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Cigarettes as trading stock?

CountryGent

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I don't personally smoke cigarettes, having given up the habit over twenty years ago. My wife never has, to the best of my recollection. (I do enjoy the occasional fine cigar, but that is another matter.) A fictional work I am currently reading reminded me of how the product is used as a form of currency in various times and places, including after disasters. A lot of people in this area smoke and it got me to thinking of stashing a carton or two away as trading stock.

Thoughts on this? Do they go bad and, if so, could this be prevented by shrink-wrapping? (The Youtube personality MRE Steve often smokes cigarettes from K and C rations (and similar), and reports they are fine, so I'd imagine they keep well.) What brand(s) to consider? (I smoked Camels back in the day and that seems like a common national brand.)
 

cigars

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Seems to be adequate for prison currency, buts that's a rather confined ecosytem. Out in the free post apocalyptic world, I would think that there would be a variety of items used for the new currency. Keeping a variety of key goods stockpiled would probably be prudent. While tacticool Bob might jonesin' for a pack of ciggies, his wife might think that a roll of toilet paper would be more valuable and worth a chicken and can of beans.
 

Pete F

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They replenished the survival cartons from the USS Enterprise emergency rafts when I worked in the Bremerton Shipyard. They threw the old ones in a pile and it was open season. As well as first aid and food bars were several packs of cigarettes. I grabbed about a carton's worth and tried to smoke them. I don't remember how old they were, but they were horrible. The emergency food was also bad. I did stock up on good first aid supplies.
 
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Shrink Wrapped and keep in Freezer. I smoked for a year while I was in the RVN. Kind if a requirement. Both Parents smoked for many years and it finally Killed my Dad 15 years after he stopped. They junk got into his intestinal tract and left holes where there weren't supposed to be holes!:(:(:(
 

Camelfilter

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Even though I never smoked I did bring cigarettes on deployments. In third world countries you could build a lot of rapport with civilians and host nation troops with American tobacco.
Absolutely, as could they smooth things over in a partial problematic limited time here.

Local/regional distaster type deal where one may have to smooth things over with roadblock teams, as an example.

Still not stocking up.

No problem with folks who do, as they see the merit in them as trade value.

We don’t...& I SMOKE.
 
OP
CountryGent

CountryGent

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I guarantee someone will be shot for a cigarette within 24 hours of a big event!

:s0003::s0033:
I don't doubt it. I remember reading the report of a man trapped in New Orleans after Katrina. He was sleeping in his car and was awoken by two men outside fighting over a can of meat. One eventually pulled a pistol and plugged the other. :eek:
 

Pete F

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Shrink Wrapped and keep in Freezer. I smoked for a year while I was in the RVN. Kind if a requirement. Both Parents smoked for many years and it finally Killed my Dad 15 years after he stopped. They junk got into his intestinal tract and left holes where there weren't supposed to be holes!:(:(:(
Similar story for my Dad. Both parents smoked heavily and quit, but not soon enough.

I don't think that cigarettes would be good trading stock, but Chantix or Nicorette might be.
 
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The smokes probably won't go bad wrapped in shrink wrap or similar, but they'll no doubt be stale as all get out. Keeping em in a freezer would probably postpone that for awhile... at least til the power went out. Tobacco is super dry and should last as long as any other dried consumable like fruit or jerky. Shortcoming might be the deterioration of the paper, but as long as they're not in direct sunlight that could take decades.

In the event that cigarettes are being used as currency, I doubt that someone who wants a smoke that bad will mind stale cigs. Besides, if that happens there probably aren't many alternatives... it's not like anyone else will be able to beat your quality and/or quibble over the brand. A smoke shop near me sells a carton of Eagle20 kings for $37, that's about as cheap as it gets.

Tobacco has been used as trade fodder for centuries. Coffee, tea, salt, etc... all legitimate barter-economy commodities. Just don't give away your paradise for some shiny rocks and beads, we don't need another Manhattan.
 
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thorborg

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I and many others smoked Old Golds, Lucky Strikes and even those nasty Chesterfields that came with our war rations which we were glad to have and were plenty dry for sure, but considering I've seen many who used to not just save, but collect butts and peel them for the tobacco, they were gourmet fresh by comparison.
I remember the non smokers doing well trading their smokes off. They would wait till the rations got thin before trading or selling for highest value.
So I'd say they would make great trading stock regardless of their age to the right folk, on the short term. Vacuum sealed may be a plus id supported from crushing.
On the long term, tobacco seeds would be even better. I've grown and cured small batches in Oregon albeit an acquired taste, but when times are rough for smoken folk.... Pipes aren't that hard to make and some bibles produce exceptionally fine rollin stock. A full grown Tobacco plant is about five foot dia by 5 foot high and not that hard to grow. Curing could be the tricky and tiresome part for some. You would have an sustainable income (until the sanctimonious and busybody notzys reorganize and start slappin folk down again).

Smoke free for eleven years now (for the second time) but Still longing for a good cigar!!
 
OP
CountryGent

CountryGent

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Here's one of MRE Steve's videos that involve absolutely ancient cigarettes that he thoroughly enjoyed ("Best ration smoke I've had in about a year"). Granted, the guy is weird enough to eat decades old rations, so I am taking it with a grain of salt. But, still, darn fine shelf life.

 

cigars

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The smokes probably won't go bad wrapped in shrink wrap or similar, but they'll no doubt be stale as all get out. Keeping em in a freezer would probably postpone that for awhile... at least til the power went out. Tobacco is super dry and should last as long as any other dried consumable like fruit or jerky. Shortcoming might be the deterioration of the paper, but as long as they're not in direct sunlight that could take decades.

In the event that cigarettes are being used as currency, I doubt that someone who wants a smoke that bad will mind stale cigs. Besides, if that happens there probably aren't many alternatives... it's not like anyone else will be able to beat your quality and/or quibble over the brand. A smoke shop near me sells a carton of Eagle20 kings for $37, that's about as cheap as it gets.

Tobacco has been used as trade fodder for centuries. Coffee, tea, salt, etc... all legitimate barter-economy commodities. Just don't give away your paradise for some shiny rocks and beads, we don't need another Manhattan.
Cigar tobacco is all natural, just fermented and dried and it tends to store well. I've revived cigars that were well over 20 years old and have smoked pre-embargo Cubans (from before 1959) that were amazing. While cigars generally smoke best while properly humidified and as long as the wrapper isn't damaged, they can be revived and enjoyed and be true to their original, natural flavor. Cigarette tobacco on the other hand is chemically processed and contains on average around 300 additives. Due to who made them and what chemical recipe they used to process the tobacco, some may age gracefully while others may not. I'm not a cigarette smoker but I don't mind the smell and find the vintage stuff kind of neat.
 

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