Rizla rolling papers are available in a range of thicknesses and sizes, indicated by the colour of the packaging. Rizla is the world's number one selling brand of rolling papers and is available in over 120 countries worldwide.
However, it was not until 1796 that the Lacroix brand got its first major production deal, during the Napoleonic wars, when Napoleon himself granted the company a licence to produce fine rolling papers for his soldiers who until then had been forced to roll cigarettes using paper torn from the pages of various books.
In 1860, Pierre Lacroix perfected the formula for the Lacroix brand of rolling papers. In 1865, another change was made to the formula - the tissue previously used in the papers was replaced with paper made from rice. It is this change to rice paper that caused the name "RizLa+" to finally emerge: a combination of the French word Riz (meaning rice) with "La" and a cross, representing the Lacroix family name, which literally means "The Cross". The Lacroix family changed the brand name in 1866.
The RizLa+ company was so successful, that by 1891 the Lacroix family had amassed enough wealth to construct a castle-like manor, which they dubbed Chateau Leonide Lacroix. The Lacroix family were selling their product throughout Europe and the United States by 1900.
RizLa produced some of the first flavoured papers in 1906, with the release of menthol and strawberry. The first Rizla Blue fine-weight rolling papers were produced in 1910, with thinner paper and a more pronounced tobacco flavour. RizLa also released one of the first rolling machines. The basic design of their original rolling machine is still used to this day. Recently, however, Rizla changed the design of their machine.
In 1942, the RizLa brand revolutionized the world of rolling papers when the Lacroix brothers acquired a patent for applying gum to the edge of rolling papers. This new feature solidified Rizla's position as a leader in the rolling paper industry, placing them at the top of the market.
During 1944, RizLa changed its name yet again to the name "Rizla+", which is still in use today.
In 1948, Rizla acquired the General Paper and Box Manufacturing Company, located in South Wales, dramatically improving their production capabilities. The same year, Rizla released the Rizla Green cut-corners, medium-weight rolling paper.
Sometime in 1977, thirty-three years after the brand name change, Rizla released the first of their King Size rolling papers.
In 1978 Fernand Painblanc took control of Rizla, bringing the tradition of Lacroix family ownership to an end.
The licorice-flavoured paper was released in 1981. In 1986, Rizla began rapid growth and large-scale advertising. One successful advertising campaign in 1986 was a popular series of calendars and posters. A café franchise, which was featured at various concerts in the UK in 1996, was also extremely popular. In 1997 they produced a limited edition King Size Rizla+ Purple medium-weight, extra width, king size rolling paper, in celebration of the Phoenix music festival.
In 1997 Rizla was sold to Imperial Tobacco.
1998, Rizla continued their string of expansion and large-scale advertising, going so far as to release their own line of clothing, sold at their cafés. In 2002 Rizla closed a deal with Suzuki and became one of their top motor-bike racing sponsors, forming the Rizla-Suzuki racing team. The Caterham Superlight R500 sports is available with Rizla markings following its launch in collaboration with Rizla-Suzuki.
Rizla added a new paper to its line up in 2003, with the introduction of the Rizla Silver, Ultra-Thin, King Size rolling paper. In 2003 the UK Advertising Standards Agency upheld a complaint that Rizla had alluded to their products' association with cannabis in a print advertisement that bore the caption "twist and burn". The association being that 'twist' alludes to twisting the paper on the end of a joint to stop the tobacco and marijuana mix falling out, and 'burn' the process of lighting and smoking a joint.
In 2004, two more types or Rizla papers were released; one, the Rizla Red, Medium Weight, Slim paper is exclusive to the United Kingdom. The other variety released in 2004 was the Rizla Silver (regular size) Ultra-Thin rolling paper.
In September 2005 Imperial Tobacco announced the closure of Rizla's Treforest factory at Pontypridd near Cardiff in South Wales with a loss of 134 jobs. After the closure of the factory, Rizla production is now concentrated at Wilrijk, Belgium.
And Suzuki for the Best