With the cost of tobacco and cigarettes constantly moving upward, smokers are the ones who are truly paying the price! In states like California, New York, and New Jersey - not to mention a global price increase in European countries and elsewhere - it is not uncommon to buy a pack of cigarettes for somewhere in the neighborhood of $10. Some smokers 'suck it up' (pun intended, ha-ha!), but some try other options. Some may turn to low-grade tobacco or low-class cigs (super dry by the way) bought online from outside the US. While some smokers even stray from their favorite cigarette brand and move to a cheaper one, which ends up not being very cheap at all! And not that great tasting, either. Some smokers might even hit up duty-free shops somewhere near them to save a few bucks, but it's only usually just a couple of your hard-earned dollars, and often you are limited on how much you can purchase each time.
If trading gas or lunch money for cigarettes isn't your style, may we recommend learning to make a few RYO - meaning Roll Your Own - cigarettes with tobacco, herbs, or even both. Many products and techniques exist that will save you money, time, and make your smoke sessions a little more fun! Read on...
Benefits of Roll-Your-Own (RYO)
Europeans have historically been rolling their own cigarettes for centuries. And they still do, as tobacco is typically more expensive there than it even is in the U.S. because of import fees and other taxes. Prior to our now familiar store-bought pack of cigarettes, various techniques for rolling anything to smoke have been around since the dawn of time to be used for tribal rituals. And many find that rolling their own cigarettes is preferable for quite a few reasons.
Rolling your own is an economically sound practice that will usually save you money, which is always awesome. A lot of smokers roll their own smokes because pre-rolled cigarettes are taxed much more heavily than loose tobacco in most places. So there’s a lot of money to be saved by buying rolling tobacco, whether in bulk or not.
Additionally, you can find rolling tobacco and rolling papers that contain little to no chemical additives, which is a healthy alternative to the traditional cigarette and also allows you to actually taste the tobacco or herbs in your roll! You get to choose what you smoke depending on flavor and farming method, so you can take back control from Big Tobacco. It’s the ultimate civil disobedience! Plus, loose tobacco lasts longer than a pack of pre-made cigarette as it burns more slowly.
Basically, because of the purity, strength, pure flavor of a rolled cigarette, there is also a chance that you will smoke less - simply because you are content with the robust flavor you get with your homemade cigarette. This saves money, is more convenient, and overall just a better bang for your buck!
So how do you get started?
You're Going to Need Some Rolling Tobacco
To start, you will definitely need a bag of loose rolling tobacco and/or herbs. This is usually available at smoke shops and convenience stores, but contact us and we can point you in the right direction too. You should know and trust who you're buying from in order to get the highest quality, and we have recommendations!
Obviously, Rolling Papers Are a Necessity
Rolling papers are Part Two of a hand-rolled cigarette. Thicker smoking paper is better for beginners, simply because it won't break as easily, but they do burn slower and are usually made from less pure ingredients that you probably don’t want to smoke a lot of (things like bleach, wood pulp, etc). Thin papers are harder to hand roll, but they usually provide the benefit of allowing for a richer tobacco taste instead of the taste of the paper getting in the way. If you’re convinced that thin, all-natural papers are the way to go (and we don’t blame you!), get your hands on one of our thumb rollers. They’re neat!
You're Going to Need Some Rolling Tobacco
Filter tubes are one option for smokers who don't want to deal with hand-rolling their tobacco or herbs. Patients with Parkinson’s Disease and arthritis are great candidates for this method. Filter tubes are basically empty cigarette "shells" that have a filter on them, but no tobacco or anything filling the paper part. This is so that you can fill it with your own proprietary blend of herbs and tobacco. They usually cost about $2-3 for a box of 200 tubes. Filter tubes can be a fine alternative to hand rolling and is certainly much cheaper than buying a pack or carton of cigarettes.
Injector / Cigarette Rolling Machines are Super Helpful
Injectors and used to accurately and more easily load the smokeable contents into a filter tube or pre-rolled cone. Smokers who have loose tobacco or want even more convenience than putting tobacco into tubes or other pre-rolled cigarettes prefer injectors to make rolling their cigarettes that much easier.
Rolling or injector machines come in electric and manual varieties. Although you might make a mistake or two if you're just starting out rolling your own cigarettes, it is actually a pretty simple process - especially with the tools available these days. To roll one, put rolling tobacco and/or herbs in to the chamber, place one leaf or tube in the roller, and either roll the paper into the machine by hand (manually) or use an automatic model where you might pull down on the lid or do a simple motion with an electronic roller to roll your cigarette for you! Nowadays, there are even more compact options, like the RYO Cone Roller and The Cone Artist. It's like a cigarette factory at your fingertips, but with your chosen blend and at much less cost.
Rolling cigarettes is said to use about half as much tobacco as injecting it, so keep that in mind when deciding which method to use. Convenience may not save as much tobacco, but you're still spending much less and creating a bespoke smoking experience by rolling your own cigarettes either way.
Flavors and Blends
Loose tobacco now comes in more flavors and varieties than ever before! There are Full Flavor and Menthol options, and more and more herbs are being created with flavors, whether as a part of the herbs themselves or as an additive like oil or 'juice’. Even flavored rolling papers can be a part of the fun!
Beyond the benefits of containing few additives, the art of crafting your very own blend and the satisfaction that comes with rolling your own cigarettes is something to be proud of. And let's face it: if you want to save money, simply RYO! Many people report a savings of about 75% when they roll their own cigarettes, and smokers everywhere report that they prefer hand rolled cigarettes! With so many affordable options to roll cigarettes, it's hard to convince anyone not to roll their own cigarettes using their own tobacco or herbs. The benefits are plenty, and the solutions are cheap and easy.
s Check our our rolling paper information page for more tips on everything from saving money and rolling your own smokes to new, innovative technologies in smoking! Contact us if you ever have questions or want advice on any of our products.