Embodying a new cross-sectional paradigm for a smokable rod [square cigarettes patent]

“A cigarette typically is employed by a smoker by lighting one end thereof and burning the tobacco rod. The smoker then receives mainstream smoke into his/her mouth by drawing on the opposite end (e.g., the filter end) of the cigarette.”

– explains a patent granted to Big Tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds.

U.S. patent 7,967,018 B2, issued June 28, 2011, stuck broadly to the traditional approach outlined above – but described a new variant. The cigarettes are square rather than round.

“It would be highly desirable to provide manners and methods, and associated equipment, for producing smoking articles, such as filtered cigarettes, that have a cross-sectional shape that can be characterized as not being generally circular or oval in nature.”

The patent fails to clarify (at least at first-glance to a non-expert) why the production of square cigarettes would be “highly desirable”, and what might be the possible advantages of square cigarettes.

COMING SOON : The possible advantages of square cigarettes

Note : Previous patents have been granted for non-circular cigarettes – see for example, Daniel J. Campbell’s Oval Cigarette (1897) S.C. Miller’s square cigarettes (1931) George A, Shouse’s triangular and ‘squovoid’ ( squarishly oval) cigarettes (1994)

Patent Research Martin Gardiner