DIY Cigarettes: Why Smokers Might Want to Consider “Going Green” - DIY Week on BTR


Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Two days after this month’s May 21st apocalypse, a mass prohibition of smoking will take effect in the over 1,700 parks and beaches in New York City, giving smokers an additional middle finger to accompany the $5.85 “sin tax” they shell out for each pack of cigarettes.

Spearheading the ban is the New York City Health Department, according to a source from the City Council, but Mayor Bloomberg’s strong anti-smoking policy has certainly given the organization a nice political boost.

A NYC Health Department funded study sent to BTR found that, by measuring for a rather negligible tobacco born alkaloid called cotinine in the bloodstream, second hand smoke affects the average New Yorker more than the average American by several percentage points. The study concluded that the city’s extreme population density is most at fault for the elevated cotinine levels, especially since the smoking population is lower in NYC than the US average. The researchers all work for either the Health Department or the Bureau of Tobacco Control.

Following the parks and beaches ban is a bill that looks to bar non-smokers from all non-parks and non-beaches while concurrently enforcing strong limits on residents’ per hour oxygen intake. The city will begin collecting air taxes once the installation of oxygen meters deep inside every resident’s chest cavity is completed.

The Health Department also makes note of cigarette butts, which “may take over 18 months to decompose,” comprising a significant portion of annual trash pickup.

Times Square will also be off limits to smokers, as the combination of light, exhaust, and tourist pollution was determined to be a sufficient deterrent to residents looking to patronize the landmark.

Smokers have not been so strong-armed since the 2002 Indoor Clean Air Act, and before that in 1966 when doctors stopped smoking and prescribing cigarettes to their patients. So, BTR has generously provided those under attack, or those looking to be under attack, a safe and legal way to grow tobacco. BTR does not condone the illegal sale of unstamped cigarettes!

How to Grow Tobacco

You need: Tobacco seeds, soil, pots and trays, fertilizer, sunlight, and water. These directions are for one to two plants.

Place six to ten seeds on each plot of soil in the tray (spaced about two to three inches apart) and embed the seeds with a bit of water. Tobacco seeds, like human children, require increased attention in their early stages and must be covered up indoors for a little over a week. Make sure to water the seedlings from the bottom during this beginning stage while watering from the top thereafter.

Once covered, the seeds need to be placed in an area between 70-80 degrees. Within ten days you should see some sprouts, at which point it is recommended that you remove the least developed sprouts to create a healthier environment for the stronger seedlings. If this offends your sensibilities, brush up on your Thomas Malthus and suck it up for the benefit of the tobacco species.

After that, move the seedlings to an indoor area 20 degrees cooler, and within three weeks you can transplant them into bigger containers outdoors to begin the fertilization process. Use a stick or a stint to improve vertical growth before you put them out into the wild.

Take care to restrain your pet sphinx moth and potato tuberworms around the plants. Also, check periodically throughout the development process for insects on the buds of the plants, around the roots and especially on the leaves, which contain most of the tasty tobacco juice that bugs drink.

Remove the root balls for each seedling and place them into individual pots of soil or if you have some, the ground. Peat moss will aid in fertilization if your soil is not sufficiently cultivated, but if you want to rock your O face (O-O-Organic) and you have a backyard with nice, unspoiled soil, skip that step.

For all you tillers out there, remember that the roots of a tobacco plant stay moderately close to the surface, so be gentle with those hoes.

Water daily for three weeks, and when the bottom leaves start turning yellow, you are ready to harvest.

The leaves should be hung in clusters in a covered and ventilated location until they turn brown, at which point they must be dried and stored. After a few months the tobacco is ready. Make sure you research your tobacco strains; otherwise this stage could take years.

Roy at recommended a “Flue Cured” Virginia strain to avoid the need for special curing equipment. Thanks, Roy!

For cultivation of electronic tobacco plants, make sure there are no extraneous fibers interacting with the heating coils inside of your atomizers’ wicks. Your homebrewed e-liquid should contain a healthy dose of 3-methylcyclopentan-1, acetylpyrazine, and a generous drop of rhodinol for a sweet, floral e-stench. Please, do not water you e-plants.

Happy Growing Days to you all!

Written By: Jakob Schnaidt