Cigarette Survival Uses

Cigarette Survival UsesCigarettes 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. and the staff of 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.


  1. Wow, I never knew how useful tobacco was. I realize that in a disaster situation cigarettes are your best source for tobacco, but can’t you buy pure tobacco? That way you don’t have to deal with all of the extra chemicals that are added to cigarettes. It would be nice to stockpile a little of it ahead of time. I particularly like its use for insect bites and intestinal bugs.

    BTW, love the updated website. Much more mobile friendly.

  2. If you can’t buy it, you could always grow it. I’ve seen tobacco seeds in seed catalogs.

    • True, Tom. I wonder if there are growing laws for it due to the addictive nature of the plant?

      • you can grow up to 1/10 of an acre with out any taxes to be paid or any hassle and as bis as tobacco plants gets.. that is still a lot for a couple of people. BUT, you have to properly cure it… you cannot just grow and go… i have grown many crops with each crop getting better at it. but its the curing of the tobacco that most have a hard time with. there are many ways to cure it.. just as there are many types of tobacco seeds. I have a place out of Mississippi where i get all my tobacco seeds. usually after your first crop, unless you want to try different varieties, that will be enough to keep you in seeds for a years and years to come.

  3. i never would have guessed that cigarettes would be so useful. At least they’re good for something.

  4. Interesting read. Didn’t know it was so useful

  5. What about chew? I would assume the same about tobacco would apply, or perhaps is it somehow treated or processed differently?

    • I’m not certain about chew specifically. I know that it used to have tiny pieces of glass in it to help slice the tissue in the mouth so the nicotine would absorb better.

    • I did a paper on the 1918-1919 flu pandemic that killed around 30 million people world-wide and the researchers found something interesting. There were anectodal stories of army orderlies who worked on the patients and never contracted the virus. This in spite of having constant contact with the sickest patients. Their common denominator, they all chewed tobacco.

    • there are many ways to make homemade shew but it is basically a plug variety like twisted rope. you can do a search for it online. there is a book that I bought from the guy i bought my first seeds from and it is very beneficial.

      Tobacco yield will vary among the different varieties, but generally a tobacco plant will produce about 3-4 ounces of dry, cured tobacco. When figuring your tobacco needs, we would advise you calculate 2 ounces per plant to have a little margin of error.

      While a commercial cigarette will normally contain about 0.7 grams of tobacco per cigarette, this is “puffed” tobacco and non-tobacco ingredients added. A pound of pure tobacco will normally produce about 2 cartons of cigarettes.
      Hope this helps you figure our your seed needs

      Tobacco requires about 4-6 weeks to reach transplant size from the time you sow the seeds. Tobacco takes about 90-120 days to mature, depending on species. Tobacco can be grown in all 50 states in the USA. Tobacco is very easy to grow and has basically the same requirements in the garden as tomatoes. If you have ever had success growing tomatoes, well, tobacco is even easier.
      Again it is the curing process that is a P.I.T.A.
      these are good people at the website below and the prices are cheap. in my opinion.

  6. I have found no law prohibiting growing your own tobacco. That doesn’t mean there isn’t,but I haven’t seen one.

  7. Instead of Just carrying Cigarettes around Id recommended snuff and plug tobaccos, easier to keep, a hole lot easier to put on insect bites etc, a hole lot better than a cig a relaxing you aswell, Plus its cheaper you an generally get 2-3 5 can rolls of the highest quality snuff (Copenhagen/Skoal) for the price of one carton of cigs.

  8. Chew is processed differently than cigarettes. Chew is kept moist with more chemicals.

  9. American Spirit is organic thus no nasty additives. They are pricey though.

  10. I can say that chewing tobacco the spit from it helps with stings but do NOT tear up a cigarette and wet it because it makes it worse. There are way more chemicals in smoke tobacco than chaw.

  11. The growing of tobacco is not illegal. However the cultivation and sale is prohibited and punishable by fines and imprisonment.

  12. Since the tobacco laws were changed under the Obama administration there are no legal hurdles to growing and curing tobacco, however you become liable for excise taxes as soon as you turn it into smokeable products.

  13. See all those anti smokers should know that being a smoker does have its advantages 😀

  14. if you wet a cigarette and make a poultice it will speed healing of bad bruises

  15. There are other ways to treat each of these situations than tobacco but if you want to use it, grow it, dry it and store it

  16. In my area of Canada, it is legal to grow tobacco, but illegal to sell or give it away to another person. I haven’t had a lot of luck growing it (but still trying each spring). I wonder, since it is a pesticide, what dosage would be good to rid hens of mites, etc. So far we’ve been blessed that they haven’t gotten any, but I’d like to be proactive. Anyone use tobacco for their hens?

  17. if you ever need a slowww burning fuse for some reason …. a cigarette is your ready made tool …. it varies but a good 5 minutes or so

  18. Its amazing, for years the military and prison systems (among other institutions) have seen cigarettes used as a monetary substitute, and I never once thought of stashing away a few cartons of smokes for use as bartering tools. This is definitely going on my check list.

  19. Tobacco has a few more uses.

    For a pesticide, you can mix used butts into the soil where your plants are and the plants will draw the chemicals into the leaves and such and it will naturally deter pests. This will mean that traces of those chemicals will be present in any of the edible parts of the plants, but not enough to do any sort of damage or even effect you at all (only a small portion of those chemicals stay in the filter and an even smaller portion will actually get drawn in by the plants, even if you use many butts per plant it will only be a small fraction of what you would get from smoking just one).

    Although this is harder with newer cigarettes (the new ones all have stuff in the paper that prevents it from burning too long if your not actually smoking it, but it can still be done) for any fuse-lit explosive or anything else started by embers you can use one as a makeshift timer. Light one, puff it a little bit to get it going, then jam it onto the end of the fuse or lay it half-on something extremely flammable. When the cigarette burns down to where it meets your device, it will light it. Not the most reliable or accurate of things but handy enough in certain situations.

    Smoking cigarettes also does two things really well. One is thicken your blood, which can help stop bleeding and/or raise your blood pressure in an emergency. The other is help with the pain and other symptoms from MANY intestinal afflictions like Crones disease, Colitis and just about any other inflammatory intestinal condition not caused by an infection, parasite or anything like that. Studies have shown that a couple cigarettes per day (or the equivalent amount of any other source of nicotine) is one of, if not THE best treatment for ailments such as those. If SHTF medicines will be in EXTREMELY limited supply and unless you secure an ample supply for yourself, there will be practically zero chance of finding anything other than painkillers, antibiotics and other VERY commonly needed meds like that. A couple smokes per day is a small price to pay for relief of symptoms from those conditions and is FAR less dangerous (even in the long run) than taking many meds without access to modern healthcare (when one bad reaction or side effect can kill you).

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