Cigarettes contribute to more than 480,000 deaths a year… roughly 1 out of every 5 deaths. They contribute to serious health problems and chronic illnesses like cancer, emphysema, heart disease, diabetes, diminished immune function, reproductive issues, and so on.
Simply put: Cigarettes aren’t just highly addictive, they present serious health concerns that often end in death.
I do not, nor will I ever support tobacco companies and the recreational use of dangerous substances like tobacco. However, when it comes to survival, you might be surprised what a cigarette can help you through.
Barter – This is potentially one of the most helpful and reliable survival uses for cigarettes. Bartering is likely the way of an apocalyptic future, or even a primary method of trade after a major disaster. Recreational substances like cigarettes, alcohol, and other such consumables will be highly sought after during times of serious duress. Learn more here: The Benefit of Barter
Muscle Relaxer – While it isn’t quite the same a a prescription pill or cream, a few puffs on a cigarette or the application of a tobacco poultice can help relax muscles. This can ease the pain of muscles strained during survival situations or outdoor activities and so on.
Kill Parasites/Worms – Normally speaking, I would never recommend chowing down on a cigarette… but sometimes it’s the only thing that works.
Stomach and intestinal parasites and worms don’t like tobacco, it doesn’t sit well with them. Eating a couple cigarettes worth of tobacco (1 to 1-1/2) should result in the passing of most parasites within about 24 hours. If you’re dealing with a particularly bad case of the little bugger, you can repeat the process ONCE… but only after two days have passed and you’ve had at least one good bowel movement.
Keep in mind that nicotine (a primary component in tobacco) is highly toxic and may cause painful and potentially dangerous side-effects. Doses of nicotine, 60mg or higher, will cause death in roughly 50% of people that ingest it. With an average concentration of 10mg per cigarette (though variation does exist), you’ll have to closely watch consumption levels.
Pesticide – Diluted with water and added to a spray bottle, the tobacco from a cigarette can be a highly effective pesticide. This can be helpful for those of you with survival gardens or small crops. If used on edibles, make sure to thoroughly wash them before consumption.
This method can also be used on clothing, bedding, campsites, and so on.
Insect Bites/Stings – Apply a small amount of wet or chewed tobacco to an insect bite or sting and let it work it’s magic. The pain should recede and the wound heal shortly after.
Toothache – The naturally occurring antiseptic and anesthetic (pain relief) properties of tobacco can help ease toothaches and minor wounds. The problem is that tobacco consumption (smoking or otherwise) can also increase the chance of these things occurring in the first place.
Tinder – This is one of the more obvious survival uses for cigarettes, but it’s no less important because of that. Whether you use the paper shell, the shredded tobacco, or fluffed up filter, a cigarette can help you get a fire going quick and easy.
Not only do they help get fires started, but cigarettes are great for preserving embers. This makes it easy to transport fire from one place to the next, without the worry of a coal smoldering out along the road.
Water Filter – Removed from the tobacco, the filter portion of a cigarette makes a fairly substantial water filter for emergency use. This can be done by placing the filter in a straw, reed, or piece of bamboo. While it wont remove parasites or microscopic things, it’ll get the bigger muck and yuck out of the way and clear of your consumption.
This should never be done with the tobacco still intact. The tobacco will leach into the water and potentially cause serious illness and stomach upset.
Stop Bleeding – While this only works for small wounds, a small poultice of application of cigarette ash can help staunch the flow of bleeding. This technique should not be used on deep wounds or serious injuries.
This method also works with the raw tobacco from a cigarette. Which, by the way, has the added benefit of pain relief.
This is NOT a replacement for professional medical advice, and should only be used during an emergency or survival situation. Zombease.com and the staff of Zombease.com are not liable for any illness, accident, misuse, or otherwise negative effects occurring from the use of said advice.
For more information on the dangers of smoking and it’s health related issues, see: CDC – Health effects of smoking.