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Why Even Non-Smokers Should Consider Having Tobacco Products In Their Stash

During a time of crisis, smokers will increasingly look to cigarettes and other tobacco products to relieve stress. As a result, tobacco products, along with other vices like booze, are hot commodities when disaster strikes.

Profiting off tobacco addiction to many seems quite distasteful. However, quitting smoking is not something that you should attempt when your stress is running over time because the SHTF.

There are an estimated 1,000,000,000 smokers worldwide. As a result, all types of tobacco products are valuable commodities for barter or for yourself during a disaster. So, even non-smokers should consider stocking up on products ranging from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarette.

This article will first briefly and various reasons why tobacco is a valuable bartering resource, and then give you the best methods on how to store cigarettes long term.

Why Cigarettes and Other Products Should Be Included In Your Survival Stash

The Benefits of Smoking

Obviously, nicotine and smoking have been found to increase the risk of lung cancer, heart attack, emphysema, COPD, and other health problems. Smoking tobacco does provide a benefit to its, users, that a smoker will not want to be without during times of extreme stress. Some of these benefits are the following:

Appetite Suppression-This would be especially beneficial when the SHTF and you are low on food.

Short Term Memory Enhancer-Being focused and remembering vital information is a lifesaver when disaster strikes.

Gets You In A Better Mood-Everyone is in a better mood when they are enjoying something.

Helps With Depression-When disaster occurs you will need all the help you can get to fight depression and the overall feelings of hopelessness.

NOTE- I am not advising anyone to start smoking. The above benefits are mentioned to emphasize why people use tobacco, how tobacco is a valuable commodity and why a cigarette smoker may feel smoking is necessary during a disaster.

Tobacco and Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

It has been said that that nicotine is at least or even more addictive than heroin and cocaine, and other opioid products. Nicotine withdrawal does have many disturbing symptoms, where the severity of these symptoms depends upon the level of your nicotine addiction. Some of the more notable smoking cessation effects are:

• Insomnia

• Concentration Difficulties

• Sore Throat

• Sweating

• Anxiety and Restlessness

• Nausea

• Crankiness

• Hunger

• And Many More.

Click Here for the full list.

Per Healthline, for the average smoker, nicotine withdrawal symptoms are at their worst in two to three days, and that they will eventually go away in two to four weeks. However, it can take months for chain smokers to get rid of the above symptoms.

Some of the above symptoms could be potentially fatal during a disaster. For example, concentration problems could result in you missing something of life-saving importance. Quite frankly a cigarette craving is another worry that a smoker should have to deal with when their world has been turned upside down. That’s why stocking up on cigarettes for barter or your own use is highly recommended.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Amazon Basic Care Nicotine Polacrilex Coated Gum 4 mg (nicotine), Cinnamon Flavor, Stop Smoking Aid; quit smoking with nicotine gum, 160 Count

As history has proven, again and again, you cannot rely on the government to know when you can go back home after a calamity has settled down. So, this means that if you are a smoker, you should cut back and ration your cigarette smoking. However, as shown previously, quitting tobacco cold-turkey is very hard, stressful, and something that you may not want to do when the SHTF.

As a result, stocking up on Nicotine Replacement Therapy (“NRT”) remedies like nicotine gum or patches is adviseable. These products give you a small and controlled dose of nicotine minus the other chemicals found in a tobacco cigarette or other product. Over-the-counter NRT’s are nicotine patches, gums, and drops or lozenges. Prescription NRTs is an inhaler and nasal spray.

Even if you are a non-smoker Gum and Patches are also good for bartering.

Tips For Long Term Tobacco Storage

You will need to know how to store tobacco products long-term if you are keeping any type of tobacco product in your survival cache. Unfortunately, it is not a one size fits all situation when it comes to storing tobacco. Consequently, this post will examine, long term storage for the following:

• Cigarettes

• Pipe Tobacco

• Cigars

• Electronic Cigarettes


There are many methods out there for storing cigs in the long term. You first though need to remember that once the plastic seal is open on the cigarette pack you will have a maximum of four days to smoke them before they go stale. So, no matter how you decide to store them you need to remember to keep your cigarettes, sealed, in the pack.

Can You Go by The Expiration Date?

No, because it is against the law for cigarettes to include an expiration date. The reasoning for this is, to put it diplomatically, quite silly, which I will explain. Cigarettes are an unsafe product that has been proven to cause major health issues like lung cancer, COPD, emphysema, etc.

We all know that, and everyone but hard-core deniers agrees that smoking cigarettes is not healthy. Because of the negative health effects of fresh cigarettes, an expiration date is not displayed. The reason is that they do not want consumers to think that cigarettes are safe to smoke before they expire.

How Long Can an Unopened Cigarette Pack Last?

Cigarettes, while packed and wrapped with plastic, can last up to a year without any major effects on the freshness or taste. Afterward, the cigarettes will not expire it will though turn stale.

What Environment Should They Be Stored?

Surprisingly I was unable to find any information on what are the best environmental conditions for storing packs of cigarettes. The only information that I could find was for storing cigars. As cigars and cigarettes both contain tobacco, I do not feel that you could go wrong using these optimum environmental conditions for a cigar, which is 70 RH and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

What About Freezing or Refrigerating Your Smokes?

Provided they kept in their original package; you can freeze and refrigerate packs of cigarettes. (This is also commonly done with chewing tobacco) Many people do this and they have not complaints. However, any frozen or refrigerated tobacco may lose its taste.

Pipe Tobacco

Pipe Tobacco Storage Guide

Pipe Tobacco Long Term Storage


One positive about storing pipe tobacco is that, like wine, tobacco, can actually get better with age. Of course, for this to happen it will have to be appropriately stored.

Notice though I said that pipe smoke needs to be stored appropriately, which means that it should be stored in the correct container and environment. Fortunately, this is not that hard to do.  The container can be anything from a cigar humidor to a glass, air-tight mason jar. However, it is best to avoid Tupperware or its equivalent because of the potential of BPA contaminating your tobacco.

How Storing Pipe Tobacco Can Enhance Your Enjoyment -Quality pipe Tobacco is a blend of different tobacco types. And with time these different tobacco varieties and flavors will merge with one another, which means a richer and overall smother pipe smoking experience.

Preferred Containers

A tobacco humidor is a perfectly fine way to store pipe tobacco. However, to avoid cross-contamination you need to only store pipe tobacco and not have any cigars in the humidor. Additionally, an air-tight mason jar will also work just fine. Just place your tobacco in the jar along with a Boveda Humidity Control Pack and it should store just fine.

Ball Regular Mouth Mason Jars with Lids and Band

Mason Jar Is An Excellent Storage Container

Proper Environment

Electronic Cigar Cooler Humidor

Put Only Pipe Tobacco OR Cigars Inside

Humidity and light are two environmental factors that you need to be wary of when storing pipe tobacco. The optimum relative humidity for, long-term preservation of pipe tobacco is between 55 to 75% RH. To keep it at this level you can either purchase a climate-controlled humidor (they are expensive though) or add Boveda packs to an air-tight container. Also, do forget to purchase a digital hygrometer for measuring the RH.

Opaque Container-Tobacco also needs to be kept away from sunlight. So, if you are not able to keep pipe tobacco away from the sun you should buy an opaque canning jar.

Ball Mason Jar-32 oz

An Opaque Mason Jar Is Mandatory if You Cannot Keep It Away From The Light

Electronic Cigarette

Electronic Cigarette

The E-Cigarette and other vaping products also have specific ways in which it needs to be stored. Fortunately, storing electronic cigarettes is not that hard. The Vape maker Blue recommends the following for storing your electronic cigarette:

  • Upright– The pen needs to be kept upright in order to reduce the chance of leaking and also when the pen is up, dirt and other miscellaneous grime are less likely to contaminate your pen.
  • Keep it Dark-Just like pipe tobacco, a vape pen needs to be away from any light sources.
  • Proper Temperature– Your vape pen should be kept at room temperature.
  • Protect It– You can protect your pen through DIY means like a toothbrush holder or buy a specialized holder.

Final Thoughts

All Preppers, unless they find it morally objectionable, should consider adding, at least, the traditional cigarette to your survival cache. If you are are smoker, you will not want to go through nicotine withdrawals when you could be experiencing the most stressful day in your life. For the non-smoker, tobacco, when paper currency could become useless, will likely turn into a valuable commodity that could be worth more than gold. So, go to your nearest Costco, Sam’s Club, etc., and start stocking up!!!