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Letters To the Editor

Volume IV Number 1, Winter/Srping 2003 Issue of Roll Your Own Magazine. The Rocket's Red Glare
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There is no better resource for information on issues that affect the rights of our citizenry than correspondence from those very citizens. If you have comments or questions, please do us all the favor of sharing them. Please send you e-mails to:
Letters to the Editor

We will post a sampling of your communications as we receive them. Every single one of the thousands we receive is important to us. Obviously, because of space limitations we cannot place them all here but I assure you that we respond to each and every one. The following are ones we have selected as they reflect issues that many of our readers are interested in.
   Thanks  -  The Editor

Jim Reynolds writes:

Hello Doug, just wanted to drop a line and say thanks for RYO Magazine. Your recommendations led me to try MYO cigarettes recently for the first time, and I'm thoroughly happy with the results. I first tried RYO while traveling in Europe about 12 years ago and often switched between Marlboros and hand-rolled cigarettes, neither of which were completely satisfactory to me, for different reasons. Thanks to your recommendations, I recently tried a Gizeh Producter with Silver Tip filter tubes, and I'm amazed by the cigarettes I'm able to make.

I'm still experimenting with tobacco blends. My favorite RYO tobacco has been Chills Americana for a long time, and I recently received some Ramback Turkish from D&R Tobacco which I love. But I found that neither of those was what I wanted for my usual daily smoke. They are both superb, separately and in combination, but the flavors, for me, are a bit too exotic to smoke all the time.

This led me today to go out in a snow storm searching for any kind of American tobacco at any drug store I might find, even if it was bad. I tried a local Eckard's, and while they had a pretty good selection of cigars (and manufactured cigs), there were only two brands of cigarette tobacco there: TOP and Bugler. I remembered reading that you thought the new TOP was very smokeable, so at $1.59 a pouch, I thought I'd try it.

I made a blend with about 60% TOP, 20% Americana and 20% Ramback, and I think I've found what I was always missing in a cigarette. The TOP was an amazing surprise, even when smoked straight up. It's very smooth and toasty, but of course, there's nothing complex about the flavors. But when blended with the Dutch and Turkish tobaccos, the mixture is outstanding. It is like all the best flavors of the three tobaccos are accentuated; you get the toasty flavor of TOP, the nutty flavor of the Americana, and the spicy flavor of the Ramback, and you can taste all three distinct flavors at the same time. I'm sure connoisseurs will have their doubts about TOP, but I was very impressed and will probably stay with it as part of this blend.

While I'm at it, I would like to send kudos to D&R Tobacco and Ziggy's Tobacco for their great service, selection, and prices, and especially to Gizeh for their excellent products.

My switch to MYO all started because I refused to pay $40 a carton for Marlboros, but the benefits are obviously far greater than just saving money. Since there's such a paucity of data about MYO tobacco and health, I feel obligated to say subjectively that I can feel the difference since I made the change. It's not the same as quitting, but close; food tastes better to me, and (this is gross, but true) when smoking Marlboros I always woke up with a strange kind of ammonia taste in my mouth, but no more. Anyone can tell the difference when they're pursuing a healthier lifestyle, regardless of the data or lack thereof.

It's nice to enjoy smoking again, rather than feeling like smoking controls my life. Thanks again for leading me in this direction.

Jim Reynolds

We reply:

Hi Jim,

You pretty much hit the nail on the head. It is astounding how many readers have enjoyed the same reaction to both making their own and to the great retailers whose businesses service and support the concept.

Thanks for visiting,
Doug Kenendy

Dan writes from Michigan writes,


My complements to you on the fine job you are doing publishing your magazine. It's about time people got serious about MYO. As you stated before, economic conditions are ripe for the expansion of this type of activity.

I especially enjoy your tobacco reviews. They are informative and provide the reader with an idea of what he or she may be getting. Many of these brands are available only in 7oz or 1 lb containers. It's not a good thing to discover that you don't like it after paying good money ($15-$20) for it. The tobacco shop people around here don't have a clue when it comes to cigarette tobacco.

It was because of your review that I had the confidence to try the McClintock blend (green can) in my newly purchased Supermatic. I found it every bit as pleasing as you did and I’ve been stocking up on what’s left on the shelves.

Speaking of McClintock green… Thank you for taking the time to speak directly to Peter Stokkebye about the difference between the gold and green McClintock blends. Peter is obviously an important player in this field and actually I hope he’ll reconsider and bring back the green blend. I might even be willing to pay a little more for it .

Of course, like home brewing or winemaking, choices are what makes MYO an interesting past time. I have also acquired a taste for the Stokkebye Danish Export 91 blend as well. Excellent stuff!

When I’m out in public and pull out my gold cigarette case and take out a smoke, people ask me what kind of cigarettes they are. My reply is that they are custom made cigarettes. (If you remember in the James Bond novels, Bond always smoked custom made cigarettes). This always gets a conversation going and people are amazed at what they see! The old roll your own image is moving up.

I think the new Windsail tubes are really cool and a step in the right direction. Next I’d like to see some black with gold tips etc. etc. That’s the stuff that will really take this thing to a whole new level.

What are your recommendations for storing cigarette tobacco at home? Perhaps you could offer some professional advise to your readers in an upcoming article.

Thanks Again,

Dan Kaczorowski

RYO Says:

Hi Dan,

Thanks for the kind words. Sounds like your having a good time with it all.

Since you like the Windsail tubes you might give D&R's Ramback (Turkish) tobacco a try or  Lane's Oriental Blend #1 available at Cascade Cigar & Tobacco. These are absolutely the best Turkish (Oriental blends) available and when mixed with the Danish the result is remarkable.

As far as storing tobacco, 65% humidity is good. I use a tobacco jar with a recessed lid (hollow - like a clamp-top kitchen cannister) that will hold a sponge and slightly moisten the sponge every week or so. For larger amounts I use plastic tubs with tight fitting lids to hold the plastic bags of tobacco and place a sponge (again slightly moist) in the tub. It is important not to over moisten the tobacco and to clean the sponge in hot water once a week to prevent mold spores from finding a happy home. Tobacco does best the less it is handled especially when dry. Never refrigerate.

Hope this helps

Happy Holidays
Doug Kennedy

Robert from Texas writes:

Just stumbled across the RYO mag while ordering from "Ziggy's". Glad to see your efforts to add perspective to our world. I hope the net-nannies and other moral police don't bug you too much.

Sorry to split hairs, but are you dead sure the ""Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin Franklin" quote was really Franklin's? I thought Jefferson was the source of that one. Or, maybe they both made similar remarks... whatever.

Best regards from Texas,


Our response:

Thanks Robert. It was indeed ol' Ben although many framers of our constitution were no doubt of similar mind. Quite a contrast to many of our citizens today.


Rafael writes:

Thank you for your magazine.It has been very usefull specially for the inclusion of the tobacco providers.Maybe you can help me on this one.Do you know of any cigarette tobacco seller who deal with cuban or spanish black tobacco?. Until now the only aproximation is french gauloises but certainly they are not the same. I miss my cuban"'populares'' cigarettes or 'ducados'from Spain. I have search all the pages of the internet looking for this kind of RYO tobacco with no success.If you know where i can find it, please let me know. Thank you, Rafael

We respond:

Hi Rafael,

We know of no source for these brands or blends, but it is likely that one of our many readers will likely have an answer. One can assume that neither are available as we have not seen them. (we look a lot) - We will continue to look and let you know what we find. Many international brands have disappeared from the US market since the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) was created. The manufacturers of these items simply did not want the added hassle of US government intrusion and the potential liability/costs associated.


RYO Magazine

Adam Zivitz writes:

I just wanted to let you know how much I really enjoyed your magazine and to make a few comments on your tobacco review policy.

One the things I really enjoy about your magazine is the section devoted to tobacco reviews so I was very disappointed to read in the current issue that "We have made it a practice therefore not to review tobaccos that we and the great majority of our readers unequivocally hate.".

While I'm by no means suggesting that your magazine ever publish a review that states "We hate brand x", I think that a review that states your subjective findings is very useful for a number of reasons. The first reason is that it provides the manufacturer with feedback that ultimately may improve their product or packaging. The second reason is that, as you point out in your article, there maybe retailers that aren't storing the product correctly. As a consumer your observations about cigarette tobacco storage were very helpful. A third reason would be that it allows me as a reader, to gage how closely my taste in tobacco mirrors that of you and your test panels.

As you pointed out in your article, marketing can do wonders for any product. Personally I depend on magazine's such as yours to "cut through" that marketing and give the reader some guidance, be it good or bad. Your current tobacco review policy reminds me of the policy of a local restaurant critic that publishes his reviews in one of our weekly local papers. Over the past 18 months or so this critic has yet to publish a bad review. Being curious about this I called him and asked him about it. He stated that he will not publish a bad review for fear of offending the papers current or future advertisers. While I'm by no means suggesting that that's the case with your magazine, I mentioned that fact to ask you the following question. By not publishing an unfavorable review do you feel that this critic is doing his best to serve his readership? My opinion is that by not publishing an unfavorable review he's doing more of a disservice then a service. If he's unhappy with an aspect of his dining experience, tell people about it, follow up with the restaurant to see if the situation has improved and publish a follow up article. As a small business owner, if your not happy with any product or service I've provided I'd like to hear about it. I'd also hope that you'd give me the chance to improve the situation and take the time to follow up.

One of the big problems I've had in the past with your tobacco reviews has been your lack of reviews of mentholated cigarette tobacco. While I understand that you may not have enough menthol smokers to make subjective reviews of these tobaccos I have tried quite a few brands of the mentholated versions of tobaccos you have reviewed. I have also used mentholated tubes if a menthol version of the tobacco wasn't available. Needless to say I was not very happy and kept going back to my usual brand. After months of reading how good the McClintock line of tobaccos was I decided to try some new McClintock red. Wow! What a wonderful tobacco. It's so good in fact that I've now switched away from mentholated tobacco and tubes. As a "new" non-mentholated tobacco smoker, subjective reviews of both the "good" and the "bad" are really something that I'd like to see and I hope that you'll consider changing your review policy. As with the restaurant critic above, I feel that by not including "bad" subjective reviews your doing a great disservice to your readers.

Lastly I was wondering if you'd consider one additional "section" to your magazine? As I've read your reviews in the past there are many tobaccos that you've mentioned that I'd like to try. The problem that I'm having is trying to find them locally. While I understand that you have somewhat of a duty to your advertisers, I was wondering if there was any way that you'd consider including some type of a way to contact the product manufacturer? By the time I get done paying for shipping and handling for a single unit of tobacco it's hardly worth the expense. I couldn't find the McClintock red locally, so I ordered it from one of your advertisers. I wound up paying $20.75 for a can of tobacco that they sell for $15.25. While I'm not complaining about the cost because I liked the tobacco, there have been instances in the past where I didn't like the tobacco and wound up throwing it out. The shipping and handling costs alone on the tobacco I've thrown out would have paid for 2 or 3 of the can's that wound up in the trash.


RYO responds:

Hi Adam,

We have no problem being totally honest in our opinions with our advertisers. They exert no pressure on us to print favorable reviews and the fact that we don't negatively review products (tobaccos specifically) stems from the fact that tobacco tastes vary a great deal from person to person. The ones we have not reviewed can usually be counted among the ones we feel unworthy of mentioning. For instance, our stance on Bugler and TOP tobacco has been clear from our first issue. Both manufacturers advertise on our site and make other products that we do like. But both manufacturers are VERY well aware of our dissatisfaction with these two particular products. Having said that, this dissatisfaction comes not from an issue of quality but rather the simple fact that we can't stand their flavor, which is borne out by many of our readers comments. Nonetheless, it would be a disservice to our readers to "slam" these products in a special review as there are many more out there who do enjoy them. The bottom line is that we feel that people should try tobaccos that we review positively but should not avoid trying a tobacco simply because we don't like it or have not reviewed it. The power of the critic is often abused and the critique of any product should be only one of many factors that consumers use to make choices. I am sure you, like we, have enjoyed films that the critics hated and restaurants that were panned as well. Our aim is to expand the consciousness of the potential MYO smoker to enable them to "risk" the MYO experiment in order to find a better way of enjoying tobacco.

We do make comments on certain products in comparing ones we really respect and in that way the reader should certainly get a sense of our particular standards of taste. For instance, we made it clear that McClintock Red was not among our favorites in the Stokkebye line, but had our comments caused you not to try it, we would have caused you to miss something you find wonderful. For that reason we shared with readers the fact that many among them did enjoy this tobacco. There is danger in negative reviews on subjects as "subjective" as tobacco. If we find a product that is really horrible, (like most manufactured cigarettes, or overpriced, electronic injectors that don't work) we make our position clear but do so without devoting formal space to said products in a review. Sometimes our readership is even forced to read between the lines. We also communicate with a large number of readers daily who ask (and receive) our opinions on tobaccos they have interest in. There are so many great products out there, that to dwell on the negative would be rather cynical of us. Having said all of the above, the time may come when we have covered all of what WE consider to be the "most worthy" products and may, at that time, devote a special issue to those items that we absolutely hate. However there is a rather weighty responsibility in this also. Since our publication is widely read and often quoted in many tobacco trade journals as well as within a large number of other tobacco circles (where our opinion is respected), we try to avoid giving companies authoritative sounding quotes to negatively attack their competition.

As to your dilemma in purchasing tobacco, if you live in a high tax state, buying online, even in small quantities is advantageous. If the tobacco tax in your state is low, let us know where you live and we will help you find a retailer who sells that which you like. Please feel free to ask our opinion of any brands you are considering. You will always get a straight answer from us though as stated before, while it will be ONLY our opinion, it will be accompanied by parameters used to formulate that opinion.

As to menthol products, we have great difficulty in dicerning the relative quality of any tobacco once mentholated. Coupled with the fact that manufacturers have traditionally (cigarettes too) used lower grade tobacco in menthol smokes, it is pretty hard to be objective. Menthol tubes on the other hand, though not very strong in menthol flavor, allow users to enjoy great tobaccos with a little menthol boost. We have reviewed such tubes. See our Archives (Back Issues button) - January/March 2001.

You make many good points and I must tell you that I am quite impressed with the articulate and courageously honest manner that the great majority of our readers exhibit in their communications with us. In the long run, I am sure we at RYO Magazine will learn far more from readers such as yourself than you will learn from us - and therein lies the true strength of this publication.

We thank you,

Doug Kennedy
RYO Magazine

From Robert

Hi Guys - Is there a way to receive your magazine via my Email monthly ? ? ?


Our response:

Hi Robert,

We don't send out a monthly newsletter but do contact our many readers when each new issue is online. We are considering a print version for next year.

Thanks for your interest,

Doug Kennedy
RYO Magazine

Joe Clemson writes:

Hello, my name is Joe Clemson and I wish to thank you for your publication. It is long overdue and a most welcome addition to any RYO library. My wife Sharon and I have been involved with this industry for 10 years now, especially with the folks at CTC. We have been dealers of their products for quite a few years now and are seeing an upswing is business. We are in the process of redesigning and reposting our web site. Hope to have it completed and on line is a month. I am quite interested in advertising with you and if the need arises, writing for you as well.

Thank you again for a enlightening publication. Nice to see folks that care and are knowledgeable.

Joseph Clemson

From RYO:

Let us know how we can help, Joe

RYO Magazine

Doug Swinhart writes:

Recently you wrote an article on the Supermatic II. All that you stated seemed quite accurate. The only thing I wish you would have included was the address and or phone number for the company. I can't seem to locate them. I have a Supermatic II and have enjoyed using it for quite some time. But I'm now in need of a couple small parts for repair.

Any help greatly appreciated.


RYO Magazine responds:

Thanks for visiting Douglas. The best way to contact CTC for parts and repair instructions is through their toll free number which is 888-321-8823


I started to use hand-rolling tobacco (drum or samson) about a year ago, when I got to know a bit of the things that the big cigarrettes brands were mixing with the tobacco (ammonia and stuff like that).

I don't know if it was a psicological thing or if the hand rolling tobacco really didn't have all the adictive adds, but since then I don't need to smoke all the time, but I enjoy the act of smoking, when i do. Of course I smoke a whole less that I did when I used marlboro is not like i have to smoke all the time.

The thing I would like to know is if I can get somewhere a chemical/organical composition comparative of several brands of cigarettes and several brands of hand rolling tobacco, to know the exact difference between marlboros and drum or samson.

Thanks in advance,


RYO responds:

Hi Daniel,

There have been NO studies on the composition of produced chemicals by quality RYO products. We are urging such research to be done. Got now, it is important to note that experiences such as yours (reduced usage and enhanced enjoyments make up the bulk of the letters we receive so there are without a doubt, differences in these fine tobaccos when compared to manufactured cigarettes.


I have a question about Gizeh Roll Boxes. Where are they made and how
available are replacement parts? I am from Greensboro, NC, and I have
checked every tobacco store in the city, but no Gizeh. I have seen
replacement parts for Rizla boxes. I have read both of your articles about
Gizeh and Rizla and would really like a Gizeh. Thank you for your help.

Chad Mills

From RYO:

Hi Chad,

You can contact Gizeh by visiting their wevsite at and using their email link.


I realise this must be quite a common question, but if I keep to only 5 ryo's a day will it really affect my health that much? Will i be able to keep it at that number?

Kind reagrds and thanks in advance.


RYO responds,

Hi Stu

Health risk assessments are both risky and lack accuracy because they are not based on good scientific data. Anecdotally (from our readers, personal experience and experiences of those we know) it appears that dosage has a great deal to do with smoking risks. So too does choosing purer forms of tobacco like those found in high quality rolling tobaccos. There is no "proof" either way and to asume that smoking is safe for everyone/anyone would be folly. We look forward to the time when good science is used to fully understand the impact of smoking on health in all it variables. Moderation and quality would seem to be a logical approach until such time arrives.


Dear RYO,
I bought a supermatic over a year ago and love it. I recently borrowed it to a friend and he jammed it a few times without remembering my warning. The machine still works but now every cigarette feels like its jamming it and not enough tobacco is placed in the cigarette. I long lost the papers that came with the machine. Is there a way to contact the company (perhaps they made a leap to internet) to order parts or am I out of luck and have to buy a new one? Also thank you for providing a link to someone that sells Drum tobacco! I've been searching for awhile since they don't sell it around here.
Thanks again,


RYO responds thusly:

Hi Pete,

CTC can be reached at 1-888-321-8823. Also RYO Tobacco is a repair station for these machines. They are at

RYO Magazine

I am a long time smoker. I started at an early age and quit when I was in my early 30's. I resumed smoking (it was a conscious choice) about 9 months ago. I returned to my favorite cigarette, Marlboro 100's but found the price increase in the last 12yrs ridiculous. I fell back on old skills, when I was economically challenged, and took up the Bugler banner and rolled them for awhile.

Finding rolling my own not always convenient I tried several cheaper brands of packaged smokes. None of them come close for me in the flavor department.

UNTIL NOW!!!!!!!!

I purchased a Supermatic II and have found stuffing my own to be cost effective and even therapeutic, maybe like knitting I guess. I find I smoke less because I'm getting real smoking satisfaction again with what I assume can only be better tobacco.


RYO says:

Hi Ollin,

Seems to be the consistent findings of those who try MYO. Pleased to hear of your success.


I found your online magazine and loved it. I have some ideas for you. I know that doesnt mean much but here they are. Have you thought about starting a tip section on making your own such as using the tubes or machines, also have you thought about linking to some online stores that sell the products you are reviewing. It was just a thought.


RYO says:

Hi James,

If you will look at our back issues reviewing Supermatics you will find many tips throughout the articles. The banner ads on our site are great links to great retailers who have most of the products we review.



I am finding it difficult to find a true "wholesaler" of ready-made cigarette tobacco. I'm speaking of real bulk of 50-100 lbs. or more. Any ideas for true sources of this?

Thanks for your time,


RYO responds:

Hi Ben,

In most states it requires a tobacco distributors license tp buy such quantities. However if you are a retailer and can find a distributor licensed to sell in you state you will likewise succeed. Private individuals may find it difficult to pourchase such large amounts as most retailers don't sell in those quantities and the law states that you are responsible for any taxes on tobacco that your state imposes. Let us know which state you are in and if you are a retailer. Also caring for that much tobacco may be a problem unless you intend to sell or share with a lot of friends.

RYO Magazine

Would like to thank you for providing the link to Ziggymart for Turkish Special tobacco. At present I'm alternating the Turkish with the Dutch Blend from D&R Tobacco. Both have a great taste and am once more really enjoying a smoke. Plus a pouch of Gauloises every so often. Up to my ass in tobacco and tubes!! I spent many years in Europe and Asia and am somewhat spoiled when it comes to a good cigarette. Don't care for pipes. What I really, really want is the blend used to make the Balkan Sobranie.

I still have some of the 10 count tins, just to torture myself since they disappeared from the market. I have found some 50g pouches listed on some German sites, but is there anywhere you know of to get the Sobranie blend in bulk, even from Europe? I'm more than willing to endure the shipping
time and expense for such a great smoke. Love reading your mag and can't wait for the next issue. Thanx.


RYO says:

Hi Richard,

D&R Tobacco has what we feel is the closest thing to the original Balkan Sobranie. It is their Ramback Turkish and is certainly worth a look. It is a little milder though darker in color than Balkan. Mixing it with 5% Gauloises and 10% McClintock Golden Virginia will come real close. D&R is . Also Cascade's Turkish blend is a great Oriental

Hope this helps


Dear RYO folks,

I can't believe it's taken me so long to stumble upon ryo magazine. (i am now hitting myself over the head with a presta deluxe.) great articles, well produced, and nicely concieved overall. i've been an ryo-myo enthusiast for over 20 years, still remember the zig zags in the red pack, good ole' "piss yellows" as we called them...blah blah. the reviews of injectors/tubes were especially helpful. my first exposure to these curious smoking implements was in canada, aeons ago, watching a pensioner in a greyhound station knocking out dozens of smokes on a well used supermatic. it looked to me at the time, like some sort of odd office equipment. it still does. granted the new model looks like something from the executive suite. (or part of the door assembly from a luxury car) that experience, and seeing all the kits available, led me to purchase an injector. the dreaded afore- mentioned presta. surprisingly, it's now a decade old, and still works magnificently. just used it a few seconds ago to fill an el rey tube with stokers' #2. obviously, i'm still planningon getting my hands on a supermatic oran exel, but my trusty old pressta simply refuses to die. love the ryo site, and look forward to visiting often. keep up the good work!



Hello RYO Magazine,

Having just discovered the world of roll your own a few days ago I wanted to let you folks know how impressed I am with your web site. Fantastic!

An acquaintance of mine mentioned that he rolled his own smokes (we were discussing how inexpensive a carton is across the border in Canada from Detroit at the duty free shop). Even in Texas, my home state, they are about 28 dollars with taxes on a good day. He was saying how inexpensive RYO could be and piqued my interest in the subject. After about 45 minutes of looking around on line I found your site and my eyes were opened. Not just inexpensive (euphemism for cheap) but with no compromise in taste and enjoyment.

Thank you so much for taking the time to produce such a well thought out site. With your well written articles and great information I look forward to becoming a full time RYO'r. I've already bought my first starter kit and my last pack of commercial smokes.

Keep up the great work!


Perhaps you could help me out. I was searching for information on the history of roll-your-own cigarette machines and came across your impressive website. Could you tell me who invented the machine and in what year? Any historical info. would be much appreciated.

Thank You Margot Diochon

Responding to Margot,

As early as the late 14th Century the Chinese were using bamboo rolling mats to roll vaious substances incluiding tobacco. The actual machines (hand held rollers) to roll with are circa 1940 and the injector types came along soon after that. Few were seen in the US until the 1960's We will do a historical piece in an upcoming issue of RYO Magazine after some much needed additional research.


I just wanted to let you know how very much I'm enjoying RYO magazine. I've only recently found it, and I've been reading and re-reading each issue until it's become a virtual obsession!'

I hope you will keep up the wonderful work, and sending along more info on the RYO resurgence -- in addition to being informative and inspirational, it's also a great deal of fun!

I do have one question: In the first and/or second issue you allude to a site where "Slow Burn" can be read and/or downloaded. What is the URL for that? A link to simply connects with NSA forums and chats. I didn't see anywhere to go, other than that. I'd appreciate your help, if you can.

Other than that, please accept my hearty congratulations on a truly *wonderful* piece of work!



I used to smoke a beautiful rolling tobacco called Balkan Sobrini Turkish yenige. It had a bright gold color and smelled like heaven with a sweet taste. Unfortunately, it is no longer produced. Did you ever try it? Do you know of anything like this and where I can get it?



RYO says:

Hi Jeff see letter a few above



I used to smoke the "three castles" brand of tobacco in the light green tin, and i was wondering if you knew where i could possibly but some more online. it is not carried in stores where i live anymore. thanks,


Hello, as the ONLY person I know that rolls his own cigarettes I must say that I was quite pleased to find your wonderful site on the net. Yery informative and the reviews are great fun to read! I used to roll,(I only hand roll spliffs, one end big one end small) Drum way back in the late seventies to early eighties, went on to the convenience of the killer packs of KOOLS, and my mainstay is now Bugler, which I know you don't like but it's really quite satisfying when you get used to it. After spending a few hours at your site I went down to the local Mom n' Pop store and found a 40g. package of Samson and WOW how nice this is! Better than the old Douwe (spelling) Egberts Drum in my opinion. Anyway the reason I wrote in the first place is to tell you that if you go to...

See you on the flipside,


Just started stuffin my own. Used to smoke Camel filters all the time. Tried a bunch of off the shelf pouches, not real pleased. I did try two tins of a tobacco called " Charles Fairmorn", One was light virginia, which really caught my fancy, and the other was a dark fired blend, which was good, but I found it to be a little heavy or strong. Both were a pleasant change from the Camels. If you have tried Charles Fairmorn Bright Virginia, could you recomend another with similar characteristics. I own a "Supermatic" and can make them just as good as RJ. Really enjoy your articles and reviews,

Thanks, Gene 


I really enjoy reading your articles online. It's nice to know we're not rolling our own cigarettes alone here in Australia!

I'm on a quest to see if I can source Rizla Green regular papers to order online or at the very least have delivered via postal mail. It's generally easiest for us to buy a box (100 packs) every few months rather than a few packs every week.

Our local smokeshop just did a real number on us and first tried selling us a box at full retail ($55 when they sell the packs for 55cents each). We declined and went in search of other shops that might sell us a box rather than individual packets. To our surprise, our local shop seems to be the only one that even carries Rizla greens.

Today as we went past the shop they called out to us and now offered the same box for $55 but said that it was a $5 discount because the greens are now selling for 60cents each. A week ago the same $55 was full retail - do they really think we're that un-bright ?? (Grumble!)

Anyway, I figured I'd have a look online and see what I could find. I'm not having the best of luck, so thought I'd share my expreience and see if you had any suggestions for possible retailers (or wholesalers for that matter) we could contact.

Thanks for any help you can suggest, and keep the magazine rolling. ;-)

Cheers, Gaelyne

I am interested in finding out if you know what companies supply a hand cranking machine and what is the efficiency of such a product perhaps you have reviewed one in the past I could reference. Thanks in advance for any help you can be.


I've been handrolling for about 3 months now and absolutely love it. I've found a favorite, Gauloises Halfzware Shag because of it's body, smoothness, and ease of rolling. I do have a bit of a problem. Everytime I buy a pouch it's extremely dry. Would a small cigar humidor work to moisturize it, or do you have any tips?



I just wanted to take a second and say thanks for putting together such a great magazine. I had never even *heard* of RYO injection, and after reading pretty much every article of all your back issues, I decided to give it a whirl. I bought a Supermatic II, some McClintock (Green), and some tubes from, and was extremely excited when they arrived today.

I've never touched a Supermatic before in my life, but it was extremely straightforward, and aside from a few initial problems (which were a result of putting too LITTLE tobacco in.. guess I had read one too many "Don't use too much!" warnings), it's working great!

I have some suggestions for future articles.. basically, as a newbie to RYO, I have tons of questions (I don't expect you to answer them .. but I figured you could use a newbie's opinion):

General: When do you have to dry tobacco? What's the best way to dry tobacco?

Blending Tobaccos: What's the best way to (physically) do this? Use a big table? How do you measure the relative portions? Weight? Size?

Storing Tobaccos: What is the best way to store tobacco? Does sunlight harm it? What's the shelf life? Should you blend it, then store it, or blend it just prior to using it?

Anyway, thanks for such a great magazine and a wonderful introduction to a rather exciting hobby!


This may be a stupid question and maybe an insult to a RYO smokers. I am interested in making my own cigarettes but have no idea if I would like them. I smoke Marlboro Lights can you tell me or send me in the right direction where I can find out which tobacco taste like a Marlboro or something close to it. That way I won't be starting out in something that will put me againest RYO.

Thank You


I just read your article on the 100 mm filter tubes. My roommate and I both smoke 120 mm. I would like to be able to buy the 120 size and also a cigarette machine to go with it so I can make my own cigarettes. I am just giving you this information in case there are any manufacturers out there that would like to know there may be a market for the above.

Thank you very much. I really enjoy your site.

Cindy Swahlen

Hi, how to order by the mail in your site.

HI Guys Is it possible to provide me with contact details of the supplier of the MAIKER cigarette tubes, I would like to try them out. GREAT magazine!



Hello Doug,and Everyone at "RYO" Mag.

I have been reading your mag for awhile now,and i truly enjoy each issue.I'm a Avid "MYO" Smoker.I purchase a lot of my tobacco's and acessories from Mr.Ryan at D&R Tobacco in Smithfield.Also i buy some tobacco's at shop's near by home.

The Tobacco shops around here do not have much to offer.I go to these shops for certain product's such as follows,Bali Red which i rate very high 8.9 of 10 cost is $2.85 for 40 grams.Zig-Zag mild halfzware i rate at 8 cost is $1.59 for 40 grams.I have tried Jester,Arbo and Sampson tobaccos and i was not impressed with these and these were purchased locally also around $3.00 for 40 G's.At this time i'm giving Long full flavor a try,so far i give it a 8,it has a Marlboro/Winston taste to me.The cost was $7.50 for a 7 oz.Tin.

The only Filter tube's available locally are Zig-Zag,which i rate at 8.6 at a cost of $3.00 for 200 ct.I found a box of Bugler 100 ct.tubes one time and i rate them at 8.9 cost was $3.00,which as was stated in "RYO" is too much...

Back to D&R my favorite online Dealer,by far.I have tried all of Mr.Ryan's tobacco's they all are of high quality,but like anyone else i have my favorites.Ameriflavor- Rate at "9"- U.S. Blend = "9.2" Old Timers Blend = 8.1 American Gold = 8.6 U.S. Menthol (I'm not a Menthol Fan) so i will not rate..Dutch Blend = 8.7 Tubes Full Flavor from D&R Gizeh = "9.2" this one is my personal favorite...Windsail = "9" my 2nd choice (Mr.Ryan sent me a box to sample before it hit the market,i was very pleased and i informed him that i was) Gizeh Charbon is in a class by it's self" i like this tube from time to time,i rate it a firm "9".

Injector's Supermatic 2 = "9.5" Zig-Zag Handheld = 8 Excel Handheld = 8.. Rollbox Gizeh = 9 Gizeh Giro plastic Roller = 8.7 Gizeh Steel Roller = 9.2

Note: I tried the McClintock Green Tin as reveiwed by "RYO" before it was gone and i loved it = a firm 9 Bugler Tob. = 6 Top = 6

Papers Rayo Rice = 9 Rayo Reg. = 8.8 Rayo Hemp = 8.9 Zig-Zag Reg. = 8.6 Chills Americana Hemp = 8.2 Escort Aquafuge = 8.4 (Too Thick)

Most Complimentry papers rate between 7.8 - 8.5

This is my Review,i will continue too read your Wonderful Magazine,keep up the Great Work!If you ever would like to send me any Samples to try,feel free too do so.I will give you Honest Feedback..

Best Regard's, Alan


I want to thank you for your excellent e-zine. I look forward to every issue. The product reviews are very informative. It is easy to tell that a lot of work has gone into every issue. Keep up the good work!!

The questions that I have are basically about where products are available. You speak very highly of Lane Ltd's Oriental blend and state that is available at Cascade, is it their "Turkish Blend"? If not I do not see it listed on the tobacco page. Do you know of anywhere that is selling the new Premier Supermatic? I can just wait for it to filter down to the retailers that I know. My last question is does CTC have a website?

Here are a couple of requests. How about a review of Excel non-filtered tubes? I currently cut the filter off of regular tubes since I cannot buy the Excel tubes locally. Also an article on the care and upkeep of the Supermatics or injectors in general would be great.

Again thank you for putting out a wonderful magazine.


Mark Hogan

I have recently become a roll-your-own enthusiast and I compliment you on your wonderful on-line magazine. I have two questions: 1) What, if anything, is going on in Congress to tax bulk tobacco, tubes, etc., and 2) Is there a tobacco that you could suggest that is similar in flavor to Camel (Filter Kings).

Thank you.

If you have information regarding pending tobacco legislation in your local or state government, please share it with us and we will, in turn, share it with all in these pages. If you want to keep abreast of pending federal legislation, go to for a listing of all bills before Congress. For tobacco-specific legislation, you will have to use their search engine. Look under the Legislation column, click on 106th under the Bill Summary and Status heading. Next, Search using Word/Phrase, and when the new page comes up, type the word "tobacco" in the Word/Phrase box. Here you will find all current tobacco legislation before Congress. Of special note is #25 HR 2579 - To impose restrictions on the sale of cigars.

Hope you'll join us again.
                 -The Editor

Email us with any comments on this and/or any other issues that relate to your freedom of choice.

EDITOR'S NOTE: These reviews are solely for the convenience of people of legal age who already smoke, are trying to cut down on smoking, wish to spend less money on their smoking, want to roll their own cigarettes from high quality tobacco, and, in general, wish to have a far more satisfying, and economical smoking experience when compared with smoking pre-manufactured cigarettes. We, in no way, encourage people to smoke. Further, we prescribe to a sane, more logical approach to smoking that involves common sense as to quantity coupled with a strong desire to manage the habit until it becomes an occasional, freely chosen, diversion, that can be fully enjoyed with minimal health risks. Finally, we strongly encourage those who do smoke to take it outdoors, or to appropriate environments where tobacco can be enjoyed away from those who do not smoke, most especially children.  We do not sell tobacco or related products from this site; We distribute information about our perceptions of the quality of what is available and where it can be obtained. If you are under 18,  it is illegal to buy tobacco and you should immediately exit this site. If you do not smoke, it would seem illogical to start.

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