Despite rising cigarette costs, some people are now beginning to roll their own cigarettes. There are many varying reasons, but one of the most prevalent reasons is that they just like to smoke. Regardless of increasing “health awareness”, restrictions on when and where you can smoke, and multiple dirty looks when smoking in public, smoking is still a pastime enjoyed by millions of people in America.
Federal and state regulators keep increasing taxes on cigarettes, saying the increase will “help” people quit, but at the same time they spend the projected tax revenues before they are collected.
Up to 95% of the cost of a pack of cigarettes is tax. In 2006 the fifty states collected almost 14.5 billion USD in tobacco excise taxes, while city and county excise taxes collected almost 592.5 million USD. These figures don’t include the tobacco settlements each state received, state sales tax, or federal excise taxes.
Ironically, the increased taxes almost exclusively fall onto pre-packaged cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. In that loophole lies an opportunity for people who want to continue smoking, but can’t justify paying five or more dollars per pack. The answer to this dilemma is simple. Roll your own.
The concept of rolling your own cigarettes puts most people in mind of the old westerns where cowboys would drop some tobacco into a paper, roll it around, lick the ends and then light it up. While that method is certainly still being used by some, “rolling” cigarettes has come a bit further that you might think. It can be done with a small machine and paper tubes with a filter already inside.
Although cigarette rolling machines have evolved, the most dependable manual ones are based on a 1930s Chinese design. You place tobacco in a chamber, place a cigarette tube on the end, and pull a lever. All the parts are made of metal, and require little to no maintenance. In the time you’ve spent reading this article so far, you could have “rolled” your own pack of cigarettes or more.
The most expensive rolling machines, and the most unreliable, are the electric ones. They range in cost from 350.00 to 500.00 USD. A good manual rolling machine, often called an injector, ranges from 30.00 to 50.00 USD. Depending on your state, the cost of the machine itself will be made up with the first one to two cartons made.
There are many brands of tobacco on the market. Some European blends can range in price from 4.00 to 7.00 USD an ounce, while American brands can cost from 0.75 to 3.00 USD an ounce. Menthol and exotic flavored tobacco can be bought as well. If you don’t have a tobacco shop with rolling supplies near you, they can be purchased online and shipped directly to you.
The cigarette tubes usually cost from 1.89 to 3.89 USD per 200 tubes (equivalent to a pre-manufactured carton). They come in all sizes from kings to 120s (be sure to buy the correct sized machine). The filters can also be bought with flavors already in the filters. Various flavors include menthol, cinnamon, peach, and several others.
In a state where a carton of name brand cigarettes costs an average of 55 dollars, a 40.00 USD rolling machine, a 16.00 USD pound of tobacco (which can be used to make up to four cartons of king sized cigarettes), and a 2.00 USD box of tubes — the 46.00 USD cost of the machine supplies still saves you around 9.00 USD. If you don’t buy the expensive foreign tobaccos, the average cost of a carton from that point on is 8.00 to 12.00 USD.
Most bulk tobacco contains none of the fillers (chemicals) state and federal regulators force tobacco companies to put into their pre-packaged cigarettes; it’s cheaper, and isn’t taxed as heavily. With practice, you can roll a carton of cigarettes in half an hour and you don’t have all those empty packs sitting around or filling up the floorboard of your car.
In this light the question is, “Why aren’t you rolling your own already?”
This article on why you should roll your own cigarettes was written by Barry Davidson, a freelance writer for Constant Content who has produced 87 articles and 73 sales.