Cigarettes: Deadly Habit or Survival Tool?

8 survival uses for cigarettes

Contrary to popular belief, smoking does have benefits. Well, at least cigarettes do. In fact, you may be surprised at the many survival uses for cigarettes.

I'm not encouraging anyone to take up smoking (although I have to admit the government's regulations about smoking in public have become ridiculous). In a survival situation, you want to be in top shape, and smoking definitely won't help you achieve that. Besides, you will eventually run out, and the last thing you want when SHTF is to have to deal with nicotine withdrawals.

But having a pack of cigarettes in your bug-out bag or survival kit might not be such a bad idea. Why? Read on to find out.

The Many Uses of Cigarettes for Survival

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8 Survival Uses of Cigarettes

Cigarettes are one of the main causes of death. More than 480, 000 people are dying because of cigarettes. They contribute to a lot of serious health problems and chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, diminished immune function, emphysema, heart disease, and reproductive issues.

But cigarettes can be used in survival situations and they can be helpful for your survival.

Here are the 8 survival uses of cigarettes.


One of the most helpful and reliable uses of cigarettes for survival is to barter them. Most people will do bartering after a major disaster and cigarettes and alcohol will be highly sought during these times.

Insect Bites and Stings

Chew or wet the tobacco and then apply it to your bites or stings. The pain should go away and your wound will heal shortly after.


You can make your own pesticide using the tobacco from a cigarette. Just dilute the tobacco with water and place it into a spray bottle. Spray it then to your plants, if you’re going to use this to your edibles, make sure that you wash your plants thoroughly before consumption.

Relax your muscles

A few puffs of cigarette or an application of a tobacco poultice can help you relax your muscles. Although the effect is not quite the same as a prescription cream or pill, it can still be helpful for you. Puffing cigarette can ease the pain in your muscles during an emergency situation or if you’re doing outdoor activities.

Stop bleeding

Applying a small amount of cigarette ash in your wound can stop the flow of bleeding. This method will only work on small wounds, so make that you do not apply this method on deep wounds and serious injuries.

You can also apply raw tobacco on your small wounds. Tobacco has the ability to relieve pain.

via 8 Survival Uses of Cigarettes | Self-Sufficiency.

Are you surprised that cigarettes can be useful in a survival situation? Don't be.

Learning to look at everyday things in a different light is an essential survival skill. Recognizing that something can be useful to you in a SHTF situation is an essential skill for making the most of what you have and being able to survive any situation that comes your way.

You can also read our related articles for more survival tips:

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 4, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

7 Responses to :
Cigarettes: Deadly Habit or Survival Tool?

  1. TrpodXL says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you recommend this. About the best and only real use for tobacco would be BARTER, which I DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH. The best insect sting med is Benadryl cream. Tobacco use will cause muscle relaxation, but only “long muscles” which are primarily bowel muscles. Ashes WILL stop bleeding, as long as there aren’t too many ashes and the wound doesn’t move a lot. I have saved the best for last. Nicotinoids (Neonicotinoids) ARE a tremendously effective pesticide (I am a Master Gardener), HOWEVER using tobacco as the source of the nicotinoids will spread the tobacco mosaic virus. It will affect tobacco, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and other members of the Solanaceae family. Merely being a smoker and then “tending the garden” can spread this virus. DO NOT USE TOBACCO WATER FROM A CIGARETTE AS A PESTICIDE. Smoking tobacco is not treated for the virus. You will wipe out your entire crop of whatever you spray this on. If you do smoke, don’t smoke around your vegetables and WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP AND WATER BEFORE TENDING THE GARDEN. Most people don’t know this and don’t understand why their garden is all AFU after doing everything else right. I can’t believe you recommended this. The pesticide thing is irresponsible. Somebody didn’t do their research. You should retract that recommendation for the pesticide. You will cause someone to starve to death over that. Does every tobacco contact cause this ….NO. But the risk seriously outweighs the value of using it. RETRACT THIS ARTICLE.

  2. Michelle says:

    Don’t put tobacco on tomatoes or other plants in the nightshade family! Don’t even touch them without washing your hands after smoking.

  3. obsidian says:

    The Marines did a study of cigarettes in C-rations once.
    They found outside of trade and morale cigarettes only did two things that were useful.
    1. They ran off mosquito’s.
    2. It meant someone always had a way of making a fire.

    1. TrpodXL says:

      @obsidian; Well, there are some positive effects of cigarette smoke. Though the negatives well outweigh the positives. But that shouldn’t stop research into the positives. For instance, smoking is a known synergist for Alzheimers disease and makes it worse…however nicotine reduces some of the effects of Alzheimers. AAnd there are others like that. Though the running off of mosquitoes is iffy due to the amount of CO2 one exhales, which is what attracts mosquitoes, that and being attracted to dark clothing. Fire smoke will run them off though. I miss C rats. Be Well.

  4. Tim says:

    Firestarters. You can light the cigarette and use it to light tinder.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ive seen dumb, but this guy takes the cake! Here. are some uses for cigs
    1 Follow the buts, you find the butt
    2 Follow your nose, a non smoker can smell cigs at 300 M
    3 Clothes and eqpt can be smelled out from incredible distance, takes several washings to get smell out, ever try to conseil yourself but the smell is a giveaway. Stays with your stash, cash, trash
    4 1puff constricts bloodvessels up to 50 percent for 5 hours, need to run? Smoke and you wont make it far!
    5 Dogs can much easier track, find smokers.
    6 Need for water is multiplied, thirst increased
    7 Relationship between smoking and alcohol use is staggering, smokers are drinkers, the majority of times, find the bottle, find the foe.
    8 Increase oxygen consumption, need. Lungs aren’t nearly as efficient, sometimes availableoxygen is a factor.
    9 Cigs reduce mental sharpness, affect thinking
    10 Cigs reduce ambition, work periods have more breaks. If your life or the life of people you care for depends on bugging out, its hardwork, youll need All your energy, no time to sit on Ass or take a smoke break. If you find yourself accompanied by a smoker, or smokers, Ditch them quickly, they will get you caught!

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