Sunday, January 18, 2009

Still Smoking!

The last time I posted about this it was August. A couple of weeks ago I finished off the pound of tobacco that I bought. I dunno how many cigarettes that is per day but I've gone through about 300 filtered tubes so I guess that I'm doing pretty good. All in all that set me back about $25. Since I finished off that pound of tobacco I've started to buy little 8 oz packages. These are just about perfect for me. They're only $1.69 per package and with the $.20 off coupon on every box they come out to less than that with tax. It got me to thinking that this would make an excellent trade item during hard times. One cool thing about these packages is that they come with a small pack of rolling papers. I don't use them but I save them anyway. Even if you're not a smoker you can put back a few of these, toss them in the freezer and forget about them. They won't go bad if you keep them frozen. Even if you don't put them in the freezer then they'll keep a long time just sitting in a corner of your prep closet. The last time I wrote about this I mentioned giving a buddy of mine a cigarette that I had lying around for years and he smoked it without much of a complaint. If you run into a smoker who's having trouble keeping up with the habit then you might as well be offering him (or her) gold in a trade. In the coming hard times I can see tobacco being extremely valuable. Even if you're a regular smoker it will pay to know where to get this stuff. You can't buy it at Wal-Mart and most smokers don't think to stop at the local smoke shop to cut costs. Even if they do buy their cigarettes at a smoke shop it's not very likely that they'd even consider buying the "roll your own" stuff until things get so bad that they can't afford it, anyway. Remember the little anecdote about the guy who was dead set on walking out of the shop with a carton of something when I went in there to buy that pound of tobacco? Keep your options open. If you're a smoker then you can keep doing it for pocket change no matter how bad things get. If you're not then you can put some up for trade for the cost of a couple of candy bars.


Samuel Adams said...

Thanks for remining me that I have had a carton of cigs in my chest freezer 10 for the past 10 years for just such an eventuality! said...

The mainstream drugs will always be in high demand and there is a portion of the population who will be willing to go without, even deprive their families of, basic necessities as long as they can get their next hit.

This makes tobacco, for example, an excellent trade item come SHTF.

A problem I see is getting caught up in this, trading resources for drugs (and drugs that adversely impact your ability to survive - basic health, physical capacity in times of emergency, etc).

Best case is to not use your own product but have plenty on hand for others.

However being known to have plenty of drugs on-hand can make you a very valuable target. Both drug users and those who know the value of drugs in times of shortage may decide to take it from you with force.

The Urban Survivalist said...

I'm not advocating becoming a drug dealer if SHTF. I'm just saying that it could help grease a few palms, pay for labor that may otherwise be much more expensive or even tip the scales in your favor in a trade if you throw a pack or two of smokes into the deal. Hell, even if you're just talking to someone offering them a smoke might convince them to warm up to you a bit and get them to tell you something that they wouldn't have otherwise mentioned. Don't overthink the value of nicotine btw. I could see a dumb kid giving up his last can of food for a smoke even if he didn't know where he'd get more but responsible adults that last any amount of time during a REAL crisis (where they don't have uncle sugar to fall back on) are going to quickly realize that putting food in their families mouths is much more important than their nic fits. One of the reasons why smokes will be such a great trade item during most realistic scenarios is that most people will just assume that the government will swoop in and take care of them. They won't be bringing any smokes (or drugs or alcohol) with them, though. One of the reasons why so many Americans would so quickly give up necessities to get stuff like that is because they've been conditioned to believe that the government will always be there to take care of their necessities.

Patricia said...

Just one thing--those little packs of tobacco you're buying for $1.69 are .8 oz or .75 oz, not 8 ounces. They're less than an ounce of 'baccy, but good for maybe 20 hand-rolled smokes.