As an industry frequently challenged by public health legislation, the tobacco and cigarette sector continues to hold its own, still garnering considerable investment despite pressure from many sides.

The UK smoking ban in July 2007 was followed by another UK initiative that received full backing from the EU and was enforced in May 2017. Under the EU directive, designed to deter young people from taking up the habit, cigarette packaging must be a standardised olive green and bear graphic warnings of the dangers of smoking, covering at least 65% of the front and back of the packet. The initiative has spread to several more countries yet in others there is huge scope for innovation in packaging.

Most tobacco is processed into cigarettes – and in 2014, about 5.8 trillion were smoked worldwide. Though that number is gradually decreasing, the tobacco sector is still a substantial and highly profitable industry. With every regulation imposed on it, new packaging is required which is good news for the manufacturing sector.


PPMA Show 2018 exhibitors, Marden Edwards, specialise in packaging machinery for the overwrapping of tobacco products worldwide. Its precision engineered machines enhance presentation of products, improve security and deliver protection against moisture and other potential harm. Low temperature operation ensures that the products are subject to less damaging heat

Clear film wrap bundles of products such as packets of cigarettes, as opposed to printed cardboard outer display cartons, promise a substantial cost saving. Film wrap can be pre-printed to provide ready-made branding, and tear tape makes packaging easy to open for the consumer.


When cigarettes and cigars are produced, for optimum efficiency it is vital that the cigarette-making machinery works at the same speed as the cigarette packing machines. When the operation is running smoothly, a mass flow conveyor will transfer products directly to packaging into either soft pack or boxes. If the production speeds up, then the flow can be controlled so that cigarettes are fed into trays which act as reservoirs until packing can gain momentum once more.


While UK legislation does not require tax stamps for cigarettes – instead, UK Duty Paid is printed on packs as part of the manufacturing process – many countries require such stamps on their tobacco products to indicate that the required excise tax has been paid. This enhances the ability to identify and seize illicit tobacco products and ensures that relevant tax is collected.

Tax stamping machines may be digital or thermal and can be single, dual or triple head allowing multiple stamps to be applied to each cigarette packet with change of paper. In the US, for example, tax may be due from the city and/or state of manufacture as well as the country.


In 2018, UK company CME exhibited at the PPMA Show. The company has over 30 years’ experience in the tobacco industry, supplying packaging machinery for hard box and soft pack cigarettes, roll your own products, and molasses and shisha tobacco.

They take pride in the development of their machines, rationalising the design to increase throughput and efficiency, improving quality control and simplifying settings. They have also designed a range of machines to produce niche or novel pack formats.

REVIEW THE LATEST technology IN tobbacco and cigarette wrapping and packaging machines

Meet with tobacco industry exhibitors from all over the world during the PPMA Total Show 2019, at the NEC, Birmingham UK. Showcase your own company’s expertise in cigarette and tobacco products manufacture and packaging machines while networking with others to share best practice.