Silk Cut is a brand of cigarettes produced by the Gallaher Group, a division of Japan Tobacco. The packaging is characterised by a distinctive stark white packet with the brand name in a purple, blue, red, silver, white or green square. In the past, Silk Cut cigarettes contained approximately 75% tobacco, the rest of the filling being Cytrel, a cellulose-based tobacco substitute. In present day the addition of Cytrel has been abandoned, making the cigarette additive-free. Silk Cut is also available in a lower tar version and an ultra low tar version with a tar content of only 0.1 mg.
The brand increased in popularity around the world throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s as the dangers of cigarette smoking became well known and consumers switched to a lower tar brand. At 5 mg tar, Silk Cut contained less than half the tar content of stronger brands such as Benson and Hedges or Marlboro.
In the 1990’s Silk Cut was the best selling brand in the UK, but sales have declined behind cheaper budget brands as tax on tobacco has increased.
Silk Cut was Kate’s preferred brand of cigarettes, as described in interviews in 1990 and 1993.