor with a brown filter tip, and in a light tube with a white filter tip.
In addition to the U.S. and Canadian made tubes from CTC, we are pleased to offer an extensive selection of cigarette tubes made by the best manufacturers from around the world. Our line of tubes now includes Gizeh (SilverTip), ElRey, Rizla, Club, Zig-Zag, Mascotte, Top, Buglar and SixtyOne. The German (EFKA) made El Rey is a superior quality, full flavor and light tube (both with a brown filter tip). SilverTip from Gizeh are excellent quality full flavor and light tubes (both brown tipped) with a reputation for dropping less ash. Gizeh also makes Charbon, a charcoal filtered tube, and an attractive new brand called Twister. Rizla and Club are also excellent quality tubes from EFKA and Rizla has a chlorine free tube (blue box). The Zig Zag tubes are also of exceptional quality and are available in full flavor with a brown filter tip, and a light version with a white filter tip. The Zig-Zag light tubes have a ring of small perforations around the filter tip. Mascotte is the biggest selling brand in Holland and they have a reputation for superior quality. Both full flavor and light Mascotte tubes are brown tipped. Top tubes are available in full flavor (brown tip) and light (white tip). Buglar and SixtyOne tubes are only available in full flavor. We also carry four brands of mentholated filter tubes: MenthoTip, ElRey Menthol, Mascotte Menthol, and Premier Menthol. We have recently added the new 100mm full flavor and light tubes from Zig-Zag and a full flavor 100mm tube from SixtyOne to our product line.
In addition to the physical variations described among the tubes above, there is also a subtle, subjective difference in the "taste" of the different tubes to some of our customers. You may want to try out more than one brand before you make a final decision on which is the best cigarette tube for you. Although there will always be the occasional defective tube, all these manufacturers make an excellent quality cigarette tube. A consideration for your selection may also be that the Canadian tubes are less expensive than the European tubes (favorable exchange rate and low transportation charges). Once you determine the most pleasurable combination of Bec's Accessories and tubes, we know that you will enjoy "a connoisseurs cigarette at an economy price."
What length and type of cigarette papers should I buy?
If cost is a primary factor in the decision to roll your own cigarettes, then you are going to have to go with the regular length cigarette papers (70mm). King size (78mm) and 100mm papers generally cost about twice as much per pack, and only have around one half to one third the number of papers/booklet as their regular length counterparts. Other factors to consider when selecting a cigarette paper are burn rate, thickness and taste of the paper, and the way the paper feels on your lips and fingers. We have selected papers from four to five manufacturers for each of the 70mm, 78mm, and 100mm formats. We have found that customers preferences for cigarette papers vary significantly. Somebody might want a sturdy paper that will be easy to roll, while another may want the thinnest paper achievable. Since it is not possible to recommend one single paper that might be to everyones best liking, we carry what we hope represents the best value selection from fine quality manufacturers. Please let us know if there is some other paper that you would like for us to add to our inventory. We strive to provide the best quality and greatest value cigarette papers available on the market.
The best values we have found in regular length cigarette papers are the Escort and Rayo Free Burn brands from CTC. These papers are inexpensive, high quality and (most importantly) packed 100 sheets per booklet. (By the box they are $.45 per 100 sheet booklet. All the other papers range from $.40 to $.60 per fifty sheets). If you prefer a thinner cigarette paper, we also carry Rice papers and Hemp papers from Rayo. When making price comparisons, remember that the Rayo Rice and Rayo Hemp papers are packed 48/booklet. The Escort is an "aquafuge" or "wet proof" paper which means that it is a light paper and will not stick to your lips. The Escort, Rice and Hemp papers from CTC are also slow burn cigarette papers (gives you a longer lasting cigarette than the length would suggest). In the 70mm length, we offer four to five styles of papers from each of Gizeh, Rizla and Mascotte. Different styles include fine, light, medium, rice, hemp and licorice flavored.
Among the many name brand alternatives for king size rolling papers, our picks as the best values, are D&R King Size papers (50/booklet), the French Light from JOB (48/booklet), and Sawah from Gizeh (64/booklet). We recommend these papers as a value because they are high quality and are somewhat reasonably priced compared to most other manufacturers of king size papers. (Most other king size rolling papers are packaged 24 to 32 papers/booklet). The good news is that we have found a good variety of brands and styles of king sized papers especially for our customers. We are excited to offer this range of high quality king size (78/79 mm) cigarette papers, including our own D&R king size papers. Our D&R king size papers come wrapped 50 per packet in a paper sleeve. We have saved on the packaging in order to lower your cost of a roll your own, king size length cigarette. Just pinch the paper sleeve between your fingers to open, and then slide out the cigarette paper. We believe that our king size D&R cigarette papers are among the lowest priced king size papers available anywhere.
For our RYO customers who want a really long smoke, we now offer a variety of 100mm cigarette papers. We currently carry 100mm papers in fine, medium, ultra thin, rice and licorice - just about every style you might desire.
My stuffing machine keeps jamming. What am I doing wrong?
There are two primary reasons that cause the stuffing machines to jam. When you first receive your Bec's Accessories (or most any other brand of RYO tobacco), it will generally be too moist for the stuffing machine right out of the package. Moist tobacco can gum-up a machine, jam the moving parts, and produce a cigarette that is not completely filled. If your tobacco is too moist, let the tobacco air dry for a short while before making any cigarettes (time will vary depending upon your local climate). The tobacco is at the optimum moisture content when it has a slight crisp feel. Furthermore, periodically brush the machine clean with a dry paintbrush and oil all moving parts. Use hot water, gentle soap and a soft cloth to clean stubborn gummed-up residue. All stuffing machines must be periodically cleaned, tightened and lubricated. Regular maintenance is essential to a smoothly operating stuffing machine and a well made cigarette.
The second most common cause of a jammed machine is trying to use too much tobacco to make a cigarette. When you first begin "stuffing" cigarettes, practice making them with less tobacco and work up to the desired level of compactness. Overloading will jam and damage any cigarette machine. This is important advice and worth repeating - DO NOT USE TOO MUCH TOBACCO! As a rule of thumb, if the tobacco is sticking up out of the "tobacco slot" on your machine, you are using too much. You may want to gain a reference point by opening a finished cigarette and observing how little tobacco is used in making a cigarette. We occasionally hear from some customer (or their apologetic spouse) who thought they could force the machine arm through its range of motion. If you have problems when first learning how to make a cigarette, call us and we will walk you through it. (In ten years of experience, I can count on one hand the number of machines that were truly defective from the manufacturer). As specified in the instruction booklet that comes with the machine, if a CTC machine requires service, return it directly to the manufacturer. They are a terrific company and will generally rebuild your machine for free or for a minor service charge (you pay postage).
My menthol is too strong. How do I lighten it?
Getting the menthol concentration "just right" for every customer would be an impossible task for us. We have, therefore, admittedly elected to mentholate our tobacco rather heavily for the strong menthol smokers. In order to get a lighter menthol cigarette, all you have to do is blend the menthol with one of our other fine tobaccos to obtain your desired strength. You may also want to try a light cigarette tube to lighten the menthol.
My tobacco is too dry. Is it stale?
Sitting on a store shelf or being transported across the country can cause any tobacco to dry out. That may not necessarily be a problem. The biggest problem to RYO/MYO is when tobacco is moist and gets moldy. Mold is the greatest enemy because it spoils the tobacco; dry tobacco can be recovered. The best cigarette tobaccos are actually aged in a tobacco warehouse for a minimum three years before they are ready for rehydration, blending and cutting. (Tobacco has to "sweat out" at least six times, twice per year). If the tobacco is dry, but not molded, it can be revitalized with a humidor. Bring the moisture content of the tobacco back up slowly (with a humidifier or sponge - indirect humidity) and do not handle the tobacco too much when it is dry (it will crumble into powder). The moisture content for optimum rolling will vary depending on your geographic area.
How do I store my tobacco?
For regular consumption, keep your working "stash" in a container that preserves freshness and store your excess tobacco in a dry dark area (cabinet or drawer). Some of our customers buy in bulk and want to know a safe way to store tobacco for much later use. You can freeze the tobacco for extended periods as long as the tobacco does not go through multiple defrost cycles. Frozen tobacco will last a very long time. When you defrost the tobacco, do not touch it until it has come to room temperature. It will probably be dry after freezing and will have to be rehydrated with a humidifier.
Is it healthier to smoke a MYO/RYO cigarette?
Smoking a home-made cigarette is not a safe alternative to smoking a manufactured cigarette. Please consult the Health Warnings listed on our side panel. If you have health concerns about smoking, do not start smoking.
Will I smoke fewer cigarettes if I make my own?
We are not aware of any research that has investigated reduced cigarette consumption among MYO/RYO smokers. We do, however, have some anecdotal evidence from some of our customers that they are smoking less. Reasons have varied for them cutting back. The two we would expect to hear most (and do) is that the MYO cigarette tastes better so they smoke fewer to be satisfied, and second that it is less convenient (i.e., the hassle factor). Another reason we have heard is that it eliminates the mindless smoke. You know that cigarette you really did not want or need, but you found it in your mouth so you smoked it anyway. If you have to make a cigarette, you will not smoke it as automatically. I also think there is an element of "Pavlovs dog" acting here as well. (Remember, Pavlov discovered that his dogs salivated when he rang the bell, before he delivered the food). The physical process of sitting down, getting out the accessories, and making a cigarette appears to have a reward component to it. If the cigarette making process helps some people smoke less, then we are for it. Some former customers have also used MYO/RYO as a bridge to quit smoking completely.