More Practical Uses for Cigarettes that may Surprise You

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More Practical Uses for Cigarettes that may Surprise You


Few people view smoking in a positive light, and for good reason.  However, cigarettes can actually be a useful resource to have on hand in the context of survival preparedness.  We’ve brought this topic up before, but let’s take a look at a few more reasons why you may want to consider adding a pack or two to your survival kit or bug out bag.

Cauterizing Things

Killer Cigarette

Cigarettes burn hot and slow, and the cherry at the end can be used to melt all types of material as a way to join pieces together.  They also don’t burn out that easily, and you should be able to keep them lit for around five minutes on average.  You can use the smoldering ember to patch holes in tarps and tents or to secure knots by melting the ends of cordage.  It can burn through material in order to create eyelets, or you can use it to cut things like string or fishing line. 



A cigarette may not be as effective as a match or lighter, but you can get a fire going as long as you are using the right tinder. This is an excellent option if you’re trying to start a fire in windy conditions or any time when you’re finding yourself going through a lot of matches or lighter fluid.  Tobacco and cigarette paper can also be used as tinder if you don’t have other material available as well. 

Mild Antiseptic

Did you know that tobacco contains properties that act as a mild antiseptic on insect bites?  An old trick is to mix some tobacco with saliva to make a moist paste and apply it to the affected area.  Many people have claimed that this helps to soothe pain and discomfort, and you never know when this simple remedy may come in handy in the field.

Stress Reducer and Conversation Starter


While we don’t want to condone or promote smoking, it does have a short-term sedating effect.  It can be a wonderful stress-reducer during difficult times, and offering someone a smoke is also a great way to start a conversation.  If you are unsure of the effect that a cigarette can have on getting intel or simply trying to get someone talking, just look at how they have been used in interrogations over the years.  You can also have a lot of leverage if you ever need something from someone who is craving a cigarette.

These are just a few more reasons why you should think about keeping a couple packs of cigarettes on hand.  Get creative and think of other ways that you can use cigarettes to your advantage in the field.  Just make sure that they’re stored in waterproof packaging to prevent them from being damaged, and replace any unused packs about once a year to ensure that cigarettes stay fresh.  Don’t think twice about stocking up on cigarettes or tobacco, because you never know when they’ll come in handy during a crisis, even if you don’t smoke.