Rolling papers have experienced a resurgence of popularity because it has become increasingly less expensive to roll cigarettes than to purchase a machine-made one in many countries including the USA . Tax policy is the key reason for the cost differential. In addition, people who roll their own cigarettes can customize the cigarette to any shape, size, and form they choose. Rolling papers are sold in lengths of 70mm - 110mm and a range of widths.
Most manufacturers who sell in the USA use the designations 1 (Single wide), 1¼ (1.25) size, 1½ (1.5) size and “Doublewide” (2 or 2.0) in connection with cigarette rolling papers. However, within the industry, these designations have slightly different meanings, much like the term Corona does not mean a definitive size but moreover a general size.; and, across the various brands of cigarette papers, the actual widths of the papers using these designations vary greatly. For example, the 1¼ designation is used with papers having widths ranging from about 1.7 inches to 2 inches, and the 1½ designation is used with papers having widths ranging from around 2.4 to 3 inches. However the length of these papers is always 78mm (+/1 1mm). 1 1/4 is also known as "Spanish Size" in parts of the world.
While a 1 1/4 sized paper is not exactly 25% larger than a 1 (single wide) paper, there is meaning to these size names. A better way to describe these accurately is that a 1 1/4 is designed to roll a cigarette that contains about 25% more tobacco then a single wide paper. Similarly a 1 1/2 size paper is designed to roll a cigarette that contains about 50% more than a single wide paper. A 1 1/4 size paper is larger than a 1 (single wide) paper and naturally a 1 1/2 size paper is larger than a 1 1/4 size paper, and a double wide is larger than a 1 1/2 size paper.
In the United States, Tobacconist Magazine has called roll-your-own (RYO) the tobacco industry's fastest growing segment. It estimates that 2-4% of US cigarette smokers, or approximately 1.5 million people, make their own cigarettes. Many of these smokers have switched in response to increasingly high taxes on manufactured cigarettes.
In 2000, a Canadian government survey estimated that 9% of Canada's 6 million cigarette smokers smoked hand-rolled cigarettes "sometimes or most of the time" - 7% smoked roll-your-owns "exclusively", and over 90% of rolling papers sold in Canada were for tobacco consumption.
According to The Publican, "Low price RYO has seen an astonishing rise of 175 per cent in  as cigarette smokers look for cheaper alternatives and to control the size of their smoke" .Britain's National Health Service has reported that roll-your-own use has more than doubled since 1990, from 11% to 24%. Many of these smokers apparently believe that hand rolled cigarettes are healthier than manufactured products.
In Thailand, roll-your-own smokers have long exceeded those for manufactured brands. New Zealand reported in 2005 that: The ratio of roll-your-own to manufactured or tailor-made cigarettes consumed by New Zealanders has risen over (at least) the past decade, perhaps reflecting price differences between these products, and currently approaching 50 percent overall.
Consumers switching to roll-your-own has led to a response among certain tax authorities. In the United States, Indiana and Kentucky tax rolling papers. Kentucky set its tax at $0.25 per pack (for up to 32 leaves, larger packs are taxed at $0.0078 per leaf) in 2006 despite complaints from manufacturers.