(19)
(11)EP 3 027 071 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
02.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/36

(21)Application number: 14739441.5

(22)Date of filing:  15.07.2014
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A24D 3/04(2006.01)
A24D 3/06(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2014/065177
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/014610 (05.02.2015 Gazette  2015/05)

(54)

FILTER ELEMENT FOR A SMOKING ARTICLE

FILTERELEMENT FÜR EINEN RAUCHARTIKEL

ÉLÉMENT DE FILTRE POUR ARTICLE À FUMER


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 29.07.2013 EP 13178423

(43)Date of publication of application:
08.06.2016 Bulletin 2016/23

(73)Proprietor: JT International SA
1202 Geneva (CH)

(72)Inventor:
  • PETRARU, Constantin
    Mullendorf 7324 (LU)

(74)Representative: Gill Jennings & Every LLP 
The Broadgate Tower 20 Primrose Street
London EC2A 2ES
London EC2A 2ES (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 368 448
WO-A1-03/009711
WO-A1-84/00478
US-A- 4 532 943
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention relates to a filter element for a smoking article. In particular, the present invention relates to a filter element which enables a user to enhance their smoking experience by comprising a number of user-activated components which can control both the flavour and the density of the smoke that they inhale.

    [0002] Filter elements for smoking articles are, of course, well known. Furthermore, it is well known to provide a filter element which has a user-activated component such as a frangible capsule therein for altering the properties of the smoke inhaled from the smoking article in use.

    [0003] For example, EP 1906775 discloses a filter element for a smoking article which comprises a frangible capsule. Such a capsule can provide a flavourant that, when broken by a user, alters the flavour of the smoke that is inhaled by the user. This enables the user to change the flavour of the smoke during the smoking experience. In other filter elements there have been provided means for varying the ratio of tobacco smoke to air inhaled by a user by providing a mechanism to the user for varying the pressure drop across the filter. An example of such configuration is shown in WO 84/00478 or EP 0105683, for example. US 4532943 discloses a further example of an adjustable filter cigarette.

    [0004] Whilst both approaches to allowing a user control over their smoking experience have some benefits, what they are unable to provide is a particularly wide range of smoker experiences that can be controlled by a user dependent upon their own personal taste or inclination at the time of smoking the article.

    [0005] The present invention seeks to provide a filter which gives further variety to a user whilst still ensuring that an easy and cost effective filter is provided.

    [0006] To that aim, the present invention provides a filter for a smoking article, the filter comprising:

    at least one plug of filter material surrounded by a plug wrap, wherein the plug of filter material comprises at least two segments being longitudinally aligned and rotatably mounted about a common longitudinal axis, at least one of the segments comprising at least one perforation formed in the plug wrap to allow air intake into the filter in use;

    a tipping paper surrounding the plug wrap, said tipping paper comprising a first
    part attached to a first of the two segments of the filter plug and a second part attached to the second segment of the plug wrap and comprising at least one aperture formed therein, the tipping paper parts and filter plug segments being arranged such that the respective aperture and perforation of the tipping paper and the filter plug can be superimposed upon rotation of one of the filter plug segments about its longitudinal axis to vary the filter ventilation; and

    at least one frangible capsule in the plug of filter material, said capsule containing a substance for altering the characteristics of an air stream passing though the filter in use, wherein the at least one frangible capsule and the perforation and aperture in the filter plug and tipping paper are offset from each other longitudinally in the filter; wherein, in use, the characteristics of the smoke may be altered additionally to the filter ventilation by breaking the frangible capsule (20).



    [0007] According to preferred embodiments of the invention:
    • the frangible capsule is located in a filter plug segment which has no perforations formed therein, or
    • the frangible capsule is located in a filter plug segment which has perforations formed therein, and/or
    • the frangible capsule is located in a substantially central position within the filter plug on the longitudinal axis thereof.


    [0008] A further aspect of the invention relates to a smoking article comprising a filter as previously described and a tobacco rod connected to an end of the filter by said tipping paper overlapping said end of the filter and one end of the tobacco rod.

    [0009] In a preferred configuration of the smoking article of the invention the frangible capsule is located in the segment of the filter plug connected to the tobacco rod, the other segment of the filter being rotatable with regard to the capsule-containing segment and tobacco rod about the longitudinal axis of the filter.

    [0010] Preferably, the second part of the tipping paper comprising the aperture surrounds the filter plug segment including the perforation and at least part of a plug segment free from perforation.

    [0011] Still preferably, the first and second tipping paper parts are separated by a circumferential slit around the filter plug.

    [0012] By providing a filter which enables both the provision of a frangible capsule and variable ventilation (or pressure drop), the operation of which can be controlled by a user, it is possible to provide a smoking article with a wide range of variable smoking experiences that are under the control of the user. Furthermore, by providing a filter which is easy to manufacture the costs of the filter can be kept under control and quality of the manufacture maintained.

    [0013] An example of the present invention, together with a method of manufacture thereof, will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

    Figures 1 and 2 show a conventional variable flow filter for a smoking article; and

    Figure 3 is a cross-sectional view of a smoking article comprising filter according to the present invention.



    [0014] Referring to Figure 1, a filter cigarette 1 comprises a tobacco rod 2 and a filter component 3. The filter component 3 is configured to allow adjustment of the filter ventilation by a user to adjust the taste strength of the cigarette. The filter component 3 comprises a plug of filter material such as cellulose acetate having a plug wrap 4 extending over its outer surface. The filter component 3 is divided into a mouth end filter segment 5 and a tobacco end filter segments, 6 by a circumferential transverse cut 7, which is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the cigarette 1. The cut 7 is only partial throughout the diameter of the filter plug 4 so as to leave a central connecting member of filter material between the two segments 5, 6. This connecting member advantageously acts as an axis of rotation for the segments 5, 6 relative to each other to allow variation of the filter ventilation as explained below.

    [0015] At least one perforation 8 is formed into the plug wrap 4 in the segment 6 of the filter component 3 adjoining the tobacco rod 2. This perforation 8 allows air to be drawn in though the plug wrap 4 and into the core of the filter component 3. To assemble the filter component 3 to the tobacco rod 2 a tipping paper 9 is provided and wrapped over the plug wrap 4 and filter segment 5, 6. The tipping paper 9 is comprised of 2 bands 10, 11 separable at a pre-cut or cut line 12. A first band 10 of the tipping paper 9 is glued to the mouth end filter segment 5 of the cigarette 1 and extends over the cut 7 between the two filter segments 5, 6 and partially over the second filter segment 6 and the perforation 8 without being glued to the second segment 6. This first tipping band 10 comprises at least one transverse slot 13 which is positioned so that it can be aligned over the perforation 8 in the second filter segment 6. A second tipping band 11 of the tipping paper 9 is glued on the remaining part of the tobacco end segment 6 not covered by band 10 and the tobacco rod 2 to attach the filter component 3 to the tobacco rod 2.

    [0016] Figure 2 shows Figure 1 when assembled with the slot 13 of first band 10 of tipping paper 9 aligned over perforation 8.

    [0017] Such configuration of the filter component 3 and tipping paper 9 makes the mouth end filter segment 5 capable of rotation around the longitudinal axis of the cigarette 1 relative to the tobacco end filter segment 6 connected to the tobacco rod 2. This varies the respective positions of the perforation 8 in the tobacco endfilter segment 6 and the slot 13 in the first tipping band 10 as shown in Figure 3 in order to adjust the filter component ventilation, hence the strength of the cigarette 1. While in the present description and accompanying drawings only one perforation 8 and slot 13 are depicted to vary ventilation in the filter component 3 it will be understood that a plurality of perforations 8 and/or slots 13 could be provided to achieve the same function of varying the ventilation level in the filter component, the common principle of ventilation variation remaining identical and based on alignment/misalignment of said perforations 8 and slot 13 upon rotation of the mouth end segment 5 of the filter with respect to the tobacco end segment 6.

    [0018] Figure 3 shows a cross-sectional view of the filter component 3 through the location of the perforation 8 and slot 13. From this it can be seen that relative rotation of mouth end filter segment 5 with respect to tobacco end filter segment 6 in either direction can adjust the relative positions of the slot 13 and perforation 8 to control the amount of air that can be drawn through the combination of the slot 13 and perforation 8 and into the filter component 3 when the cigarette 1 is being smoked. Enclosed within the second filter segment 6 is a frangible capsule 20. Alternatively the frangible capsule could be located in the mouth end segment 5 or even one capsule in each of the two segments 5, 6. Advantageously, the frangible capsule 20 is positioned in the filter component 3 such that it is longitudinally offset from the slot 13 and perforation 8. Preferably, the frangible capsule 20 is located either close to the tobacco rod 2 or in the mouth end segment 5 such that the central connecting member between filter segments 5, 6 receives limited stress and wetting upon actuation of the frangible capsule 20. In use, the user can rotate mouth end filter segment to vary the relative locations of the slot 13 and perforation 8 and vary the ventilation for the filter component 3 varying air mixture received by a user when the tobacco rod 2 is lit. In addition it is also possible for the user to further vary the smoking experience by breaking the frangible capsule 20 which alters the characteristics of the smoke received by the user, in particular the density and/or the taste thereof.

    [0019] As can be seen from the figure, the capsule 20 is preferably located centrally within the filter component 3 and the slot 13 and perforation 8 are formed respectively in the tipping paper and tobacco end filter segment 6 and located offset from the centre in order to ensure that, when manufacturing the filter, creation of the perforation 8 and slot 13 does not damage the capsule 20. Such a structure also ensures the filter plug does not have to be unduly long whilst still providing the appropriate shape, rigidity and functionality to a user.

    [0020] An example method of manufacturing the filter according to the present invention will now be described.

    [0021] In a first stage of manufacture capsules 20 are inserted into filter plug-forming material that may be a material such as cellulose acetate tow in a conventional and well-known manner in the industry of cigarette filter making. A continuous filter rod containing regularly spaced capsules is hereby obtained. This continuous rod is then surrounded with a plug wrap to hold the acetate tow in shape and segmented to produce individual filter components 3, each containing at least one capsule 20.

    [0022] Individual filter components 3 are then loaded into a conventional smoking article maker which is equipped with a processing module to assemble filter components 3 and tobacco rods 2to form cigarettes 1. The filter components are then cut transversally to form two rotatable interconnected segments 5, 6. Perforations 8 are formed in the filter components 3 by laser or blade cutting. Tipping paper 4 is then perforated and cut or preferably pre-cut to define separation line 12 between bands 10, 11 of the tipping paper 9 and then supplied and wrapped around the filter component 3 to connect it with the tobacco rod 2 to form a cigarette product. Finally, the filter components 3 are submitted to a laser or blade cut to form simultaneously perforations 8 in the tobacco end filter segment 6 and corresponding slots 13 in the tipping paper 4. Finally, the mouth end segment 5 is then twisted to misalign perforations 8 and slots 13 of the filters and thereby set the cigarette products 1 at the lowest level of ventilation of the filter components 3. The finished cigarette products are then gathered to form a bundle which is then packed for sale.


    Claims

    1. A filter (3) for a smoking article (1), the filter (3) comprising:

    at least one plug of filter material surrounded by a plug wrap (4), wherein the plug of filter material comprises at least two segments (5, 6) being longitudinally aligned and rotatably mounted about a common longitudinal axis, at least one of the segments comprising at least one perforation (8) formed in the plug wrap (4) to allow air intake into the filter (3) in use;

    a tipping paper (9) surrounding the plug wrap (4), said tipping paper (9) comprising a first part (10) attached to a first (5) of the two segments of the filter plug and a second part (11) attached to the second segment (6) of the plug wrap (4) and comprising at least one aperture (13) formed therein, the tipping paper parts (10, 11) and filter plug segments (5, 6) being arranged such that the respective aperture (13) and perforation (8) of the tipping paper and the filter plug can be superimposed upon rotation of one of the filter plug segments about its longitudinal axis to vary the filter ventilation; and

    at least one frangible capsule (20) in the plug of filter material, said capsule (20) containing a substance for altering the characteristics of an air stream passing through the filter (3) in use, wherein the at least one frangible capsule (20) and the perforation (8) and aperture (13) in the filter plug and tipping paper are offset from each other longitudinally in the filter; wherein, in use, the characteristics of the smoke may be altered additionally to the filter ventilation by breaking the frangible capsule (20).


     
    2. A filter (3) according to claim 1, wherein the frangible capsule (20) is located in a filter plug segment which has no perforations formed therein.
     
    3. A filter (3) according to claim 1, wherein the frangible capsule (20) is located in a filter plug segment which has perforations formed therein.
     
    4. A filter according to claim 1, wherein the frangible capsule (20) is located in a substantially central position within the filter plug on the longitudinal axis thereof.
     
    5. A smoking article (1) comprising a filter (3) according to any of claims 1 to 3 and a tobacco rod (2) connected to an end of the filter (3) by said tipping paper (9) overlapping said end of the filter (3) and one end of the tobacco rod (2).
     
    6. A smoking article (1) according to claim 5, wherein the frangible capsule (20) is located in the segment (6) of the filter plug connected to the tobacco rod (2), the other segment (5) of the filter (3) being rotatable with regard to the capsule-containing segment and tobacco rod (2) about the longitudinal axis of the filter (3).
     
    7. A smoking article (1) according to claims 5 or 6, wherein the second part of the tipping paper part comprising the aperture surrounds a filter plug segment including the perforation (8) and at least part of a plug segment free from perforation (8).
     
    8. A smoking article according to any of claims 5 to 7, wherein the first and second tipping paper parts (10, 11) are separated by a circumferential slit (12) around the filter plug.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Filter (3) für einen Rauchartikel (1), wobei der Filter (3) umfasst:

    zumindest einen Stopfen aus Filtermaterial, der von einer Stopfenumhüllung (4) umgeben ist, wobei der Stopfen aus Filtermaterial zumindest zwei Segmente (5, 6) umfasst, die longitudinal ausgerichtet und drehbar um eine gemeinsame Längsachse montiert sind, wobei zumindest eins der Segmente zumindest eine Perforierung (8) umfasst, die in der Stopfenumhüllung (4) geformt ist, um Lufteinlass in den Filter (3) im Gebrauch zu ermöglichen;

    ein Zigarettenmundstückpapier (9) das die Stopfenumhüllung (4) umgibt, wobei das Zigarettenmundstückpapier (9) einen ersten Teil (10), der an ein erstes (5) der zwei Segmente des Filterstopfens angebracht ist und einen zweiten Teil (11) umfasst, der an das zweite Segment (6) der Stopfenumhüllung (4) angebracht ist und zumindest eine darin geformte Öffnung (13) umfasst, wobei die Zigarettenmundstückpapierteile (10, 11) und die Segmente (5, 6) des Filterstopfens derartig angeordnet sind, dass die jeweilige Öffnung (13) und die Perforierung (8) des Zigarettenmundstückpapiers und des Filterstopfens bei Drehung eines der Segmente des Filterstopfens um seine Längsachse überlagert werden können, um die Filterventilation zu variieren; und

    zumindest eine brüchige Kapsel (20) im Stopfen aus Filtermaterial, wobei die Kapsel (20) eine Substanz zur Änderung der Charakteristiken eines Luftstroms enthält, der im Gebrauch den Filter (3) durchläuft, wobei die zumindest eine brüchige Kapsel (20) und die Perforierung (8) und die Öffnung (13) im Filterstopfen und Zigarettenmundstückpapier im Filter longitudinal voneinander versetzt sind; wobei, im Gebrauch, die Charakteristiken des Rauchs zusätzlich zur Filterventilation durch Zerbrechen der brüchigen Kapsel (20) geändert werden können.


     
    2. Filter (3) nach Anspruch 1, wobei sich die brüchige Kapsel (20) in einem Segment des Filterstopfens befindet, in dem keine Perforierungen geformt sind.
     
    3. Filter (3) nach Anspruch 1, wobei sich die brüchige Kapsel (20) in einem Segment des Filterstopfens befindet, in dem keine Perforierungen geformt sind.
     
    4. Filter nach Anspruch 1, wobei sich die brüchige Kapsel (20) in einer wesentlich zentralen Position innerhalb des Filterstopfens, auf dessen Längsachse, befindet.
     
    5. Rauchartikel (1), der einen Filter (3) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3 und einen Tabakstab (2) umfasst, der mit einem Ende des Filters (3) durch das Zigarettenmundstückpapier (9) verbunden ist, welches das Ende des Filters (3) und ein Ende des Tabakstabes (2) überlappt.
     
    6. Rauchartikel (1) nach Anspruch 5, wobei sich die brüchige Kapsel (20) im Segment (6) des Filterstopfens befindet, der mit dem Tabakstab (2) verbunden ist, wobei das andere Segment (5) des Filters (3) mit Bezug auf das Segment, welches die Kapsel enthält, und den Tabakstab (2) um die Längsachse des Filters (3) drehbar ist.
     
    7. Rauchartikel (1) nach Ansprüchen 5 oder 6, wobei der zweite Teil des die Öffnung umfassenden Zigarettenmundstückpapierteils ein Segment des Filterstopfens umfasst, das die Perforierung (8) und zumindest einen Teil eines Segments des Stopfens einschließt, das frei von Perforierung (8) ist.
     
    8. Rauchartikel nach einem der Ansprüche 5 bis 7, wobei die ersten und zweiten Teile (10, 11) des Zigarettenmundstückpapiers durch einen zirkumferenziellen Schlitz (12) um den Filterstopfen herum getrennt sind.
     


    Revendications

    1. Un filtre (3) pour un article à fumer (1) et ce filtre (3) se compose des éléments suivants :

    au moins un tampon en matériau filtrant entouré d'un enrobage tampon (4) et ce tampon en matériau filtrant comporte au moins deux segments (5, 6) qui sont alignés sur le plan longitudinal et viennent se fixer et tourner autour d'un axe longitudinal commun et au moins un de ces deux segments comporte au moins une perforation (8) formée dans l'enrobage tampon (4) afin de permettre à de l'air d'entrer dans le filtre (3) pendant l'utilisation

    un papier pour bout filtrant (9) qui entoure l'enrobage tampon (4) et ledit papier pour bout filtrant (9) se compose d'une première partie (10) qui vient se rattacher à un premier (5) des deux segments du tampon filtrant alors qu'une deuxième partie (11) vient se rattacher au deuxième segment (6) de l'enrobage tampon (4) et comporte au moins une ouverture (13) qui vient s'y former et les parties à papier pour bout filtrant (10, 11) et les segments à tampon filtre (5, 6) sont disposés de telle sorte que l'ouverture (13) et la perforation (8) respectives du tampon filtre peuvent se superposer par simple rotation de l'un des segments à tampon filtre autour de son axe longitudinal de manière à modifier la ventilation du filtre et

    au moins une capsule frangible (20) dans le tampon en matériau filtrant, et ladite capsule (20) contient une substance qui modifie les caractéristiques d'un flux d'air qui traverse le filtre (3) pendant l'utilisation, et au moins une capsule frangible (20) et la perforation (8) et l'ouverture (13) dans le tampon filtre et le papier pour bout filtrant sont décalées l'une par rapport à l'autre, dans le sens longitudinal du filtre, et, pendant l'utilisation, les caractéristiques de la fumée peuvent être modifiées, outre la ventilation du filtre, en brisant la capsule frangible (20).


     
    2. Le filtre (3) que décrit la revendication 1, si ce n'est que la capsule frangible (20) est implantée dans un segment à tampon filtre qui ne comporte pas de perforations.
     
    3. Le filtre (3) que décrit la revendication 1, si ce n'est que la capsule frangible (20) est implantée dans un segment à tampon filtre qui comporte des perforations.
     
    4. Le filtre que décrit la revendication 1, si ce n'est que la capsule frangible (20) est implantée dans une section globalement centralisée à l'intérieur du tampon filtre, sur l'axe longitudinal de ce dernier.
     
    5. Un article à fumer (1) comportant un filtre (3), comme celui que décrit l'une ou l'autre des revendications 1 à 3, et une tige à tabac (2) raccordée à une extrémité du filtre (3) par ledit papier pour bout filtrant (9) qui vient chevaucher ladite extrémité du filtre (3) et une extrémité de la tige à tabac (2).
     
    6. L'article à fumer (1) que décrit la revendication 5, si ce n'est que la capsule frangible (20) est implantée dans le segment (6) du tampon filtre qui est raccordé à la tige à tabac (2) alors que l'autre segment (5) du filtre (3) tourne par rapport au segment qui contient la capsule et la tige à tabac (2) autour de l'axe longitudinal du filtre (3).
     
    7. L'article à fumer (1) que décrit la revendication 5 ou 6, si ce n'est que la deuxième partie de la section à papier pour bout filtrant qui contient l'ouverture entoure un segment du tampon filtre qui contient la perforation (8) et au moins une partie d'un tampon sans perforation (8).
     
    8. L'article à fumer que décrit l'une ou l'autre des revendication 5 à 7, si ce n'est que les première et deuxième sections à papier pour bout filtrant (10, 11) sont séparées par une fente circonférentielle (12) qui fait le tour du tampon filtre.
     




    Drawing








    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description