Do Cigarettes Expire?

Do Cigarettes Expire? That’s the question of the day! Well, well well, you’ve found an old pack of cigarettes, and you’re thinking, should I smoke these? Is it safe? Do these tobacco sticks go bad? Wiping off the dust from some good old smokes is pretty gross, but is it that bad?

Long story short, no. Not really.

Do cigarettes go bad?

Here’s the thing, cigarettes do have a “best by” date on the packaging, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are “bad” or expired after that date.

The World Health Organization actually wants no expiration date because an expiration date leads the consumer to believe it’s safe to smoke before the date. Which, in reality, is not the truth. Cigarettes are not safe to smoke before or after they go “bad.”

What happens to a cigarette once it passes the “best by” date?

Just like any plant, tobacco can age. And while smoking, in general, is bad – a cigarette after the “best by” date isn’t going to be the worst for you. The only thing that would affect your experience is the flavor and freshness of your cigarette.

You can definitely tell just by looking at the inside of a cigarette if the tobacco is fresh or not. Does it look dry and does it crumble easily? Well, my friend, you’re looking at a harsh drag. But go ahead, it’s no more harmful than smoking a fresh cigarette.

How do you tell if your cigarette is stale?

While cigarettes don’t really expire, they do indeed become stale. But how? When they’re expired to oxygen, the air changes the humidity, which then affects the tobacco itself. Once the cigarette has lost enough humidity, the moisture makes it taste pretty bad.

If you leave a cigarette out of its pack for around two or more days, you’ll notice the tobacco falls out easier, and it’s extremely dry to the touch. If you smoke a cigarette that’s been sitting out for that long, you’ll notice the unpleasant taste right away.


At the end of the day, if you’re a smoker, it’s guaranteed you’ll want a fresh cigarette. But if you’re in a pinch or found an old pack and don’t want to run to the liquor store – it will be stale. But if you’re okay with it, so are we. Do Cigarettes Expire?

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