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Tobacco Humidification

Misting Systems - The Misting Company

Increasing profits with environmental control

Tobacco leaves, cut tobacco and cigarette papers are all extremely hygroscopic. This means that they give up their moisture to the surrounding environment if the air is too dry.

Dry air will cause a tobacco's properties to degrade and change the dimensions of cigarette papers leading to "misfeeds" on machines. Static electricity also builds up in dry conditions and can cause problems for a manufacturing facility.

By maintaining the relative humidity at between 60-70%rH the tobacco, paper and leaves retain moisture at the correct levels, thus maintaining their quality and ensuring that production can proceed at full efficiency.

Correct humidity control will:

  • Maintain the quality of the stored leaves
  • Prevent product weight loss
  • Prevent product loss due to excess dried tobacco breaking up
  • Eliminate static electricity
  • Improve recovery in ripping rooms

Why humidify in the tobacco industry?

Humidity control in the tobacco industry is essential in order to maintain product quality, eliminate the need to remove tobacco from machines during downtime and reduce wastage from all manufacturing and storage areas.

Primary production

Tobacco leaves most primary production areas with a moisture content of 13-16% by weight. An ambient relative humidity of 60-68%rH is needed to maintain equilibrium between the air and the moisture in the tobacco. If it is lower than 60%rH tobacco will be losing moisture, weight and quality.

Buffers and temporary storage

The maintenance of around 60-70%rH is critical in and around temporary storage systems. Cigarettes stored in a buffer for several hours or over a weekend will lose moisture if the relative humidity is not maintained, and are often scrapped due to drying out.

Humidification means stored cigarettes can continue to be processed and wastage eliminated.

Recovery and ripping areas

Any loss in moisture will lead to poor recovery of tobacco in ripping rooms where production waste is broken up and re-used. These areas need to be maintained at 65%rH.

Electrostatic build-up

If humidity falls below 50%rH then electrostatic charges can occur in most production areas even in filter rod areas where extra humidity is not normally called for. If conditions are maintained above 50%rH, then this will totally eliminate electrostatic charges.


Cigarette paper must also be kept in equilibrium with the environment. If its moisture changes so will the dimension of the reel of paper along the exposed edges. These are then in tension as the paper runs, which can lead to tears, machine misfeeds and expensive downtime re-feeding the roll.


Contact us to find out more about Tobacco Humidification.