US 3334636 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 8, 1967 A. A. ZUBER FILTER FOR SMOKERS ARTICLE Filed June 23, 1964 INVENTOR Azzmzwzz A. Zuzzz United States Patent 3,334,636 FILTER FOR SMOKERS ARTICLE Alexander A. Zuber, 8th St. and Ave. A, Fort Madison, Iowa 52627 Filed June 23, 1964, Ser. No. 377,331 4 Claims. (Cl. 131-101) This invention relates to smoking articles and particularly to an improved filter for a cigarette or the like.
Within recent years it has become increasingly apparent that certain constituents of tobacco smoke have a detrimental eifect on the health of those who use cigarettes, cigars, and the like. In fact, it is believed by many, as evidenced by the recent report of the Surgeon General of the United States, that certain smoke constituents are causitives for several very serious diseases, particularly lung cancer. Also, it is evident from a direct relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked and the incidence of circulatory diseases, that such smoke constituents also contribute significantly toward various coronary problerns.
As a result of this mounting evidence of a seemingly direct relationship between the amount of smoke inhaled and the incidence of lung cancer and coronary diseases, many attempts have been made in the tobacco industry to provide means for effectively removing tar and nicotine from the smoke before it enters the smokers mouth and respiratory apparatus. And while various test reports indicate that certain commercially used filters do remove a percentage of such tar and nicotine, yet it is apparent that the problem remains, with no significant improvement realized in actual practice.
As far as can be determined, all present-day filter cigarettes utilize a filter formed of an inexpensive porous cellulose material, which is used in a dry form; that is, it is not moistened in any way before or during use. This is true in spite of the fact that it is generally recognized a moistened filter would more effectively remove injurious constituents from smoke. Nevertheless, the industry has been unable to provide a pre-moistened or a moistenable filter on a mass production basis at a reasonable cost. For instance, United States Patent No. 2,863,461, proposes a large frangible insert containing a quantity of liquid for activating a portion of the tobacco to act as a filter. However, this type of construction has not proven commercially acceptable as the single insert has a tendency to saturate adjacent or contiguous portions'of the tobacco while leaving other areas in a dry or substantially dry con- I dition. Also, this type of insert would be quite inconvenient in use, in that it would be necessary for the user to carefully position his fingers before the application of squeezing pressure. Otherwise the insert might not be broken properly. Also, in a structure such as that shown in United States Patent No. 2,808,057, there is the further danger that the film might not be broken away completely, whereby difiiculty would be experienced in drawing smoke through the filter. Further, in this event, only a small percentage of the filter would be used-that part adjacent to the cracks in the film.
The smoking article provided by the present invention is directed particularly to an improved filter. Distributed throughout the filter in and adjacent to the air passages therethrough is a multiplicity of minute frangible capsules, there being a liquid disposed in the capsules whereby at least a portion of the capsules will break and the liquid therein difiuse throughout the filter body to provide a zone of increased filtration efficiency upon the application of squeezing pressure to the filter.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a superior filter for a cigarette or the like, the filter being activated by a liquid immediately before use.
A further object of this invention is the provision of a filter for a cigarette or the like, wherein the filter carries a supply of liquid which is manually releasable for uniformly producing moistened passages through which smoke is drawn.
It is an additional object of this invention to provide an improved smoking article having a filter which is dry during all stages of processing and handling but which may be moistened conveniently by the user immediately before article is smoked.
Another object of this invention is the provision of a filter having a multiplicity of frangible fluid containing capsules uniformly disposed throughout the entire extent and cross section of the filter.
Yet another object of this invention is the provision of a cigarette filter having a multiplicity of capsules distributed uniformly therethroughout and adapted to be broken readily to provide moistening of a portion of substantially all of the air passages of the filter for improved filtration efficiency.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a filter of the type described above which is exceedingly inexpensive to manufacture and yet is effective, convenient and simple in manipulation for the user.
Other objects of this invention will be apparent from the following description and appended claims when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of one embodiment of a filter constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of the embodiment of FIGURE 1 showing the filter as it would appear during the application of squeezing pressure thereto;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a longitudinal sectional view of the filter end of a smoking article embodying a modification of the present invention; and
FIGURE 5 is a longitudinal sectional view of the filter portion of a cigarette or the like, embodying yet another modification of the present invention.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIGURES 1-3 thereof, the illustrated smoking article consists of a cigarette 10 having a wrapper 12 formed into a generally tubular or cylindrical member of the usual type. As will be understood by those in the art, this wrapper is formed of the usual cigarette paper, which is quite thin and readily combustible. If desired it may be of the air-permeable or perforated type utilized quite widely by the industry in recent years.
Disposed within the wrapper 12 is an elongated body of relatively tightly packed tobacco 14, which may be of the type commonly prepared by chopping or shredding tobacco leaf.
As the tobacco 14 and cigarette paper 12 are consumed during normal smoking, certain chemicals are released and drawn rearwardly through the cigarette into the respiratory system of the user, if he inhales. And while a percentage of these chemicals are filtered out as they pass through the relatively minute passages between the tobacco particles, nevertheless a substantial percentage of them do escape. Accordingly, there is provided at the rearward end of the cigarette 10 a filter generally designated by the numeral 16. This filter comprises a cover member 18 which, for the reasons outlined herebelow, preferably is water resistant and relatively flexible. As will be obvious from the drawing, this cover 18 is adhesively or otherwise attached to and generally forms a rearward extension or continuation of the Wrapper 12.
a sheet or ribbon. As best seen from FIGURE 3, the 4 sheet or ribbon is then wound upon itself into a cylindrical body having a plurality of generally parallel longitudinal extending minute air passages 22 between the several convolutions 24 of the ribbon.
In the drawings, the convolutions and air passages of the filter 16 are relatively sharply defined for purposes of clarity. However, as will be understood, in actual practice the convolutions 24 and air passages 22 of the filter would be less sharply definedin fact they might be somewhat indistinct and obscured because of the relatively loose fibrous nature of the material from which the filter is wound.
As will be evident to those in the art, the material of the filterbeing of a fibrous absorbent naturewi1l itself serve as a filter for the smoke from the cigarette. However, its efiiciency would be no higher than the dry filter found in the usual cigarette.
In order to improve substantially the filtration efiiciency of the filter 20, there is distributed uniformly throughout the filter body a multiplicity of minute frangible capsules 26, each capsule having an impervious, rigid film-like envelope or cover of relatively thin cross-section. This envelope or cover preferably is formed of a colloid material such as gelatin. However, it is understood that other gellable film-forming hydrophilic colloids, such as agar-agar, will serve satisfactorily. Also, it will be understood that synthetic polymers can be employed for the frangible envelope or capsulethe present invention not being limited to any one type of capsule material.
Each capsule encloses a small quantity of a liquid or fluid which may be either of a Newtonian or non- Newtonian character so long as it is capable of diffusing readily through the pores of the filter to moisten and activate the filter passages. In the present embodiment, the encapsulated fluid may be a water-immiscible liquid which will not permeate through the gelatin envelope or cover, such as a light mineral or vegetable oil.
As will be obvious from FIGURES 1 and 3 of the drawings, the capsules 26 are distributed uniformly throughout the filter body 20. The purpose of this uniform distribution of capsules is to insure that squeezing pressure anywhere on the filter will result in breaking of a large number of the capsules in a zone extend ing completely across the filter, whereby liquid will diffuse uniformly into all of the air passages to eliminate any possible problem of dry unactivated areas. As best seen in FIGURE 2, squeezing pressure on opposed portions of the filter will cause compression of its entire cross section, with the resultant shattering of most or all of the capsules in a zone between the pressure points. Thus, no matter where pressure might be applied on the filter, a zone of increased filtration will be provided. This eliminates, of course, any necessity for the user to examine the cigarette in order to determine where it must be squeezed-as would be required to break the single capsule, suggested by the above discussed prior art patents, the uneven distribution of liquid would be very questionable benefit.
In the present invention, of course, the entire cross section of the filter is activated, and for even increased efiiciency, the user may choose to squeeze at several points along the length of the filter in order to utilize the entire supply of activating fluid.
As pointed out previously, the filter body 20 is formed of a ribbon or sheet which is rolled into a cylindrical form to provide a plurality of convolutions 24 having air passages 22 therebetween. Preferably the frangible capsules are placed on the ribbon or sheet in the form of a relatively thin layer before the ribbon is rolled into the final shape. Thus, the pressure of adjacent convolutions of material will hold the capsules in place. For purposes of convenient handling during the rolling operation, however, it may be desirable to mix the capsules with an evaporable adhesive before they are distributed on the sheet.
One method of making the capsules 26 comprises the steps of treating an aqueous sol of the colloid material having the oil emulsified therein, with a salt solution to cause the colloid material to deposit around the oil droplets, and then causing the colloid to gel. After gelling has been accomplished, the capsules preferably are washed in water and then hardened by soaking them in a solution of formaldehyde and water.
The capsules may range between .5 and 1 millimeter in size, although it will be understood that the size factor is not critical and may be varied over a relatively wide range without departing from the present invention. As a general guide, the capsule size should not interfere with the formation of passageways 22 of a wall to wall dimension adequate to provide improved filtration characteristics While still permitting an acceptable draw when the filter is moistened as described theretofore.
The embodiment of FIGURE 4 is similar to the embodiment of FIGURES 13, except that an outer zone of non-moistenable filter material has been added in order to prevent inadvertent contact between the mouth of the user and the liquid used as the activating agent in the capsules. In this embodiment, the cigarette comprises a mass of tobacco 102 which is encased within a wrapper 104 formed of the usual cigarette paper. Extending rearwardly of the wrapper 104 is a non-absorbent flexible cover 106 which defines space for receiving the rolled filter body 108. As will be understood from the description of the embodiment FIGURES 13 this filter body comprises a rolled ribbon of cellulose material having uniformly distributed between its convolutions a multi- .plicity of frangible capsules 110. The filter body 108 does not extend to the rearward end of the cover 106, but instead is shorter than the cover in order to permit the insertion of a secondary filter plug 112 of generally conventional material. This filter plug should not become moistened upon shattering of the capsules 110 by the user, and for this reason preferably it is disposed in a spaced relationship with the filter body 108. Accordingly, the tongue of the user will not come into contact with the moistened filter body 108, which feature permits a greater latitude in the materials available for use as an activating liquid. In other words, the liquid does not necessarily have to be pleasing to the taste, although, of course, it cannot release vapors of an unpleasant character during smoking of the cigarette.
The filter 108 is activated in the same. manner as the filter 20 of the embodiment of FIGURES 1-3, being pressed or squeezed prior to use in order to release the activating liquid. In this connection, it will be interesting to note that the broken particles of the capsules serve as filter particles since they are retained in the air passages in the form of moistened minute hair-like fingers capable of picking up constituents of the smoke as it passes through the passageways.
In the embodiment of FIGURE 5, the invention is shown as being embodied in a cigarette 200, including the usual paper wrapper 202 and filter cover 204 which together form an elongated cylinder adapted at one end to gold a charge of tobacco 206 and at the other end a filter The filter 208 comprises a body formed of individual fibers, preferably of cellulose acetate material, mixed uniformly with a quantity of capsules 210, and compressed lightly into a porous mass whereby pressure on the filter at any point over its length will result in the crushing or shattering of those capsules in the zone and across the cross section of the filter between the points of pressure.
Such shattering releases the fluid contained Within the capsules to coat all of the air passages in the cross section or zone of pressure, thereby providing the increased filtering efficiency discussed in more detail hereinabove.
- The liquid contained in the frangible capsules disclosed in this invention, may be any one of a number of difierent materials. Depending upon the type of material from which the envelope is to be made, the liquid activator may be water, or some other aqueous based material, or alternately a water-immiscible material, such as light mineral oil, or even a non-Newtonian fluid such as Vaseline or the like.
While the present invention has been related particularly herein to the usual cigarette, it will be understood by those in the art that it may be utilized with other smoking articles such as cigars, pipes, and the like. For instance, the filter itself may be packaged and sold as an insert for pipes, the filter merely being squeezed by the user prior to insertion into the pipe item stem.
It will be apparent, therefore, that the present invention is not to be limited to the embodiments described above, and that it is susceptible to various modifications Without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A smoking article comprising, a generally cylindrical wrapper, an elongate mass of tobacco disposed within said wrapper, an absorbent compressible filter body carried adjacent one end of said wrapper and formed from strip-like material overlying itself in a lapping arrangement, a flexible tubular cover forming an extension of said Wrapper and enclosing said filter body, said filter body defining a plurality of air passages through said cover, a multiplicity of very small frangible capsules disposed along the extent of each of said plurality of air passages, and a liquid disposed within said capsules, at least a portion of said capsules in each of said passages breaking and forming additional filter finger elements in said air passages, said liquid therein diifusing into and wetting said passages to improve filtration effectiveness of the absorbent filter body upon the application of pressure to said filter body through said flexible tubular cover.
2. A smoking article comprising, a wrapper, tobacco disposed within said wrapper, a compressible filter body carried at one end of said wrapper and formed from at least one strip of absorbent material overlying itself in a 4 lapping arrangement, said filter body defining a plurality of air conducting passages, a flexible cover enclosing said filter body, a multiplicity of small frangible capsules within each of said air conducting passages, and a liquid disposed within said capsules, at least a portion of said capsules breaking and forming minute hair-like elements rapable of impeding smoke constituents, said liquid diffusing into and wetting said air passages across the filter body to improve the filtration eifectiveness of said filter upon the application of squeezing pressure to said cover.
3. A smoking article comprising, a wrapper, a mass of tobacco disposed Within said wrapper, a convolute strip of absorbent material forming a filter body at one end of said Wrapper, said filter defining a plurality of air conducting passages between the convolutions of said strip, a flexible cover enclosing said filter body, a multiplicity of very small frangible capsules distributed within said air conducting passages, and a liquid disposed Within said capsules, said capsules being adapted to be ruptured by pressure applied to the flexible cover immediately before smoking, said liquid therein diffusing into and wetting the Walls of the said air conducting passages, said ruptured and Wetted frangible capsules forming additional filter particles within said air conducting passages to improve the filtration effectiveness of the said body.
4. The invention as set forth in claim 2 including: a secondary filter spacially disposed away from said compressible filter body within the tip end of said flexible cover.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 596,832 1/1898 Smith. 2,755,206 7/1956 Statia 131-10 2,808,057 10/1957 Jaksch 131-10 2,893,399 7/1959 Jacoby 131-10 3,066,681 12/1962 Cohn 131-10 3,196,478 7/1965 Baymiller et a1. 15-539 FOREIGN PATENTS 173,262 12/ 1952 Austria.
652,716 11/1962 Canada. 1,077,127 8/ 1957 Germany.
SAMUEL KOREN, Primary Examiner. MELVIN D. REEN, Examiner.