"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

April 2, 2009

Rolling My Own

I know smoking cigarettes is bad for my health. I knew it when I started. I've known it for the past 23 years that I've smoked. And I can demonstrate exactly why it's bad for you with the constant deep smoker's cough that plagues me. That said, I hate sin taxes on cigarettes (and alcohol). Sin taxes do work to help prevent younger people from starting the habit and in convincing the social smokers to stop. But, for the hardcore addicts, it just ends up breaking us financially. When I first started, the price for a pack of cigarettes was a little under $2 (I think. Don't quote me on that but it was pretty close). These days, in Minnesota, it's around $5.50 or more. For somebody who smokes 2 packs a day, that's $11/day or $330/month.

A few months ago, I did one of my random internet searches for 'rolling your own cigarettes'. I'd heard it might be slightly cheaper than store-bought cigarettes. On the other hand, I was edgy about it because I associated it with those unfiltered hand-rolled cigarettes. I hate unfiltered cigarettes. The tobacco spills into your mouth and they're way too strong. I didn't realize that technology advanced! There are now machines that can roll cigarettes almost identical to the ones bought at a store. And it's not a little cheaper. It's a lot cheaper if you buy the cheapest brands (which taste perfectly fine, in my opinion). I can now make a pack for a little under $1.

When I first started rolling my own, I bought a cheap hand roller for $7. Do not bother with them. It took me about an hour to roll one pack. Eventually, I got frustrated with how much work it was and decided to try out an electric machine. Yay! Now it only takes me about 10-15 minutes to make a pack. And it's easy to do while watching TV.

Sorry about the blur

On my particular machine, you put the tobacco into the hopper, insert the cigarette tube onto the stick, and press a button. The machine compacts the tobacco and fills the tube with it. The one downfall is that it's a little messy. Occasionally, the tobacco that's coming out of the machine will overshoot the catcher and spill onto the table. But, it's easy enough to wipe down the table afterward.

P.S. This information is not for people just starting to smoke. Quit now while you still can. Even if the health concerns don't concern you (and they should), eventually the lawmakers will figure out that a portion of smokers aren't really quitting. We're just moving to roll your own tobacco or those godawful little cigars. And the same tax hikes will be inflicted on those items. There's already a $23 federal tax hike being levied on a pound of RYO tobacco that will go into effect soon. It's for the hardcore addicts like me who long ago decided that they will never quit.


heather said...

my husband and i rolled our own before we quit. it saved us a ton of money (i think it came out to about $16 a carton) and the cigarettes would burn forever! i did it for about three months before i quit.

Ferd said...

I'm not a smoker. Actually, I'm a doctor and have been athletic all of my life, so I am really against it.

But more than that, I am empathetic and non judgmental. It sounds like you have resigned yourself to be a lifelong smoker. Since I care about you, I will hope that you someday surprise yourself and quit. But I won't suggest that. I know it's serving some sort of purpose for you right now.

So all I'll say is that you are a very resourceful and creative person! And I already knew that about you.

Berryvox said...

Yup, it's a terrible habit. It might have something to do w/the schizophrenia. A really high percentage of us smoke and it may have something to do with it balancing out some chemical in our brains that's out of whack. It is known to affect dopamine levels. (But you probably know that. :) )

I had an odd reason for starting. Most people tell tales of choking down their first cigarette in an attempt to look cool or be popular. I actually found it pleasurable from the minute I started. On the bright side, though, I was addicted within a few weeks and that alone scared me away from alcohol and other addictive drugs.