Thursday, January 24, 2013

Smoke em if you got em

Let’s just go ahead and say it right now; Smoking is a filthy habit. It stinks up your clothing, it stinks up your home if you smoke inside the house, and it causes health issues like lung cancer, emphysema, and a host of other issues with long term use. The average lifespan for smokers is about ten years shorter than for those who do not smoke at all!

Also, a pack of name brand smokes, where I live, will cost you in the neighborhood of $7.00 thanks to all of the federal and state tobacco taxes. It’s clear; the best way to save money in this area is to never start smoking in the first place. If you already use tobacco then you should quite now and not only will you improve your overall health but you will save a ton of money in the process.

But this is not an article dedicated to the “anti-tobacco-smokers are bad” movement. You get enough of that crap on television with the “occupy types” who are on a mission to bash the greedy tobacco companies for trying to make a buck. You might be a smoker who has tried numerous times to kick the habit without success. Or maybe you just enjoy a good smoke and don’t have any intention of giving them up.

Either way, if you have limited funds to live on then you need to find ways to keep the government parasites out of your wallet. The same politicians who claim to be champions of the poor and the middle class are the same ones picking your pockets. After all, the majority of money spent on a pack of cigarettes goes directly into government coffers and since smokers are more likely to be in the lower income brackets, the taxes you pay on tobacco are basically just Taxes on the poor!

If you only spend $5.00 a day for a pack of cigarettes you are spending $1825 a year! That’s a hell of a lot of money to be shelling out just to put yourself into an early grave. Surely you can kill yourself much cheaper than this. If you were to switch to a cheaper brand that cost just $3.50 a pack you would be spending $1,277 annually. A savings of $547! I know that most no name cigarettes don’t taste as good as a Marlboro but with so many different generic brands out there today you can probably find one that you enjoy nearly as much.

If you want to cut the cost of your nicotine addiction even further then consider rolling your own. Buy tobacco in bulk and buy the boxes of cigarette “tubes” with filters already attached. You can have a smoke that is nearly as good as any ‘tailor made” cigarette you can buy for about $2.00 a pack or less. About $750 a year if you choose this route but you will still need a Rolling machine to assemble your smokes. This will cost you about $10.00 or so at any tobacco shop. Make sure you buy the kind specifically for the cigarette “tubes”. I’ve had several over the years that were pretty useless but the one made by Bugler works pretty good. Experiment with different types of tobacco and different tubes until you find a combination you like.

To reduce the costs of smoking even further consider growing your own tobacco. If you spent money on nothing but cigarette papers or filtered tubes then you could cut the cost of smoking to less than a $100 a year! Not quite as cheap as giving up the habit entirely but pretty damn close. Of course you would have to have the space available to grow a year’s supply of tobacco but maybe you can do some “gorilla” gardening. Most people probably wouldn’t know a tobacco plant from an eggplant so you wouldn’t have to worry much about Thieves stealing your crops. Grow a few plants in the vacant lot next to your home or on the edge of the creek running through town; use your imagination.

People looking for a good commodity to wheel and deal with after the economic crash should consider growing tobacco as it will be like gold. There’s still going to be nicotine addicts in the world and when hyperinflation kicks in, a pack “Camel mild’s “may sell for more than a hundred dollars! Anyone with a good supply of “gray market “cigs will be someone to know for those who still smoke. For anyone who is interested in growing tobacco for personal use or to use as a barter commodity after "Obama and friends" are through wrecking the economy should check out I just discovered this forum the other day but there’s a lot of good info related to the subject. Good luck  

Tex Dakota


  1. I don't know the long term costs of e-cigarettes and the 'juice' you need to load them up, but those have several advantages over regular tobacco. The big one, no restrictions where you can light up - my wife lit up hers on an AIRLINER and no one could tell her not to. No smoke - water vapor. Anywhere - anytime. Neat.

    I smoked Camel Filters for 18 years before I gave it up cold turkey 14 years ago. Smoke free is way better - they cost me 70 cents a pack when I started, but cost a bit over $3.00 when I quit - about 400% markup. No idea what the price is now, but I'm betting its higher.

    Quitting is the best option - starting off SHTF with a monkey on your back from the get-go is not a good start.

  2. I was never a serious smoker and have no intent of becoming one, yet I would never consider telling someone they shouldn't. If you do choose to smoke, it is an expensive habit and you should endeavor to find a cheap-ass approach (that's what this blog is all about, right?). As Tex mentions, growing your own is about as cheap as it gets. In the early 70s I was an occasional smoker and looked into growing my own tobacco. It is an extremely easy plant to grow and will thrive just about anywhere. I wrote the US Department of Agriculture asking for any literature they might be able to provide. In short order I got back a bundle of info that probably weighed over 10-lbs and it even included several packs of seeds for the most popular varieties! I suspect they no longer send seeds. Too bad.

  3. Heck, I've never smoked, I never plan on starting, I don't even care to be around people who smell of tobacco smoke... BUT... I *DO* have some tobacco seeds that I want to grow out and keep around as a tradeable commodity. Plus I've read that the flowers actually smell quite nice. AND you can make a decent insecticide out of it.

  4. Grew tobacco for a couple years here in interior Alaska in an unheated greenhouse.
    Curing is the biggest trick.
    No longer smoke, but still have seeds. Even harvested my own seeds.
    Using a pipe and homegrown cost almost nothing.

    Once it turns to crap, smoking tobacco will be the least of your health worries.
    Growing and curing your own tobacco will be a valuable barter-able skill and product.