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What is the shelf life of cigarettes, how to store cigarettes

Have you also wondered: what is the expiration date of my cigarettes and not found the answer on the packet? The answer is simple: it doesn’t exist.

So does that mean that cigarettes can last forever? Yes and no. Let’s understand how much and how cigarettes can be stored, and whether you should smoke last year’s cigarettes found in your winter jacket.

Cigarette expiration date

Indeed, cigarettes have no legal expiration date, which is why you won’t find it on the packet, only the date of manufacture. But according to the manufacturers’ own recommendations, cigarettes have their best properties within 1 year after manufacture. It does not mean that after this year cigarettes spoil or cannot be smoked, but it is believed that during the first year they retain the best flavor. Smokers even say that in general and up to 2 years of storage, the flavor properties of tobacco remain at a high level. Naturally, all of the above is true only if the correct storage conditions are observed.

Yes, storage conditions are the most important factor that affects the flavor and suitability of cigarettes, even when it comes to freshly produced cigarettes, not to mention those that have been lying for a long time.

Proper storage conditions for cigarettes (sealed)

One of the most important conditions for storing unopened cigarettes is the presence and integrity of the film in which the pack is wrapped at the factory. This film provides a tight seal and protection from dampness and other external factors.

If the film is present and intact, the following tips will help maximize the freshness of cigarettes in a closed pack:

  • Do not store cigarettes in direct sunlight.
  • Do not store cigarettes in excessive dryness or near heaters. Optimum humidity is 30-65%, otherwise the tobacco may shrivel up.
  • Do not soak cigarettes or store in areas with high humidity, otherwise tobacco may become moldy or rot.
  • Maintain temperature control – optimal storage temperature is between 13 and 30 degrees Celsius
  • Do not expose cigarettes to strong odors, as they can absorb the odor and even get an unpleasant taste.

Storage conditions for printed cigarettes

Cigarettes retain their properties for much less time in an open pack. The flavor and aroma quickly wears off, the tobacco becomes dry or damp, and may absorb foreign odors. Microorganisms from the external environment and from hands get inside the pack. The maximum shelf life of a printed pack is up to 3-4 months from the date of opening. So an open pack of cigarettes found in a one-year old jacket will most likely not give you a fresh and rich flavor.

Shelf life of cigarettes with capsule (button), with menthol

Cigarettes with additional additives such as menthol or capsule require even more meticulous storage conditions. Any additives or additions to tobacco make it more finicky and difficult to store. For example, if the capsule dries out, it may burst, with all the liquid being absorbed by the filter and drying out, and you may no longer get the fruity or menthol flavor you were expecting. You can still smoke this cigarette, you just need to be prepared for the usual tobacco taste without flavorings.

Capsule cigarettes have the same lifespan as regular cigarettes if the storage rules are followed. Within a year from the date of production, they will retain their optimal flavor.

What should I do if my cigarettes get wet?

A separate question is whether wet cigarettes can be dried? In theory, yes, but the flavor of tobacco will be significantly spoiled, as there is a high probability of over-drying or under-drying cigarettes. According to smokers, cigarettes lose flavor and sweetness, some on the contrary say that tobacco becomes stronger. In any case, it will no longer be the flavor you are accustomed to.

In general, in the absence of alternatives, it is possible to smoke soaked and dried cigarettes. In the past, smokers of still Soviet cigarettes constantly had to finish drying even ordinary freshly bought cigarettes, which were not caught in the rain and did not fall into the water. Due to the peculiarities of production, Soviet brands of cigarettes were moist and smoked poorly without preliminary drying. Therefore, after purchase, they were spread out in an open packet or just fan them on the radiator and dried.

How do you determine the freshness of cigarettes?

In general, the term “expired” does not apply to cigarettes. But if you want to make sure you have a fresh packet with optimal flavor concentration, it’s not hard to do.

The first and obvious thing to do is to check the date of manufacture on the pack. The more recent it is, the fresher the cigarettes are.

The next step is to check the tightness of the film, by the way, it is better to do it at the point of purchase and in case it was broken – return the goods or exchange for another pack.

After you have opened the pack, look at the cigarettes – they should not have a yellow tint (if this is not their original feature and is not provided by the manufacturer), it may indicate that they are damp.

The taste should be familiar, without extraneous odors, as well as the aroma. The taste and smell should be rich, indicating that the cigarette has the correct moisture content. On the contrary, if the cigarette is too dry or the tobacco is spilling out of it, it may indicate that it is dry.

The capsule should be intact and full inside (with flavored liquid).

Recall also that on our site you can always buy cigarettes from the manufacturer.