Why do cigarette paper burn differently when packed with tobacco versus when empty

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Why do cigarette paper burn differently when packed with tobacco versus when empty

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Because it is burning with the tobacco, different tobacco also burns differently. I hate how cigarettes just burn, even in the ashtray with no one sucking.

Fire needs two things to sustain itself, oxygen and a source.

When you burn an empty cigarette paper, the fire has an abundance of oxygen. The limiting factor is the source. The paper burns up pretty quickly, and the fire moves to the next source, more paper, and quickly engulfs the entire cigarette.

When the paper is full, the fire still has an abundance of oxygen. Only now, paper is not the only source for the fire. There is more raw material, more matter, more mass, all that tobacco, for it to consume. To answer your question, the cigarette paper does not burn any differently, it stills burns the same when the fire touches the paper. But the surrounding material, air vs tobacco, is what burns differently. Since there is an alternative source, the paper is not the only thing that burns up.

Also consider: the cigarette is NEVER empty. The question you are asking is actually “why does a cigarette paper burn differently when packed with tobacco versus when packed with air?” Might put it into perspective.

fuel to air ratio

When cigarette paper is wrapping the tobacco, there’s a much denser fuel source which slows the burn (fuel to air ratio). The same basic thing would happen with “regular” paper. When laid flat and burned, it burns rather rapidly. If you wad it up or wrap it tightly around something also flammable, and light it, it burns much more slowly because less of the fuel (paper) is exposed to the air.

Another example of this is starting a camp fire. Shavings, twigs, and the like burn faster because they are smaller and have more fuel exposed to the air. A log on the same fire burns much more slowly because less of the fuel (wood) is exposed to the air