A filter element for use in a smoking article and providing filtration of particulate material and gaseous components of mainstream smoke is provided. The filter element includes a segment of fibrous tow comprising a plurality of individual filaments, wherein each individual filament includes a plurality of adsorbent material particles at least partially encapsulated with a removable encapsulant imbedded therein. The individual filaments may further include an outer coating that provides a plurality of reactive groups adapted for reaction with one or more components of mainstream smoke. Alternatively, the multifunctional filter element combines different fibrous filter materials, such as cellulose acetate or polyolefin filaments combined with activated carbon filaments and at least one of ion exchange filaments and catalytic filaments. A method of providing a cellulose acetate fibrous tow containing an imbedded adsorbent material is provided, wherein a plurality of encapsulated adsorbent particles are mixed with a cellulose acetate dope.
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