In Europe, the United Kingdom and most Commonwealth nations, the term is often used more specifically to refer to a short tube, commonly torn from a pack of rolling papers, that may be present in the unlit end of a joint. This hollow mouthpiece, customarily made of thin cardboard, is termed a filter in North America. In other parts of the world other materials are also used, eg Steel. The Steel roach was invented to fill the gap of reusable product category and it also does not have as much Crystal deposits like paper filters. It is commonly set in position during the rolling process, or may be inserted later. When the use of a roach is employed, a joint can still be held securely after it has burnt down to a short length; thus, the entire length of the joint may be smoked, without the aid of a roach clip.
In Spanish, tabaco de cucaracha ("roach tobacco") refers to powdery, low-quality tobacco.
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