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Old 02-06-2014, 06:28 PM
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Most of us here keep tobacco in our preps for barter, even if we don't smoke ourselves. There is no doubt that should any major event disrupt this countries fragile system, tobacco will be worth it's weight in gold. A large number of people are smokers, and should the world be falling apart around them, quitters will pick it back up and smokers will be smoking even more due to stress.

I like most people, always tried to keep 1-2 cartons on hand, along with a dozen packs of cheap cigars. This is a pitiful stockpile, but with finances tight, and prices constantly rising, it's not exactly easy.

Then, a moment of clarity. I was giving a ride to a neighbor, when she mentioned she rolled her own and how much cash it was saving her. I came home and did a bit of research. I was blown away. The total cost for a carton, $7.50. That's $.75 a pack!

I rolled my own years ago, but found the savings not worth the effort. Since then, sly tobacco companies realized that if they cut the tobacco slightly different, and labeled it "pipe tobacco", they all but avoid taxes. Tax on 1 lb. of cigarette tobacco is currently $24.78, while the tax on "pipe tobacco" is $2.83 a lb. This translates to huge savings. My preferred brand costs $12.49 a lb, which will roll slightly over 2 cartons. A carton of filtered tubes costs $1.80. In some states, this effectively means you can get a carton for the price of a pack. With the moderate prices in my state, and smoking 1 pack a day, this method will save me over $1,600 a year.

And it gets better. THEY TASTE GOOD! In fact, I personally think they are BETTER than store bought. This is primarily because the tobacco is almost always fresher (no, cigarette packs are not airtight) and there are several chemical additives that are not present that are in commercial cigarettes. I had a pack of store bought that I saved back as a "treat" when I started rolling. After about a week, I cracked them open. They tasted like ****!


For those not familiar with the little plastic rollers, NEVER buy one. You can get a quality roller for about $35 that is so much easier to use and makes perfect smokes every time. I chose the MicroMatic, which is basically all steel and built to last. Cost was $33. If at all possible, do not buy any of your supplies online without checking local smoke shops. My shop beat Amazon by over 25%.

THE PREPPING ASPECT- This is somewhat a no-brainer. Should you stock 1 carton, or 7 cartons for the same cash? Doing this will not only allow you to keep much more tobacco supplied in your preps, but the money saved by smoking RYO will add a nice big chunk of money to your funds. I like to think of it like this, every 6 months, I save enough money to buy a new AR-15. If that's not a incentive, I don't know what is.

I have done quite a bit of research concerning the long term storage of tobacco. As a general rule, it should be stored basically like food. As airtight as possible, and at a generally consistent low temperature. I'm sure mylar and O2 absorbers would work well. The most common method is in sealed mason jars. I like to roll a large batch up, and store them pre-rolled in pint mason jars. Each jar will hold 3 packs. Your tobacco will keep for YEARS this way. In the event you open a jar and find it to be dry and "stale", drop a moistened cotton ball in the jar and wait a day or two. They will freshen right up. In essence, tobacco really cannot go "stale" if stored correctly.

DON"T WAIT AROUND! At this very moment the Obama administration is attempting to close the "pipe tobacco" loophole. They have been working on it for some time, but have renewed their efforts lately. Their reasoning is that "it will add over 3.2 billion dollars in 10 years to federal tax revenue." Instead of curbing their excessive spending, they want to tax us further. If for no other reason, roll your own to stop funding entitlement programs with your hard earned money.

I'm sorry this was so long winded. As we all know, the best route is to quit smoking. As we also know, this is easier said than done. We all need to quit, but in the meantime, roll your own.

Last edited by MikeK; 02-06-2014 at 06:35 PM.. Reason: DO NOT bypass the language filter. Reread the site rules for clarification.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:38 PM
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I have been doing this for about 3 years, saved like 3k a year I have put into other things, helped me get debt free too. I currently use an e-cigarette half the time, I actually wentr like 4 months without cigarettes using it but now have a girlfriend who smokes so I went back to stuffing tubes for when I do smoke. Best thing ever is the juice lasts a LONG time if sealed properly. Tobacco stores as well and you can re hydrate it with some lettuce leaves or orange peels. Cigarettes are bad opsec as the smell will give you away but they are good comfort items and also help if you are hungry as they reduce appetite. Nice post, good solid info, thanks!
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:41 PM
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Tobacco will be worth absolutely *NOTHING* in SHTF. Here is why.

Me and just about all the smokers I know have quit smoking, and we all share the same reason; too expensive. If $5.50/day (less than 1 hours pay if you're making min. wage) is too expensive now, why would anyone trade a necessity for tobacco? Smoking is addictive, but it's not THAT addictive.

Extremely stressful situations actually do not bring on nicotine cravings. When I first got to boot camp I was a smoker, and I was kept so stressed and busy I never had a single nicotine craving, and had completely forgotten cigarettes existed.

When the SHTF smokers aren't going to be running around trying to get their next cigarette, they're going to be trying to figure out where to go, what to eat, how to keep warm, etc.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:46 PM
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:47 PM
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When I did smoke we had reservation tobacco for a wile, it was way better than store bought. If it matters that much to you then grow the tobacco.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:49 PM
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Thanks for the post OP. I think I will check into it. Once you get the hang of it, how long does it take to make a pack?
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:51 PM
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Many things can be used for trade. Tobacco, alcohol, first aid, Just don't be expecting to start trading first thing. I would let things settle down a bit then maybe.
And don't be too quick to let others know what you have to trade, or you might not have it long.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:54 PM
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Thanks for the post OP. I think I will check into it. Once you get the hang of it, how long does it take to make a pack?
Probably 7-10 minutes. I usually flip on a movie and casually turn out a carton. You could probably go faster but I just relax and enjoy doing it.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:05 PM
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Not to be rude, but "stressful situations do not initiate cravings" is one of the most ridiculous things I've read here. If you are a smoker, and are under stress, you want to smoke. Yes, some people will be thinking more about food and water, but there will be those who have prepared and those who are already well set, such as farmers. Luxury items WILL ALWAYS have value. Find me one single respected preppers must-have list that does not contain tobacco. In prison facilities that forbid tobacco, a single pack of cigarettes can be broken up and sold for over $150. People will always pay for simple pleasures.

P.S. The "$5.50 a pack is to expensive" is somewhat the point of the entire thread. Not that cheap cigarettes should encourage you to start.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:12 PM
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I used to roll my own cigarettes. Had a nifty machine and everything, it was hand powered. I will definitely roll my own in the post SHTF world if I have to. I stopped rolling my own, bc it wasn't convenient at the time. But this thread has made me think about it again, so I might start it up again.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:20 PM
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I just ordered a machine, tubes and tobacco. Total cost was less than 2 cartons of Pall Mall menthol. 5 boxes of tubes, 2lbs of tobacco and a machine.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by hanzy4200 View Post
Not to be rude, but "stressful situations do not initiate cravings" is one of the most ridiculous things I've read here. If you are a smoker, and are under stress, you want to smoke. Yes, some people will be thinking more about food and water, but there will be those who have prepared and those who are already well set, such as farmers. Luxury items WILL ALWAYS have value. Find me one single respected preppers must-have list that does not contain tobacco. In prison facilities that forbid tobacco, a single pack of cigarettes can be broken up and sold for over $150. People will always pay for simple pleasures.

P.S. The "$5.50 a pack is to expensive" is somewhat the point of the entire thread. Not that cheap cigarettes should encourage you to start.
I said EXTREMELY stressful situations do not bring on nicotine cravings. Doing your taxes or sitting in traffic is not extremely stressful. Struggling to survive and/or being ripped from your comfort zone and thrown into an extreme situation is.

If we're talking long term Mad Max type SHTF, tobacco will eventually have value... but that would be years into a collapse and the tobacco people will be after is what farmers are growing, not some crusty dried out 5+ year old cigarettes that taste like dead leaves and burn hotter than the sun.

Prisons are nothing like SHTF so I'm not sure why you would even use that as a comparison, and the point of the thread wasn't about cheap cigarettes it was tobacco in SHTF.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:07 PM
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I said EXTREMELY stressful situations do not bring on nicotine cravings. Doing your taxes or sitting in traffic is not extremely stressful. Struggling to survive and/or being ripped from your comfort zone and thrown into an extreme situation is.

If we're talking long term Mad Max type SHTF, tobacco will eventually have value... but that would be years into a collapse and the tobacco people will be after is what farmers are growing, not some crusty dried out 5+ year old cigarettes that taste like dead leaves and burn hotter than the sun.

Prisons are nothing like SHTF so I'm not sure why you would even use that as a comparison, and the point of the thread wasn't about cheap cigarettes it was tobacco in SHTF.
The theme of the thread was primarily about saving money. Did you actually read it?This ultimately does have great effect on prepping in general, as prepping requires money. Being able to set extra tobacco back is just a added perk. Stocking up on cigarettes is not just about barter. If you're a smoker, it's for your own consumption.

I'm not quite sure what you are trying to get at with "stressful vs. extremely stressful" issue. SHTF is not going to be a 2 day spree of driving around getting into shootouts and adrenaline pumping adventures. It will be many long days of sitting and working around the house. People will be general stressed out. No power, no communication, no emergency services, ect, ect. Can you think of a more stressful situation, especially for someone unprepared? The tobacco available in stores will be gone in 24 hours. Then what? 43 million people just forget that they smoke at the most stressful time of their lives? You are entitled to your opinion, but I know how far some people will go to satisfy their cravings. I'd rather be the one profiting then the one suffering.

The prison comment was in reply to your "it's not that addictive" bit. If someone is willing to pay $7-8 for 1 cigarette in certain circumstances , I think that proves a point.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:12 PM
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Calm down guys. Sounds like you need a smoke ...
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by hanzy4200 View Post
The theme of the thread was primarily about saving money. Did you actually read it?This ultimately does have great effect on prepping in general, as prepping requires money. Being able to set extra tobacco back is just a added perk. Stocking up on cigarettes is not just about barter. If you're a smoker, it's for your own consumption.

I'm not quite sure what you are trying to get at with "stressful vs. extremely stressful" issue. SHTF is not going to be a 2 day spree of driving around getting into shootouts and adrenaline pumping adventures. It will be many long days of sitting and working around the house. People will be general stressed out. No power, no communication, no emergency services, ect, ect. Can you think of a more stressful situation, especially for someone unprepared? The tobacco available in stores will be gone in 24 hours. Then what? 43 million people just forget that they smoke at the most stressful time of their lives? You are entitled to your opinion, but I know how far some people will go to satisfy their cravings. I'd rather be the one profiting then the one suffering.

The prison comment was in reply to your "it's not that addictive" bit. If someone is willing to pay $7-8 for 1 cigarette in certain circumstances , I think that proves a point.
Where are you getting all this from? I didn't say anything about shootouts and adrenaline pumping adventures. I'm speaking from experience of when I went to boot camp. We were thrown into a completely different world and the shock of it pushed cigarettes from our minds, and for the entire first week all we did was wait and wait and wait some more. Still didn't get a single nicotine craving.

Think of it this way. Would YOU trade food or other critical items for something as useless as a pack of cigarettes? Would you do that to your family?

Prisons are NOTHING like real life or SHTF. A dollar in prison is not the same as a dollar outside. They have no rent, bills, or expenses of any kind... so obviously their money is pretty much useless for anything other than throwing away.

If you smoke, the next time someone hits you up for a cigarette tell them you'll sell them one for $2 and watch them walk away.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:58 PM
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I've got a 12 pk. of beer and a pack of smokes set aside for when SHTF. I rotate them. When the fan is on full blast and we finally make it to our BOL. I'm gonna wanna sit back and soak it in. Chill for a minute before I gotta kick it into high gear.
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