OK, that $1 per pack is variable but, an average cost per pack of cigarettes really should not go much more than that! Right now, cigarettes and cigarette tobacco is under tremendous pressure from excessive taxation. In Nevada, the tax on cigarettes has just been increased by ANOTHER $1 per pack! That’s a state tax on TOP of federal excise taxes! That will bring the retail price of commercially produced cigarettes above $6 per pack. In some states, taxes are so onerous that the cost of a pack of cigarettes, even the bad ones, is over $10!
People who are willing to go to a small bit of work, easy work, can easily reduce their costs of smoking cigarettes to under $1 per pack and end up with a cigarette that is the best tasting, chemical free, most satisfying, cigarette they could imagine.
I’m talking about buying tobacco in unprocessed, whole leaf, form and then shredding and blending that tobacco so you can make your own cigarettes. You can get everything you need at High Desert Tobacco!
Of course, if it’s worth it to you to spend 5 to 10 times as much for a chemical laden pack of commercially produced cigarettes, well, that’s up to you.
If you don’t want to spend that much, and still want to have the best cigarette you’ve ever had, keep reading!
The process is pretty simple. You buy three or four ( I use four) types of good tobacco leaf, strip out the big center rib from each leaf, shred the leaf, blend your shredded tobacco in the proportions that give YOU the smoke you like best, then make your cigarettes either rolling with traditional rolling papers or use cigarette tubes and inject the tobacco into them.
I use four kinds of whole leaf tobacco:
- Virginia Flue Cured – This is traditional cigarette tobacco found in every American blend.
- Virginia Brightleaf flue Cured – A very light flavored, lower nicotine, tobacco.
- Tennessee Burley – An air cured tobacco also traditionally part of American cigarette blends.
- Turkish Izmir – A small air cured leaf that is used to add flavor. It’s very mild and sort of sweet tasting.
My latest experiment was blending 1 ounce of tobacco in the following proportions:
- .3 ounces of Virginia Flue Cured
- .3 ounces of Virginia Brightleaf
- .2 ounces of Tennessee Burley
- .2 ounces of Turkish Izmir.
All of the above is available now, as well as everything you need to use it, at High Desert Tobacco.
The result of the above formula is a very smooth, fairly light, flavorful smoke!
OK, so what about the whole thing of getting whole leaf tobacco?
Very simply, buying whole leaf tobacco is cheaper! It is not taxed other than local sales tax since it is a pure agricultural product. It is not yet classified as a “tobacco product” since it has not been processed into usable form!
Another detail about using whole leaf tobacco, just as it comes from the farmer, is that no chemicals have been added to it. In fact, if you’re concerned about possible chemicals from fertilizer or insecticides, the leaves can be washed! Yep, just use a damp sponge to wipe them down or even quickly rinse them under cold water and let them dry out again until they are still pliable but not wet before you start pulling out that big center rib and shredding them.
Speaking of that big center rib, you can see it clearly in the photo of Virginia Flue cured tobacco below:
That big dark center rib is not something you want in your cigarette. Turkish tobacco leaves also have a center rib but it’s so small that you don’t have to do anything with it. You do have to strip it out of all American tobaccos. In a pound of whole leaf tobacco, the center rib will account for about 4 ounces so, you get about 12 ounces of leaf to use in your cigarettes. That amount of tobacco will make up about 1.5 cartons of cigarettes. I usually find where the center rib has become pretty small near the top of the leaf, break the rib there, and then strip from that point downward to the base of the rib.
Once you have the center ribs out of the leaves, you’ll need to shred them. There are various methods of doing so. You can stack your leaves (all one type) and use scissors or a sharp knife to shred them. A YouTube video of doing that is here:
Another, easier, method can be using an inexpensive ($37.95) hand cranked tobacco shredder. That can be purchased on ebay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/291472907764) and seen in use here:
There are power shredders of various types available too. They cost about $280 and the best is the PowerMatic shredder in my personal opinion. If that sounds like a lot of money, it is but if you figure things out, buying commercially made cigarettes is going to cost the 2 pack per day smoker about $500 per month as is. Using whole leaf tobacco, your cost per month will be less than $70 for tobacco and rolling supplies so, even buying the expensive power shredder, you’ll still save $150 the very first month and the shredder will last YEARS!
I shred all of my tobacco right away keeping each type separate until I decide to blend up a batch.
Blending is pretty easy too! I use a little pocket scale, like the one available on Ebay here (http://www.ebay.com/itm/291472823474) even more accurate than the one in the video below, to measure out each kind of tobacco I want. Learning to blend your tobacco is pretty well laid out in this video:
Once you’ve got your tobacco blend figured out, you’ll know exactly how much of what kinds to order! Finding whole leaf tobacco by the pound is easy! It’s about to get even easier and a little cheaper when http://www.highdeserttobacco.com goes online! They’ll be selling whole leaf tobacco at $15.99 per pound while the other two major retailers sell it at about $16.99 per pound.
As for actually making cigarettes, I use a tobacco injector machine (you can get a nice one like this for about $30: www.ebay.com/itm/291475754627) to fill cigarette tubes but, I’ve also rolling using papers and filters. Either method is easy enough. Here is a video on rolling cigarettes using papers but no filters:
If you want to use an injector machine, and I bet you will eventually, this video show you how:
So, I hope this blog was informative and gave you ideas! remember, there is no really good reason to be paying $6 or more for your pack of cigarettes! In fact, if you’re spending more than $1 for each pack of smokes, you’re paying too much!
Oh, everything you need is available at http://www.highdeserttobacco.com!