Tobacco Preparedness – Roll Your Own Cigarettes

By Bev Sandlin, Executive Editor

I’m going to start this out on how you can save a lot of money on cigarettes and end up with why you should have a pack of cigarettes on hand, even if you don’t smoke, as part of your preparedness supplies.

Cigarettes just went up to $8 a pack in Minnesota. I live with a confirmed two plus pack a day smoker – That is over $120 a WEEK! And he isn’t quitting. To roll your own cigarettes is about $1.25 a pack. I bought the supplies and started rolling his cigarettes and selling them to him for $3 a pack and he was quite happy. It takes about 3 minutes to make a pack of 20 cigarettes, they taste and smoke just like store bought cigarettes but without the increasingly harmful additives they are lacing  into cigarette tobacco. He is now rolling his own.

Tobacco Choices.

Tobacco Choices.

In Minnesota a 16 ounce bag of tobacco runs between $24 and $28 depending on the shop. I have found it in regular, light, and menthol. Each bag will provide enough tobacco for approximately 2 1/4 cartons of cigarettes. FYI, when you look in the package window, the longer, “stringier”, tobacco seems to pack better than the more finely chopped tobacco.

cigarettesYou need to buy the pre-rolled papers and filters. They run from $2 to $3 for 200 in either 100s or kings. We have found that 100s don’t seem to pack as well as kings.

And then there is the machine. I chose a Top-O-Matic because it was adjustable from kings to 100s and was one of the least expensive $39 to $46, again depending upon where you buy it.

ejectI wanted to show you how it works. It injects the tobacco into the paper very efficiently.

with cig inJust pack the tobacco into the cylindar, put the empty cigarette paper onto the holder, pull the lever and…

arrowIt automatically fills and drops off into the tray. Note the arrow? Remove that guide and it creates 100s.

It takes less than 10 seconds to create a cigarette. I find that a small boot tray is excellent for holding everything you need. And the needle nose pliers? The papers will ocassionally fold over as you put them on and that rounds them out just fine. These cigarettes are a bit larger than store bought ones, so don’t expect to reuse your packs and get 20 into a pack, about 17 is max. Do reuse your empty packs of cigarettes! In fact, you may want to ask your still buying by the pack friends to save their empty packs for when yours just get too tattered. Or you can buy the cigarette cases that hold a pack for <$4 per case.

cig packs

blue pack

IMHO, this is the better container.

Having been through floods and electrical outages and lived with a confirmed smoker who only buys what he needs daily, I can tell you it is not pleasant when he can’t get his nicotine fix. And yes, I keep Nicorette in my B.O.B., but Bob wants his cigarettes! Preparedness is having what you need when you need it, and for me, that is at the most reasonable cost possible.

Note of interest, Bob doesn’t believe in preparedness. He goes to the grocery store daily, bought cigarettes two packs at a time, refuses to put more gas in his car than he will use that day, etc. BUT when I mentioned – a dozen times – that this machine will  eventually need parts and then he would have to buy cigarettes at the store until they got here, HE bought a spare machine! The first preparedness measure I have ever seen Bob take!


If you know friends or family who smoke, please email this URL

(copy and paste in upper left hand corner)

or post on your facebook page. You may not be able to stop them from smoking,

but you can help save them THOUSANDS of Dollars!

Now let me tell you why you should have cigarettes/tobacco on hand in an emergency situation.


Why Have Tobacco in Your Preparedness Supplies?

I have been an off and on smoker most of my life – mostly off. :-)  I can tell you for a fact that if you haven’t had a cigarette for a couple of days you get “high” for about 15 to 20 minutes with a euphoric feeling. Ask any veteran and they will tell you that alcohol and cigarettes are in demand in a high stress situation. They are tradeable for almost anything. And for whatever reason, offering someone a cigarette seems to transition even language barriers.

But it is that potential euphoria that I want you to consider in a preparedness situation. In a tense situation, having a pack of cigarettes on you, and the offer of a cigarette, can instantly de-esculate the situation. If the person smoking it hasn’t had a cigarette for a while, you will notice dilation of the eyes and relaxation within 60 seconds. You now have about 15 minutes to figure out what to do! Fifteen very critical minutes. You have time to look around, assess the situation, chat, make a plan, and move yourself into position for defense or offense. All the while appearing friendly. If you are wearing a shoulder holster, reaching into your jacket will not seem threatening as you may be taking out a pack of cigarettes or a lighter. If you pull a gun, or pepper spray, just be sure you are ready to actually use it.


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