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Little Cigars

By May 24, 2006

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Q: When is a cigar not a cigar? A: When it's a little cigar. But when is a little cigar really a cigarette? A cigar consists of filler tobacco wrapped in tobacco leaf, while a cigarette is processed tobacco wrapped in paper. However, the official definitions have gotten somewhat murky. If little cigars with filters are being inhaled, does this make them cigarettes? The distinction between cigars and cigarettes is important because each are taxed at different rates, and different laws and restrictions apply to the marketing of each product.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TBB) will draft changes to current tobacco regulations, differentiating between little cigars and cigarettes, and publish a proposal for public comment sometime this summer. But you don't have to wait until summer. Make your own public comment about this issue right now, in the below comments.


May 24, 2006 at 8:52 am
(1) Dave says:

Size doesn’t matter. Cigars are made only from tobacco. Cigarettes are made from tobacco, paper, chemicals, and other substances. If you attach a filter (not made from tobacco) to a cigar, it is now a cigarette. The manufacturer does not control how the product is used. Whether a smoker inhales or not is irrelevant to the definition.

June 13, 2006 at 12:52 pm
(2) Dan says:

I can only echo Dave’s comments … ’nuff said.

June 14, 2006 at 1:48 pm
(3) J.B. says:

If it’s 100% tobacco, has a wrapper, bunch, and filler, it’s a cigar.
If it has a filter on it it aint a cigar.

July 2, 2006 at 6:22 am
(4) guenther says:
June 3, 2007 at 3:05 pm
(5) Jess says:

For those of you that do not smoke or have never smoked you have no idea what you are talking about! There is an extreme difference in the taste as well as the aroma of cigarettes and little cigars. I have smoked both for many years and even though I have been complimented by many people on the aroma (yes even nonsmokers) for my little cigars. Can cigarettes be reclassified by making them the size of cigars?

October 4, 2008 at 1:22 am
(6) Don says:

God I am so sorry of these debates! Anything to make the US smoke free? My GOD Where will it end? I can just barely afford to smoke now that I am used to little cigars and now you want to take this away from me? I am so sick of it I could just barf!

October 19, 2008 at 8:09 pm
(7) bryce says:

it aint not a cigar if ther be a filter on it

December 22, 2008 at 3:17 am
(8) Brian says:

I believe the difference between a cigar and a cigarette is that a cigar is made from tobacco, preferably long leaf inside and a wrapped in a whole leaf, whereas a cigarette is made from dried and usually processed shredded tobacco, wrapped with paper and laced with chemicals.

So help me god if my cigarillos end up jumping from 1.25 apiece to 5 USD each because of punitive taxes, I’ll find another country to live in.

February 24, 2009 at 10:26 pm
(9) terry says:

I quit for 5 years and was miserable now I pay $10 per carton for little cigars which are definately NOT cigarettes because of the type of tobacco used in them, it will increase to $25 per carton in april.
I ordered tobacco seeds yesterday, and harassed my congressmen

March 16, 2009 at 12:10 pm
(10) Berry says:

all of you seem to place much weight on the wrapper or “filter tube” of the little cigar’s composition…many of you seem to be missing the fact, however, that the wrapper to cheyenne intl’s little cigars (as well as many other companies that i have recently researched) is made of 67% reconstituted tobacco. It is labeled clearly on all sides of the box. they are little cigars. The legislature clearly identifies the difference in the make-up of the two completely seperate entities.

one more question…have any of you ever broken the filter off a little cigar and smoked it anyway? i have. that filter is only there to prevent the tobacco filler from entering your mouth.

if you are interested in more information reguarding the difference and the reason why the legislation is present, check out a comsumer report and a letter to the ttb


April 10, 2009 at 1:56 pm
(11) Tim Glover says:

I smoked cigarettes for over 30 years. I smoke little cigars now. Cigarettes STINK because of the chemicals and no telling what else is there. Little cigars with filters ARE NOT cigarettes because of the filter. That is merely a part to stop loose tobacco and maybe even to stop you from chewing it up. When I smoke cigars W/O filters I usually chew it up before finished smoking. People who have not smoked little cigars should try one and try to say it is a cigarette just because of the filter. If I smoked Pall Mall w/o the filter that certainly doesn’t make it a CIGAR. Come on open your eyes to what is actually trying to be done here. They cost just right for now and the US already gets enough from just plain tobacco taxes All of it.

April 23, 2009 at 1:17 am
(12) barak obama says:

Now how do you obama loving smokers like your kenyan born muslim POTUS now,HUH?I mean 25.00 a carton for foul smelling little cigars yuck.

June 28, 2009 at 10:54 am
(13) Sam says:

I don’t have a problem with cigars or other all tobacco products. I don’t like the mass produced cigarettes because they’re filled with all sorts of harmful chemicals and the people who tend to use them have little to no respect for those around them, but this “Let’s get the government to ban it all!” thing is crazy. We need to get people to do the right thing because they want to, not because Uncle Sam said so.

August 22, 2009 at 11:44 pm
(14) mad says:

little cigars are cigars, they put a filter on it
to keep you from getting the tobacco in your mouth,
they have a different taste and aroma from cigarettes. my fav brand is stampede cherry and vanilla . smoke a cherry little cigar and drink a cherry coke and you will get a double wallop of cherry ! I enjoy smoking , I don’t smoke in the house cause of my animals though and since i stared smoking little cigars I smoke less a carton would last me 2 weeks regular cigarettes about a week .
so there is a big difference between little cigars and cigarettes .

December 18, 2009 at 8:16 pm
(15) Daniel says:

The little cigars filters, or atleast the ones I smoke are much smaller then that of cigarettes. They only appear to be normal size but if you break the end off you will see the filter is only about a half inch long.

More to the points little cigars costs dramatically less then cigarettes. Cigarettes are rolled in papers with chemicals that make them burn faster. A little cigar last at least twice as long as a regular cigarette. Not to mention a carton of cigarettes can cost up to 4 times more then carton of little cigars.

Another little fact people might not know about cigarettes though. The taxes on them are already payed. There is a stamp on the bottom of every pack signifying so. If a store tries to charge you tax on your cigarettes they are literally stealing money from you. Call the ATF if you have to.

February 2, 2010 at 10:02 pm
(16) The Word says:

All you cigar snobs should keep sticking that big brown d*ck in your mouth and shut up.

And to….

Daniel – WRONG

IN any state that has a sales tax, guess what? it is charged on tobacco products. Give ATF a call and listen to them laughing at you!

Barack Obama, or whoever you are (since you are too much of a chickensh!t whiner to use a real fake name)I am sure you know the moon landing was faked in order to hide the new world order’s secret illuminati base that was harboring bigfoot and some passing aliens at the time. This was because the Grassy Knoll was found to be part of the Trilateral Commission’s camp out at the Mission Club. Of course, none of this will matter after 2012 as we all know the world is going to end because there is no birth certificate.

June 21, 2010 at 7:24 pm
(17) David says:

The first comment is wrong. This is just more government control over the lives of adults. Besides that, some little cigars have wooden filters and some have no filters. Regardless of whether a Little Cigar has a wooden filter, a cellulose filter or no filter, the product is not inhaled. Little Cigars are much stronger than cigarettes. You can not smoke a little cigar like a cigarette. Even though they are often flavored, there is no way that a first time smoker or a child could attempt to smoke a Little Cigar. A Little Cigar is a cigar in smaller form for a quicker smoke. Little cigars are not cigarettes. I should know. I work for littlecigars.com.

June 30, 2010 at 4:09 pm
(18) Julia says:

While I would agree that most small cigars are in fact cigarettes, when the law comes into play on what is legal to buy and what is not, it can make a huge difference. For instance, as of September of 2009 the President of the United States banned all flavored cigarettes in in the united states except for menthol. This bans the popular UK brand ‘Blacks’ from being sold in the US because they all have clove flavoring. An exception to this is their little cigars, almost the same product except for the wrapping being tobacco instead. The US government has allowed them to be counted as cigars, making them legal. So, as far as the US government is concerned, even with a filter, a little cigar is a cigar and not a cigarette.

March 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm
(19) Gail says:

This is just one more way the Goverment wants to control us.Bad enough I live in a State where you can’t smoke in public.Little cigars are completly different than cigarettes.It shouldn’t matter if you inhale or not.

March 22, 2011 at 10:24 pm
(20) Ed says:

I smoked off and on since I was a teen. I never got hooked (addicted) to smoking like a lot of sorry people that need a cigarette 24-7. I don’t need a cigarette 1st thing in the morning or during a work break. In fact if I never smoke anything again it wouldn’t be a big deal.

I like to smoke on occasion, usually when I have a drink.

I think smoking should be done in moderation like achohol or any other legal substance. People tend to abuse smoking and thats where it gives smoking a bad name. Too much of anything can’t be good for you.

Why can’t we enjoy a little tobbacco every now and then. It’s what this great country was made on.

April 11, 2011 at 9:14 pm
(21) Cody says:

I 100% agree with the last statement made by ed. Never got addicted to ciggs but smoked them, stupidly, when i was young. enjoy smoking a little cigar, cigar, or hookah once in a great while, with a good drink. Inhaling the smoke is just proposterous it is already bad for you and what is honestly the point in inhaling a cig besides getting the full blast of nictotine as well as chemicals. Sure you’ll get some of that from the other smokeables too but inhaling is kind of comical to me, which is the opposite of what most people think.

April 11, 2011 at 9:16 pm
(22) cody says:

also just trying to find a good little cigar. liked the little cigars since we were to young to buy them and they were the only thing not behind or on the counter so we snagged ‘em. after smoking everything those little swisher sweets were always a nice smoke, although they are mass produced and obviously shitty tobacco. point being, if someone could recommend a good little cigar similar to a swisher sweet cherry it’d be appreciated. thank you for your response.

April 12, 2011 at 10:48 am
(23) cigars says:

Cody: I think that you might like to try some flavored cigars, especially CAO Flavors that are little cigars sold in tins. Visit this page and click on the links to Compare Prices.

April 15, 2011 at 2:39 am
(24) John364 says:

Very nice site!

August 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm
(25) EZTobacco.com says:

We carry a wide range of filtered cigars. Use promotional code S15OFFAUG to receive 15% off an order during the month of August!

December 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm
(26) Rachel says:

If anyone is interested in trying out little cigars I’d definitely recommend buydiscountcigars.com. There’s a bunch of brands on here and even a sampler carton. I’ve switched over to filtered cigars and I’m never going to switch back.

February 27, 2012 at 11:38 am
(27) Jonathan says:

Ok. I am going to lay down the Real difference. Cigar tobacco is “fermented” often contains clove and other fillers for taste and if you inhale them you Will get compounds and chemicals from it you do not get from normal tobacco (particularly nitrates) most cigar guys do not inhale, love chewing them and the cigars are took care of in humidity controled boxes. That is ontill this tax bullsh!t now people are buying little filtered cigars because there cheaper.
And then there is pipe tobacco, the cut varies mostly course (if ment for a pipe or “duel purpose” that is rolled or stuffed or put in a pipe its looks finer cut) this is what I started smoking because of flavors. It is made of blending many types of tobaccos to get a flavor and is sometimes sprayed with flavors when the plant is growing to get the sweeter flavors. Much smoother to inhale than cigars.
Then cigarettes have filters that are a good thing as long as the filter is short. They can keep sand and other small particles out of your lungs. But if the filter is long it takes more flavor and in general everything out But carbon monoxide a very bad thing. So if you end up with a big filter the cigarette company is blowing smoke up your a$$ so you smoke more. And the filter is cheaper than tobacco do the math. Cigarette companies was putting stuff in them to make them burn faster to help you get a lil rush off them, ontill it was banned because it keeps burning when thrown down, Fire hazard.
I hope this helps because I was not blowing smoke up your well you know haha.

June 4, 2012 at 11:47 pm
(28) Conservatards_Are_Wrong says:

If the comments above are an average cross-section of our country… I fear it’s demise is coming much sooner than later. Being illiterate and ignorant, and wearing a tinfoil hat is not a way to go through life

August 23, 2013 at 1:59 am
(29) Ronald says:

Here in america its all about money… There r lots of deaths thanks to drunk driving. I’m a smoker glad I am… Our freedom is history… Alchohol can support lots of things and sponsor lots yet inicent ppl get killed by drunk drivers every single minute… Inicent ppl do not die svery from tobacco… It just proves america is taking our freedom away… All I got to say is screw this country anymore…. Raise alcohol taxes if u r going to take are smoking rights away to and get the rights of these dui bumms off the street… A lot more crime to off the streets to because lots of crime comes from alchohol a lot more then tobacco

November 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm
(30) Ron says:

The difference is, even the little cigars with filters are plain tobacco.
Cigarettes are packed full of addictive and poisonous chemicals on purpose. We are trying to get away from that. Tax the ones that are trying to get people addicted. Leave Cigars alone.

December 6, 2013 at 6:37 am
(31) Ronald says:

It is not a cigarette a little cigar isnt… Because it is natural… A filter helpes with keeping tar out thats what it does…. Little cigar tubes are not laced like cigarettes are… Way better they are for people to smoke… Less people i bet who smokes little cigars die from less cancer problems them people who smoke cigarettes by a big number it is a big difference… I bet…. This american country is only after money thats why they want to tax little cigars…. Watch and see… Cigars will go way up regular ones will bigtime if little cigars get taxed… I bet you won’t ever see a cigar under 5 a piece if little cigars get taxed… Just like the Gas thing and Diesel thing money money money is all it is about… Even if it is natural this country will be after the money…. More money they want in their back pockets so they can pocket more… A joke is all America is we all know that

December 6, 2013 at 6:46 am
(32) Ronald says:

Little cigars are natural tobacco… All america is after is the money thing… Like it always is… Watch and see cigars will go way up… Regular cigars will go up bigtime… You wont ever see a cigar under 5 if little cigars get taxed count on it… America is all about money they just want more money in their back pockets… They complain how much it cost in the med field… How about alcohol how many people die from that… People even get killed by drunk drivers damm people ever get shot by drunks because of stupid things besides of health problems people die from alcohol… Look at the Gas tax thing thats a natural substance but guess what america has taxed it bigtime over the years and everything else has gone up because the cost of diesel… America is money hungary it is a proven fact…..

February 22, 2014 at 5:52 pm
(33) Buzz Bollan says:

the curing process is the difference. the cavendish process using air cured tobacco and today corojo tobacco make a cigar. cigarettes are made using many variations and blends of flue cured air cured fire and sun cured. predominately a blend of air, flue and fire cured brightleaf ( virginia ) burley and sun cured turkish from mediterranean

March 3, 2014 at 7:23 pm
(34) Ronald says:

If little Cigars were just like Cigarettes… They would burn just as fast… I think all you people on here that say they are Cigarettes never smoked one or never ever smoked at all!!!! It is just another way for the Government to make more money by raising the price on everything… But alcohol can still support all kinds of things yet Tobacco can’t when it comes to anything!!!! More people are killed by drunk drivers then someone thats smoking!!!! We all know what the main thing for the alcohol freedom is don’t we new years eve!!!! The gov makes big bucks on alcohol that night!!!! Freedom is history in the United States lets face it…. I could not imagine what it is going to be like 50 years down the road

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