Cigarette Filter Tips Choice: The Definitive Guide

This is an elaborate guide to help you pick the right raw materials for your cigarette filter tips.

So, if you are

  • Running a filter factory
  • Looking for suppliers of NTM (non-tobacco material)
  • Interested in cigarette making
  • Interested in specialty paper of cigarette

Then you may need this new guide.

1. Cigarette Filter Fundamentals


The first cigarette filter was invented in 1925. And it was introduced to cigarette manufacturing by Molin Machine in the early 1950s.

Now filtered cigarettes have the biggest share of the tobacco market.


Cigarette filters prevent the inhalation of some harmful elements, thus reducing the amount of nicotine and tar breathed in.


Cigarette filters are usually made from plastic acetate fiber and filter papers. Filter papers contain plug wrap papers and tipping papers.

A plug wrap is used as a filtration material, while a tipping paper holds the filter to the cigarette rod.

Diagram of a cigarette

Diagram of a cigarette

Color Change

Why general cigarette filters are cork (buff) color?

After smoking, the filter core turns yellow. The buff color of the tipping paper is a matchable tune.

Similarly, some cigarettes for ladies had red filters in the early days.

2. How a cigarette filter is made

Channel Design:

The cellulose acetate is formed with a specified number of channels. Then the filter is wrapped in an outer plug wrap paper, which can be standard or non-porous (2400CU, 6000CU, 12000CU).

Hollow Cavity Design:

The crimped acetates surround a hollow central cavity. This structure significantly improves the filtering efficiency.

Above are the two main types of filter elements.

The following step:

The tipping paper joins the filter element with the tobacco rod.

At last, the combined components compose a filter.

3. Suppliers in China

Cigarette filter:


A wholly-owned subsidiary of China Tobacco Jiangsu Industrial Co., Ltd.

The annual production capacity of cigarette filter rods is about 40 billion units, ranking first in China.

Acetate tow:

Sichuan Push Acetati

Produce a full range of cellulose acetate. Pass through the registration of European REACH and certificates of ISO 9001, ISO 1400, ISO 50001, and OHSAS 18001.

Plug wrap paper:

Sichuan Jinfeng Paper

One of the main paper industries in domestic China. Jinfeng has the permission license issued by the China Tobacco Monopoly Bureau to manufacture and sell all kinds of cigarette paper.

4. How to select the right cigarette filter

Judge from Raw Material:

The basic material of cigarette filters is filter fiber, which is generally made from acetate fiber or acrylic fiber. Acetate is better.

By hand:

If you break off the filter and tear off the tipping paper on the surface, the acrylic fiber will expand, but the acetate fiber will not. Moreover, acetate fiber is relatively straight, and acrylic fiber has many small wave-like bends.

cigarette filter

cigarette filter

5. Rumor: Is the cigarette filter toxic?

The cost of cigarettes using cellulose acetate filters is relatively high, the filtering effect is good, and it is harmless to the human body.

In order to reduce costs, some manufacturers replace filter material with polypropylene (a plastic raw material). Although it is non-toxic, it has been chemically treated and drawn into filaments, which look similar to acetate fibers. The filaments may be inhaled into the lungs after igniting.

The plug wrap paper is a kind of specialty paper. Like acid-free paper (for banknote making), the manufacture and sale of plug wrap paper are strict.

On another side, the tipping paper contacts the mouth (lips) directly, the qualified tipping paper should be food grade.

6. The real problem: No fully biodegradable

As per the study (wave 20 of the German Study on Tobacco Use; DEBRA), most people don’t know that cigarette filters are mainly composed of synthetic material.

In fact, synthetic plastic is not fully bridgeable. Only 45-50% of cellulose acetate mass was fully degraded to CO2 after 55 days of controlled composting.

That is to say, chemical pollution is long-lasting and badly influences creatures’ health.

As the cigarette market grows, it is needed to promote awareness as well as knowledge of the environmental health hazards of cigarette filters to the general population, specifically to current smokers.

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