The first commercial rolling papers were produced in 1660 by the Lacroix family after Frenchman Lacroix allegedly traded a bottle of Champagne for rolling papers that French soldiers were transporting from Spain; following that, in the year 1736, the Lacroix Rolling Paper company was founded.1
Today, rolling paper is made from a variety of materials, including wood pulp, rice-based paper, hemp (e.g. pure hemp papers by Joker), flax seed (e.g. white cigarette papers by Chesterfield), and other plant-based materials.2 These products are often advertised for possessing certain characteristics like “slow burning” (e.g. King size Joker), a wide selection of sizes (e.g. Mucha Job cigarette paper), and a “Do-it-yourself” capability (e.g. Job’s Adams Apple). Additionally, many of them employ similar marketing strategies as do cigarette packages, featuring celebrities like Bob Marley, sex appeal, elegant type print, and makeshift paintings. In fact, the evolution of these cigarette paper advertisements can be seen through several motifs including its artistic modes and use of female figures. For example, in the first two Mucha Job advertisements, the women painted are done so in the Classical Art Nouveau style popular of the 1890’s, a style of international art that employs decorative and architectural aspects; markedly, no written text is apparent on the prints. Overtime, however, the prints illustrate women in more dynamic colors, like in the 1897 Vintage print with a woman in yellow and white stripes; by the mid-to-late 1900’s, it became commonplace for cigarette paper ads to feature images of real female models posing with cigarettes and in sexually suggestive manners, instead of merely depicted them in hand drawings and paintings. Advertisements also focused on celebrities, a clean style, and other features like brand mascots.
1. The History of Rolling Papers. (2017). Rolling Paper Depot. Retrieved June 2, 2017, from https://www.rollingpaperdepot.com/pages/The-History-of-Rolling-Papers.
2. The Best Materials for Rolling Papers. (2017). Rolling Paper Depot. Retrieved June 2, 2017, from https://www.rollingpaperdepot.com/pages/The-Best-Materials-for-Rolling-Papers.