To start with, this article is intended for people over the age of 18, or whatever age legal majority starts in your area. It is not meant to promote smoking, or to encourage any non smoker to begin smoking. It is a potentially harmful habit that carries a level of risk somewhere between working in a garage and actually driving.
If you do already smoke though, and don’t intend to quit, I would like to strongly encourage you to consider rolling your own. The hand rolled cigarette or “zig-zag” has come a long way since the old days.
The best reason I can think of to start rolling your own is because the vast majority of pre-packaged cigarettes aren’t really just tobacco. Most people who smoke them think they’re smoking a real cigarette, but
what they’re getting is a cocktail of chemically treated paper, solvents, and only a fraction of it is tobacco. It’s usually tobacco of such a low quality that it should embarass the manufacturers.
What is in there is also dry, which makes it harder on the throat and lungs. The physical damage from this starts long before the smoke enters the lungs. It’s just plain unpleasant, and there’s really no reason to do that to yourself except nicotine addiction.
…and speaking of nicotine addiction, did you know that your body will automatically react badly to a nicotine overdose, no matter how addicted you are? Nicotine is one of those chemicals that a person can’t
tolerate more than so much of it at a time. If you have too much, your body will treat it like poison. You will sweat, become dizzy, probably throw up, and maybe even faint.
I assure you though, that you would have to smoke many, many pre packaged cigarettes before you have a chance of passing out. This is because pre packaged cigarettes are specifically designed to keep you addicted.
Lights are even worse than regulars, because the less nicotine there is in a cigarette, the more cigarettes you’ll have the urge to smoke. Whereas, the more nicotine there is in a cigarette, the less often you’ll have the urge to smoke. Your body will react badly to getting too much nicotine.
Better Smoke = Less Smoking
This brings me to the second good reason to start rolling your own: you will smoke less. When you’re smoking real 100% tobacco cigarettes with no paper except for the wrapper, you’ll get the full flavor and full nicotine dosage. It will be much tastier, and stronger, and you won’t want to inhale the smoke as deeply as you would with pre packaged cigs. You’ll also take fewer puffs.
Something amazing will happen along the way too. You’ll start to view cigarettes the same way most coffee drinkers view coffee. Sure you might have some withdrawals when you quit, but it won’t seem nearly as impossible as before to go say, half a day or more without having a cigarette. You’ll realize that tobacco/nicotine is indeed a stimulant. It helps you stay awake, keep dancing, and be less hungry.
You might even start experimenting, which brings me to a third very good reason to start rolling your own: you can put whatever you want in your cigarettes.
As you become less dependent on smoking, and more into the tobacco for its actual effects, you might want to consider other smoking herbs. There are so many beautiful, aromatic plants available, that will help you to cut back or maybe even eliminate your nicotine addiction.
I seriously advise consulting an herbalist who specializes in smoking herbs before trying things on your own, and once you do you will be glad you did.
Starting to roll your own cigarettes takes some commitment though. Starting out, it is very tempting to go back to the pack, because pre packaged cigarettes are so convenient. It’s difficult to break the habit of easy access. On top of that, some people may look at you suspiciously because they think you might be smoking something illegal. This can be especially problematic when smoking perfectly legal herbal mixtures.
I once got accusatory remarks from a waitress at a pub while smoking a fatty with my sweet mix, that includes tobacco, passiflora incarnata, and chamomile. So prepare to be asked and to answer many questions.
On the positive side of being observed though, some guys find my rolling abilities to be very sexy. Real tobacco also smells better than pre packaged cigs, and you can even flavor it to your liking. So no more “ashtray mouth”, sour smell, and triggering allergies left and right. Some will still complain, but not as much.
To me, it was worth the patience it takes to actually roll each cigarette one by one. It is also worth the questions and strange looks. I was smoking two packs of pre packaged cigarettes a day for almost 7 years. Now I smoke maybe 12 cigarettes a day on a very hard day. Usually I might smoke 6, but I never really finish any of them.
When I was smoking two packs of pre packaged cigarettes a day, I used to smoke them almost to the filter. I almost always had a cigarette in my hand. I took them with me wherever I went, and my life revolved around having a smoke. I was spending about $270 a month on it. Now I spend less than $100 a month on it, and that mainly because I like very good, natural tobacco, and some expensive flavored ones mixed.
One more thing though…filters. Filters are the reason many people won’t start rolling their own. What you should know is that you can get filters at almost anyplace you can get papers. They’re usually made of cotton or cellulose, just like the filters of the pre-packaged cigarettes. These are not to be confused with “roll-ups”. Roll-ups
often come with some packs of papers, and don’t do the same job. You need to buy filters separately, but they’re very inexpensive.
Some people prefer to use pre rolled paper with filters, and an “injector” that basically rolls a tube of tobacco, and shoots it into the pre roll. I don’t personally like these though. They break more easily, and you end up dependent on pre rolled papers. You’re much better off using a rolling machine or just doing it by hand. Practice makes
perfect. A quick tip is to curl one of the corners, and insert the paper diagonally. This way you’ll get a perfect roll, and no back-flapping if the paper is a little wide.
So in summary, rolling your own gives you a better cigarette at a better cost. It will also ultimately free you from having to smoke as much or as often. Quitting smoking would be the healthiest way, but until you do, rolling your own will be alot better for you than pre packaged.