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:
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
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.
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,
Dan writes from Michigan writes,
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,
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.
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 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.
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.
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,
Hi Guys - Is there a way to receive your magazine via my
Email monthly ? ? ?
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,
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 ClemsonFrom RYO:
Let us know how we can help, Joe
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
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
You can contact Gizeh by visiting their wevsite at http://www.gizehofnorthamerica.com and using their email link.
Kind reagrds and thanks in advance.
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.
RYO responds thusly:
CTC can be reached at 1-888-321-8823. Also RYO Tobacco is a repair station for these machines. They are at www.ryotobacco.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 http://www.cigarettetobacco.com . Also Cascade's Turkish blend is a great Oriental www.cascadecigar.com
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,
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
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 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
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,
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 ryotobacco.com, and was extremely excited
when they arrived today.
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.
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.
Hi, how to order by the mail in your site.
Hello Doug,and Everyone at "RYO" Mag.
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).
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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