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Rizla Silver Slim
Early 20th century Rizla- no glue strip

Rizla /ˈrɪzlə/ is a brand of rolling papers and other related paraphernalia in which tobacco, or marijuana, or a mixture, is rolled to make handmade joints and cigarettes.

Rizla rolling papers are available in a range of thicknesses, indicated by the colour of the packaging, and sizes.

History [edit]


Pierre Lacroix was inspired to begin the production of rolling papers when, in the year 1532, he traded some paper for a bottle of fine champagne and realized their potential market.[1]

The company breaks out[edit]

In 1660, having perfected the first paper specifically designed for rolling, Philippe Lacroix began production.[2] Despite the early success, it was not until 76 years later in 1736 that the family acquired their own paper-mill, purchased by François Lacroix, founder of the Lacroix Rolling Paper company.[2] In 1796 Napoleon granted the Lacroix company a licence to produce rolling papers for his troops.[2]

In 1865, a change was made to the formula—the tissue previously used in the papers was replaced with paper made from rice.[2] It is this change to rice paper that caused the name "RizLa+" to finally emerge: a combination of the French word Riz (meaning rice) with "La" and a cross, representing the Lacroix family name, which literally means "The Cross".[2]

The Rizla+ brand in the 20th century and beyond[edit]

Rizla produced some of the first flavoured papers in 1906, with the release of menthol and strawberry. The first Rizla Blue fine-weight rolling papers were produced in 1910, with thinner paper and a more pronounced tobacco flavour. RizLa also released one of the first rolling machines.

In 1942, the Rizla brand revolutionized the world of rolling papers when the Lacroix brothers acquired a patent for applying gum to the edge of rolling papers. This new feature solidified Rizla's position as a leader in the rolling paper industry, placing them at the top of the market.

In 1977, thirty-three years after the brand name change, Rizla+ released the first of their King Size rolling papers.

In 1978 Fernand Painblanc took control of Rizla+, bringing the tradition of Lacroix family ownership to an end.

The liquorice-flavoured paper was released in 1981. In 1986, Rizla began rapid growth and large-scale advertising. One successful advertising campaign in 1986 was a popular series of calendars and posters. A café franchise, which was featured at various concerts in the UK in 1996, was also extremely popular. In 1997 they produced a limited edition King Size Rizla+ Purple medium-weight, extra width, king size rolling paper, in celebration of the Phoenix music festival.

In 1997, Rizla+ was sold to Imperial Tobacco.

In 1998, Rizla+ continued their string of expansion and large-scale advertising, going so far as to release their own line of clothing, sold at their cafés. In 2002 Rizla closed a deal with Suzuki and became one of their top motor-bike racing sponsors, forming the Rizla-Suzuki racing team. The Caterham Superlight R500 sports is available with Rizla markings following its launch in collaboration with Rizla-Suzuki.

Rizla+ added a new paper to its lineup in 2003, with the introduction of the Rizla+ Silver, Ultra-Thin, King Size rolling paper. In 2003 the UK Advertising Standards Agency upheld a complaint that Rizla+ had alluded to their products' association with cannabis in a print advertisement that bore the caption "twist and burn".

In 2004, two more types of Rizla+ papers were released; one, the Rizla Red, Medium Weight, Slim paper is exclusive to the United Kingdom and The Republic of Ireland. The other variety released in 2003 was the Rizla+ Silver (regular size) Ultra-Thin rolling paper.

In 2002, Imperial Tobacco closed Rizla+'s historic factory at Mazères-sur-Salat near Saint-Gaudens (south of France). In September 2005 Imperial Tobacco announced the closure of Rizla+'s Treforest factory at Pontypridd near Cardiff in South Wales with a loss of 134 jobs. After the closure of the factory, Rizla+ production is now concentrated at Wilrijk, Belgium.

From 2006 until 2011, Rizla+ sponsored the Suzuki MotoGP bike under Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team, which was ridden by Álvaro Bautista.

Cultural references[edit]

Current expiry warning
  • In Kingsman Dean and his mother ask Eggsy if he has any Rizla
  • Amy Winehouse mentions Rizla in her 2003 song "Bestfriends, right".
  • Parquet Courts mentions Rizla in the song "Yonder is Closer to the Heart" off the 2012 album Light Up Gold.[3]
  • Lily Allen mentions Rizla in her 2014 song "Our Time".
  • Natalia Kills mentions Rizla in her 2013 song "Problem".
  • English folk singer Nick Drake's first album, Five Leaves Left, took its title from a warning which was included in packs of Rizla papers in the 1960s indicating that only five papers remained.[4] More recently, this warning has been replaced by a ten-paper warning.
  • Julian Marley mentions Rizla Papers in "Boom Draw" ... Lyrics: "Haffa send fi a Rizla, we gonna burn down Babylon.."
  • Reggae artist Pablo Gad's song, Hard Times, mentions Rizla papers in its hook.[5] The lyric, which has become recognizable in its own right, goes, "When I was a youth I used to bun [sic] Cali weed, in a Rizla, we used to bun it in a Rizla." This line has since been sampled by electronic artists such as The Prodigy, Ed Solo & Skool of Thought, Krafty Kuts, and Matta.
  • 1985 album Whatever Happened to Jugula? by Roy Harper and Jimmy Page features an unravelled orange Rizla pack as cover art.
  • In Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Perú and the United Kingdom, Rizla is genericized trademark name for rolling paper.
  • 1993 12-inch single I Ain't Goin' Out Like That by Cypress Hill features an unravelled orange Rizla pack as cover art.
  • In the British TV series Peep Show, Season 6, episode 4, 'The Affair' (2009), Mark assures Jez on the phone that he bought his Rizla papers from the corner shop.
  • The UK artist Naira Marley mentions Rizla in his lyrics for the song "Marry Juana" ["Cannabis in the Rizla, so high I can't get higher"]
  • The UK artists Ard Adz and Sho Shallow mention Rizla in their lyrics for the song "Smoke Weed". ["Chip, Rizla, snapshot - gotta get my weed in the picture"]
  • The Greek group Zontanoi Nekroi mentions Rizla in their song "Halia Halia".
  • The Streets mention Rizla in their song "Has It Come to This?".
  • The UK Grime artist, Skepta, mentions Rizla in his song "Track 8" on his 2012 mixtape, Blacklisted.
  • UK hip-hop artists London Posse mention Rizla in the song "Pass Me The Rizla" on the "Ruffness: The British Underground" EP

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A History of Tobacco". Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Rizla History". Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Parquet Courts - Yonder Is Closer To The Heart Lyrics | MetroLyrics." http://www.metrolyrics.com/yonder-is-closer-to-the-heart-lyrics-parquet-courts.html. Retrieved 2015-08-24
  4. ^ "Five Leaves Left - Nick Drake". www.nickdrake.com. Retrieved 2010-10-02. 
  5. ^ "Roots Archive: Pablo Gad - The Best of Pablo Gad". www.roots=-archives.com. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 

External links[edit]