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Before I begin, I'd just like to say that I'm not advocating smoking, it's not something I would encourage anyone to do. I personally enjoy smoking in full awareness of the long-term damage I'm doing to myself. This review is written by a smoker, for smokers.
So, anyway, now that my concious is clear, on with the review:
I've been a smoker for the past five years and, whilst I sometimes get lazy and buy the occasional pack of twenty here and there, for all intents and purposes I'm a rollie man. Personal preferences affect the type of tobacco you smoke, but cigerette papers (or "skins" as they're known around my area) are universal for anyone who "rolls their own".
When I first started smoking I originally bought green Rizlas. I quickly discovered that Rizla's are not a good paper and started looking for an alternative. The local corner shop near the college I attended at the time sold these and I thought I'd give them a go. I have to say I'm very glad I did.
Swan Green Paper's are of a medium thickness, though I would say they're slightly thinner than Green Rizlas. The thickness allows you to roll easily and they also have 'cut-corners' which allows you to tell exactly which end of the paper has the gum on, so it's rare (unless it's been a particularly long night) for you to roll a cigerette, only to find you licked the wrong bit of the paper and have your nicotine fix literally fall apart between your fingers.
'Swan Greens' are also of a similar price to Rizla's, though obviously this depends on your area. Some places I've seen Swan's up to 7p cheaper than Rizla's, other's than can be up to 4p more expensive.
A regular pack of Swan Green Papers has 50 papers which, depending on how much you smoke, should generally last most people two to three day's. They also include a '5 Paper's Before End' slip which tells you when you're about to run out. I tend to buy in bulk and rarely run out of paper's, but the slip is useful on a night out just before the shops close. They also have a hole in the side so you can see roughly how many paper's you have left prior to this warning slip appearing.
What really makes Swan's stand out from Rizla is the fact that the gum actually works and doesn't begin to become unstuck as it dries out. They do lend themselves well to making larger 'frames' as the gum holds the joined papers together well. This is useful if you are, for example, a trucker who hasn't time to roll enough cigerettes between travels, (this is after all the reason King Size skins were orginally made!) :op
What I also like about Green Swan's is the fact that the cardboard the paper's come is of a high quality, so if, like me, you tend to roach (i.e. use a piece of cardboard as a filter, rather than a a filter-tip) the cardboard doesn't begin collecting tar and staining your fingers/lips, making each drag succesively more harsh than the last.
Swan's slogan is 'Taste The Tabacco, Not The Paper' and I have to say they I think they live up to this. I've tried other papers where you can taste the fact that you're smoking a piece of paper, but Swans, in all their colours, genuinely taste of very little, if of anything at all. For non-smokers, it's probably difficult to understand the sensation a smoker gets from a 'nice' tasting cigerette, but having gone to the trouble of buying your favourite brand of tabacco, the last thing you want it to not actually be able to taste it.
The main problem with Swan's is that they're not available in all shops, (though they are easier to find than Zig-Zag's in my experience). Rizla's seem become so popular, (though I genuinely don't know why) that most shops will either stock Rizla's or Swans with perhaps one other alternative, (such as Zig-Zag or JOB papers) but rarely both. Certainly in the area I live in, I know of only two shops out of two dozen who actually stock Swans and it can sometimes be a bit of a mission just for the sake of a piece of paper.
Overall, I would say that Swan Green Paper's are a much more preferable alternative to Rizlas and if you ever see them (assuming you're a tabacco smoker of course) I would highly recommend at least giving them a go.
Now one thing i must say is i hate a rolling paper when they don't stick very well (ie RIZLA, YUCK). I can't stand it when you lick hte gum and the god damn paper doesn't stick, argh it get me so annoyed. It especially bad when you are trying to make a long rolly, with more than one paper ;). Heres were swan come in, i first used swan qutie a while back, as i usually use Zig Zag but the shop i went into didn't sell them. So i though well i'm not buying rizla, so i though 'let's give swan a dabble shall we' and what do you know i discovered an excellent rolling paper, which tastes nice, rolls well and sticks fairly well also. This was great, i had found a paper that tasted like rizla but stuck nearly aswell as zig zag. What an ultimate combination, although i must say if you are making a long rolly and you need to put an extra paper on('Safety Skin') don't use these papers, well obviously if they all you have then you have to, but be warned its not nice when you are smoking that extra paper, YUCKY:(. Anyway if you don't like the taste of Zig Zag, and you don't like the crappy gum of Rizla and want to try something different then try Swan, they also have a lovely 5 leaves left slip so you will never go short again. How convinient, oh yeah and the 5 leaves left make a nice roach, not as good a zig zag 5 leaves left but better than nowt.
I nearly always stick to using Swan cigarette papers. I only buy others if I can't purchase these. The main reason I use Swan papers is because it has the running out slip in it 5 papers before the end. At least it gives you a chance to get some more if you have none in stock. I pay 22p for one pack of approximately 50 papers - it's a medium weight packet. The corners are cut, making rolling a cigarette easier. I know you can buy papers cheaper than 22p, but I always like to stick to a name I trust. Swan has been around for many years, and have always trusted the name. On the back of each pack, is an address you can write to for any queries. You can't taste the paper during smoking, and there's no taste to the gummed edge of the paper. As with all cigarette papers, they are thin, and very easily broken! But, they are good, and makes a perfect cigarette!