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Roll Your Own Revisited....

Several comments from my post the other day re: roll your own cigarettes.

Longtime reader Don shared this link which is a story about a RYO Filling Station.  Maybe I don’t get out enough but I had no idea anything like this even existed.  Looks like some tobacco shops are installing this machine at a cost of about $35,000.  Customers can then come in, select their tobacco and cigarette tubes and rent the machine to roll a carton of smokes in about 8 minutes at a cost of around $22.00.  Fed Gov allows all of us good people to grow tobacco and roll cigarettes for our own personal use.  Taxes are collected on all tobacco for resale  –even the loose tobacco has a small fed tax included in its’ cost.  Several smoke shops back East are being sued by Fed Gov and the State because they are saying the tobacco shops are violating the law and they are actually manufacturing cigarettes for re-sale and skirting the stiff taxes on store bought smokes.  I predict the tobacco shops will lose this one-badly.  Too much tax money being lost for the Feds to back off and play nice.

TopoMatic cigarette making machine

Miss Kathy and I are well into our own roll your own cigarette endeavor.  Let me share some observations and tips.

We got our first order of loose tobacco from RYO Cigarettes.  It was an arbitrary selection.  I just picked out a website that seemed to have been in business for a long time and had decent prices.  The order arrived in a timely fashion. One thing that new folks may find confusing is that none of the selections are marked as ‘cigarette’ tobacco.  Evidently, you can’t sell cigarette tobacco online so they label it as something else.

Miss Kathy used to smoke Camel 99’s and likes a strong flavor.  She prefers the OHM Bold tobacco.  I find it a bit strong to smoke daily.

I used to smoke Marlboro Lights in a box.  The Kentucky Select tobacco suits me pretty well.

The empty Marlboro cigarette boxes make a convenient place to store the ryo smokes. Duh!  Glad I saved a bag full!

Keep in mind we have tried very few different brands and there are literally hundreds of selections.  I made a mistake by ordering a pound of some types.  Holy cats! that will make a shit ton of cigarettes! I shoulda ordered maybe 6 ounces or even 1 ounce to try some out until we decided what we liked!  Live and learn!

We are both well satisfied with the Premier King Size Full Flavor Cigarette Tubes – 10 Boxes.  10 boxes of cigarette tubes equals 2000 tubes.  Don’t scrimp on the tubes.  I had forgotten how nice it is to light a cigarette that stays lit.  Christ, that FSC crap was a pain in the butt!

The Topomatic Cigarette Machine continues to be a solid performer.  Like anything, it takes some getting used to.  Miss K has proved herself to be a rather proficient operator. She can put the machine down nekkid on the dinette table and roll a pack in 20 minutes or less.  It takes me half again as long to do one pack.  I have to put the whole works in a TV tray to contain the chaos and still end up with tobacco strewn from here to the front door.  That don’t say a whole lot for me.

Some rolling machine tips—


Bag O' Smokes

Getting the cigarette packed evenly end to end takes some practice.  You load the little slot with loose tobacco and then pull the lever down to pack the tube.  The lever should move with minimal force!  I tried packing it too tight and it produced unsatisfactory results.  Now I just put the tobacco in loosely and use each index finger to push some to each end of the compartment in the machine.   Gotta get those ends filled to have an evenly packed cigarette!

I have some trouble slipping the empty cigarette tube over the little tube where the tobacco is injected.  Miss K doesn’t have that problem.  I found that if it does not slip on easily right off that you can rotate the tube just slightly and it will slip right on.

Filling the tube all the way to the end can be tricky.  We both solve this by filling it just a bit full and then packing the cigarettes whop-whop against the heel of our hand after we put them in a pack.  Packs the whole business down nice and tidy.

Rolling more smokes than you can smoke in a day or two may result in some stale and dried out cigs.  I have resorted to putting them in a baggie if I am not gonna smoke ’em PDQ.    Even me and my fat fingers can roll several hundred during the course of watching a movie.


End Note: That’s Life by Paul Thorn from the Pimps and Preachers cd


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