While cigarettes have been mass produced in America since 1864, the first cigarette with a filter tip did not make its debut until 1936. The first filter tip was made of cellulose acetate. The tobacco company Brown and Williamson debuted filtered cigarettes in its Viceroy brand.
Filter cigarettes were invented at first in order to attract more women to smoking, as women did not appreciate the harshness of the unfiltered cigarettes of the day. Later, as the terrible effects of smoking became known to the general populace, filters were billed as a healthier way to smoke. Many cigarette companies used real doctors in their advertisements to promote filtered cigarette smoking as a way to calm nerves and enjoy life.