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#1
Old 03-30-2002, 02:21 AM
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Does "packing" your cigarettes really work?

You know the type-- before having a smoke, some smokers sharply smack the box of cigarettes against the palm of their hand. Now, besides thinking that it looks cool, is there any real sense to "packing" your cigarettes?

"Packers" claim that by doing this they compact the tobacco within the cigarette, giving a smoother smoke. I've never "packed" mine, and I've always have a nice, smooth cigarette experience.

Not only is "packing" your cigarettes senseless, but I would argue that it actually has the opposite effect. I would think that by pounding the box of ciggies, you're actually loosening the tobacco, causing the tobacco near the tip of the cigarette to fall out.

What say you dopers? Knowing what you know about the laws of physics, etc....is the ritual of "packing your cigarettes" effective?
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#2
Old 03-30-2002, 02:38 AM
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I don't know if it helps or not, but they seem to last longer after being packed down. Nothing I do religiously, just every now and then.
#3
Old 03-30-2002, 03:00 AM
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Mr. Frink, i read your post, but i'm going to give my 'automatic-wise-ass-post-based-on-immediate-reaction-to-subject' response.

sure it works! my smokes always wind up packed when i'm done.


ahem.

i dunno why to do it. but i do it. however, crazy tobacco spillage does not occur. because the filter-end hits the hand, thereby pushing all tobacco filterward. and not out the open end.

i do it because i do it. same reason i smoke.

jb
#4
Old 03-30-2002, 06:19 AM
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I think it really does work. I don't pack and when I bum one off a friend who does, I definately notice the difference.
Packed smokes are a LITTLE harder to draw, for whatever that's worth.
The problem with packing is that packers look like dorks while they're packing.
#6
Old 03-30-2002, 10:25 AM
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Its all part of casual cigarette games.

There are actually several variations on packing cigs.

The full pack pack can consist of a single, forceful packing blow to the the heel of the hand. This is seems to be a rarity among dedicated packers though. A die hard packer will tell you that the one swing method will not do much to effect the tobacco "density" in the cigs.

More common is the multi swing pack action. Informal studies show that there is an average of 6 or so swings made in rapid succession. Results vary as to how packed the cigs will be or if they will be deformed at the ends among these solo packers.

Among active participants of casual cigarette players, there is typically a designated "packing master" among a group of smokers. For some reason, this person is able to pack a pack of smokes so that there is upwards of a quarter of an inch of empty paper at the end of the cigarette with no discernable loss of tobacco form the cigarette or deformation of the individual cigarettes. There is a level of "packer" pride and intense competition among "packing masters" as to who can pack the cigarettes the best.

Superstitious, or really bored, smokers will incorporate a game into the packing action of the cigarettes. A "guru pack master" will ask the the owner of the new pack of cigarettes for a number. The pack master will employ the packing action until the number of packing strikes equal the number given by the smoker. True packing gurus will open the pack for the smoker and initiate the "lucky cigarette" switch out. This is where one cigarette from the pack is removed and turned over. There is two fold reason for this action by the guru packer, one to check that his pack action was successful, and two to attempt to imbue the lucky cigarette with mystical powers of luck and good fortune.

Other packing variations.

The single cigarette packing action.

This method is typically employed by more anal retentive smokers in search of the perfect pack for each individual cigarette in the pack. Normal methodology involves "bouncing" the butt of the cigarette against the side of a lighter. Some single cig packers can bounce the cigarette upwards of 20 times to obtain the perfect individual packing action.

The individual cigarette pack is also heavily employed in times of nervous conversation, such as meeting an attractive memeber of the opposite sex in a bar. Subconciously, it is used to broadcast the fact that the person is a smoker. More over, it is utilized to keep the hands busy so they do not leap out and attach themselves to the attractive persons bumpy bits thereby potentially terminating the initial meeting with the attractive person rather abruptly.


There are urban legends of "packing mystics" that can pack an entire carton of cigarettes in one swing. The Casual Cigarette Gaming Commission will pay a bounty of $50,000 for information leading to the finding of one these "packing mystics" to study their mystical cigarette packing prowess.
#7
Old 04-25-2014, 04:30 PM
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And where does all the tabaco that fall out go?.. Except if you 'pack' it upwards, then I can imagine it falls out. If you pack it upside down, almost all the tabaco is in the ciggies and -believe it or not- compressed!..
#8
Old 04-25-2014, 07:37 PM
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The results are easy to observe. The packing is done with a closed (unopened) pack only, and the first 1/8 of an inch or so of cigarette ends up as paper. Easy to light, if nothing else.

Last edited by bobot; 04-25-2014 at 07:39 PM. Reason: Smoking is bad, mmmkay?
#9
Old 04-25-2014, 07:42 PM
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I smoked Camel non-filters for 30 years. Here's the straight dope - you packed the end opposite to the end you light. Less change of small tobacco shreds in your mouth.
#10
Old 04-25-2014, 07:45 PM
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Like a twist on a doobie, ha, ha! Thanks for that, I guess I grew up with filters only!
#11
Old 04-25-2014, 10:44 PM
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Yes, packing works. I usually go with the full pack pack. I don't know why, but I prefer to see that gap at the business end of the cigarette.
#12
Old 04-26-2014, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seal_cleaner View Post
I smoked Camel non-filters for 30 years. Here's the straight dope - you packed the end opposite to the end you light. Less change of small tobacco shreds in your mouth.
Interesting. That was never a problem because I smoke filters, but if you don't pack the cigs you are far more likely to flick off the burning cherry during the smoke. I always thought that was the purpose.
#13
Old 04-26-2014, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SacFly View Post
Interesting. That was never a problem because I smoke filters, but if you don't pack the cigs you are far more likely to flick off the burning cherry during the smoke. I always thought that was the purpose.
This.

I haven't smoked cigarettes for 20 years now. But I recall that an unpacked grit has the risk of having the stud flicked off depending on how one flicks.

However, an unpacked cig allows for more air to be drawn in. This results in a fuller cloud of smoke in the mouth/lungs, thus a richer flavor.

So whether to pack or unpack depends on how you regularly temp the ash on your butt. If you flick at the filter end, pack. If you tap at the cherry end, don't pack.
#14
Old 04-26-2014, 12:57 PM
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I think a lot of it depends upon the brand of cigarettes. IIRC, Marlboros were bad about being packed loosely and needed to be packed before smoking to avoid having the cherry fall off mid-smoke. As mentioned upthread, unfiltered cigs also need this to avoid the ptuis of shredded tobacco in your mouth.
#15
Old 04-26-2014, 03:45 PM
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Whenever I wanted an exquisitely packed smoke, I'd make a blowgun out of a glossy newpaper coupon page. Blast that cig filter-first against the back of the TV remote a couple times and it packs a good 3/8". That was back a ways, when this thread was started.
#16
Old 04-26-2014, 09:36 PM
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I remember reading the book 1984 by George Orwell. IIRC, the government-made cigarettes, the tobacco would fall out if you tilted them.

Doesn't happen with free-enterprise cigarettes.
#17
Old 05-01-2014, 04:28 PM
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I smoke and I'm surprised no one mentioned the 'real' reason. You pack them so they don't break easy. It has nothing to do with taste, or tobacco falling out, and I've never met any of these 'extreme' packers. It's just that when you get down to less than half a pack and they can kind of shake around, or get a little squished in one of your pockets or something, it's almost certain at least one will experience some sort of breakage, but when you pack them I guess they're more firm.

Of course this is just what I've been told, experienced personally, and why I do it, I know it's an anecdote is essentially worthless. Which is why I'll volunteer to set up a couple of groups of different packing intensities, as well as a couple control groups, between my neighbors and I, all carefully observed and recorded meticulously. All I need is someone to send us a carton or two
#18
Old 05-01-2014, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CptSmashy View Post
There are urban legends of "packing mystics" that can pack an entire carton of cigarettes in one swing. The Casual Cigarette Gaming Commission will pay a bounty of $50,000 for information leading to the finding of one these "packing mystics" to study their mystical cigarette packing prowess.
Back in the day I used to pack my packs by the carton. I would slam the entire carton on the ground with a couple mighty thwacks. The cigarettes would be packed so tight that it would leave a half inch of paper at the end. Lit easier, No loose tobacco falling out the end and I thought they burned smoother. The carton method made the packing tighter and it was easy to do.
#19
Old 05-01-2014, 08:20 PM
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When I smoked, I packed my cigarettes. I did so because it created about a 16th inch of paper at the end; this made the cigarette a little easier to light in the wind.
#20
Old 05-02-2014, 09:27 AM
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I absolutely packed mine; un-packed cigs burn faster and hotter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Back in the day I used to pack my packs by the carton. I would slam the entire carton on the ground with a couple mighty thwacks. The cigarettes would be packed so tight that it would leave a half inch of paper at the end. Lit easier, No loose tobacco falling out the end and I thought they burned smoother. The carton method made the packing tighter and it was easy to do.
I knew a guy who thought be was being smart, and he did that once...but he packed the wrong end. Wonder how they smoked....

Last edited by Sicks Ate; 05-02-2014 at 09:27 AM.
#21
Old 05-02-2014, 10:13 AM
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As a smoker, I have come to understand that Cecil was absolutely right and nobody really knows why.
#22
Old 05-02-2014, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobot View Post
Like a twist on a doobie, ha, ha! Thanks for that, I guess I grew up with filters only!
When properly rolled, a doobie should not need to be twisted. It should be indistinguishable from an unfiltered Camel except for the color the contents.

Or, um, so I'm told.
#23
Old 05-02-2014, 10:54 AM
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I'm really here so I can say "when I used to smoke." It's been two freakin' years since we "really" quit. I took us five or six years of on/off trying, but it really has been two years---today!

Anyway, I was in the pack them so they light easier camp. That little bit of paper takes to a match or weak lighter very well, something a lot of outdoor smokers need (and now that most/all smoking has moved outdoors, it's all the more important).

There were new smokers (high school and college kids) who made up silly rituals and justifications (and since so much of smoking is non-addicted physical things, packing just felt right), and there is definitely something to the compaction making the cherry stay on. But for me and my ilk, an easily lit smoke was the goal. When I used to smoke, that is.
#24
Old 05-02-2014, 11:04 AM
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I had a friend who used to always pack his cig against his thumbnail before lighting. Like a prick, I took one, emptied it of tobacco, and inserted a rolled piece of paper. He didn't even notice while packing, and his reaction upon lighting was unforgettable.
#25
Old 05-02-2014, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
I'm really here so I can say "when I used to smoke." It's been two freakin' years since we "really" quit. I took us five or six years of on/off trying, but it really has been two years---today!
Congrats to you and whomever else constitutes "us" !
#26
Old 05-02-2014, 12:43 PM
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Thanks--the 'us' bit is my wife and I quit together. Rough, but the only way possible, really.

Two years? Two years? I know it's still the first steps of quitting--lots and lots of people made it two years, so it's not like we're safe yet--but damn. Feels good to have made it this far!
#27
Old 05-02-2014, 02:21 PM
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I've tested this many times. Through delivery, the tobacco gets loose and won't burn evenly. You can light an unpacked cig and let it burn down and see how the loose tobacco burns faster than the non-loose tobacco. This is also why sometimes you see a cig with a 2 inch ash but still see paper on one side. Another affect is when you tap it, unpacked cigs will have live ashes flying all over the place. Packed cigs will only drop the dead ashes.
#28
Old 05-02-2014, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
Thanks--the 'us' bit is my wife and I quit together.
Well, that was the least interesting possible answer, but congratulations anyway!
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