Guest Episode starring Emlyn K. Helicopter from Essex, United Kingdom

Rolling Tobacco: International Verification

Being an avid reader of "How Much Is Inside" at, it occurred to me that what the feature needed was independent verification of Mr Rob Cockerham's findings. While this idea was baking in my mind, Rob released the results of his latest experiment, How Much Is Inside Rolling Tobacco?

I found his findings erroneous to say the least. Fifty One cigarettes from Forty Grams of tobacco? Impossible! Thus, I contact Rob and to his credit he agreed to an independent verification, even going so far as kindly air-mailing me the tobacco and papers.
My intention was not to 'beat' Rob, but rather to find the truth. Using persons who actually rolled and smoked their own on a daily basis (rather than regular machine-made-cigarette smokers) and observing contemporary scientific practice (wearing lab coats and locking the door) I intended to roll each cigarette exactly as though a smoker would - not too thin, not too thick, nice and even and consistent. 
The first difficulty to overcome was that, although I was a roll-up smoker for years, I no longer smoke and haven't rolled one up since 1997. Luckily my colleague, Asif, is a veteran smoker so he refreshed my memory with a demonstration.
My turn! It is surprisingly difficult to gauge exactly how much tobacco one needs. Initially I over-estimated by some considerable measure.
Next, the licking of the skin. Regular rollers learn to ignore or perhaps even love the taste of glue.
Asif patiently showed me how to do it once again, with an ease and grace that I found fascinating
I made myself useful my checking each of Asif's efforts for straightness and even displacement of tobacco, before arranging it on the counting mat.
Before long we had gone past the Cockerham Barrier! So much so that we forgot to stop at fifty one. So, here is what fifty three roll-ups look like, and you can also note how much tobacco we have left. Ought to make anther fifty out of that, so said confident us! 
Why does Asif look so damn smooth and sophisticated?

No, it's not the cigarette you fool, it is because he is English.

Mr Cockerham had stipulated the conditions of our experiment as,

a: Lots of photos, and

b: Some of these photos should have a chick in them.
As luck would have it, Gemma arrived to help during the closing stages of our rolling. Much is made of the alluring powers of cigarettes and I was keen to test this out on Gemma. I offered her one of the roll-ups and, even though she doesn't smoke, she seemed happy to take it. I just wish my lab coat didn't make me so sweaty. Anyway, this went no further as the lighter failed to operate.
Gemma made herself immediately useful by taking some pictures of Mr Rahman and myself rolling. I found the experience of sitting down next to Mr Rahman and rolling cigarettes for an hour to be one of bonding and connection. However, this could easily of been achieved had we been sat there doing anything craft-related, such as painting small stones or making Christmas paper chains. Either way, our formal working relationship was enhanced.


At last, the finish line! At the final count we had made over one hundred and eight roll ups. 109. We made 109. This is over double the amount that the Sacramento Experiment wielded. 

Towards the end of our test, we ran out of conventional papers and we forced to use those that Rob had supplied. These unusually large orange-pack 'skins' had the effect of making overly large and cumbersome roll-ups similar in girth to a small cigar, and thus not really representative of the kind of cigarette a regular smoker of roll-ups would enjoy. 

However, Asif sometimes enjoys other types of cigarette and requisitioned these large skins for his own unspecified purposes.

This should go some way to explaining the disparity between Rob's figures and mine. It also makes hand-rolling tobacco even greater value at 3.28 cents per roll-up!


Screw it, you think we'd actually sit there and hand roll one hundred and nine cigarettes when we've got this massive rolling machine??

Emlyn K. Helicopter is responsible for at least one band, and they will have an album out before October: Heavy Metal Hell

Original US Tobacco Episode

Cigarette smoking is dangerous in a very subtle way. It can also make you look old. Avoid smoking and keep healthy to enjoy a long life.
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