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How did today length of cigarettes develop The length of a cigarette is not a standardized size. For example, "king size" is 90 mm, "100 are 100mm, and Virginia Slims are 110 mm. Think about the variables involved. Obviously, a given consumer does not generally "chain-smoke", they are consuming a given cigarette and may be time restricted in that consumption period. If a consumer has to extinguish the cigarette, it will tend to be wasted, hurting the consumer perceived value of a longer cigarette. Otherwise, consumers would smoke cigars- which permit a much greater duration of consumptionThe cigarette must provide a sufficient amount of smoke to leave the smoker feeling like they "got their money worth". Nor can it burn too slowly, generally achieved by packing the cigarette more tightly, reducing "pull" and causing the smoker to strain. (See, for example, the movie about RJR LBO Barbarians at the Gate called the problem with difficult pull of "smokeless cigarettes" "the hernia factor"!)The cigarette must be durable enough to withstand some abuse. The narrower or longer the cigarette, the more likely it will break or become bent under strain. Competing brands are looking to attract away consumers from the competition, so matching sizes in a particular class makes direct comparison on the part of the shopper easier. If they are a king size smoker, they are unlikely to try a 110 mm cigarette. The manufacture of a cigarette is a highly specialized process, and each incremental change in rolling and filling technology is accompanies by a chain of patents. You have to consider the entire supply chain. The fact that paper companies like Kimberly Clark have cigarette wrapper patents shows that even companies whose business seems unrelated to tobacco have powerful profit interests in the industry. Perform the following thought experiment: say you wanted to reduce the cost of making a cigarette, so you reduced the length by 1 mm, in an attempt to shave off a couple cents worth of raw materials. If the consumer notices, it might result in a drop in sales that erases any gain in profit margin. Furthermore, if the length was the same but less tobacco was used to fill it, it would burn more quickly and likewise consumers would notice. Over decades, preferences become entrenched. Consumer testing seems to indicate that differences of 1 cm represent a change in smoking pattern of use, and therefore those differences represent "different products", and are marketed differently. A "King Size" is not the same thing as a "100", and attracts different consumers. "95mm" cigarette is just going to piss off both sets of entrenched consumers. The same lesson can be applied to almost any manufactured product- soda, tea, coffee, cereal, etc. Most corporations have individuals (packaging engineers) whose engineering skills are devoted entirely to the cost analysis, patenting, and manufacture of packaging. If no difference is noticed, and the change results in reduced cost, the change is implemented. Or, they might introduce some new novel packaging, but the process is the same. If consumers don notice a difference, additional testing to see if they prefer the new packaging is never performed. Preference testing, which can be subjective and hard to design scientifically, costs more than difference testing, typically "duo-trio", which readily yields to statistical methods. It should be telling to the nature of smoking habits that shorter sizes (60/70 mm) may have existed in the past but do not exist today. In terms of general trends, consumer sizes tend to inflate over time, much the way "size queens" reflect an increasing preference for either greater length or girth. Who is going to prefer a stubby cigarette? And similarly, the "slims" (110mm) tend to be marketed toward women, where tall and skinny, plus the appetite-reduction aspect, is preferred.

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