Do cigarettes expire in 2021? What are the consequences of stale cigarettes?

Do cigarettes expire
Do cigarettes expire

Although we cannot deny that smokers do not care more about cigarettes’ expiration date, as much they do not for their health. But, the question “do cigarettes expire?” stands valid when it comes from a large-scale audience.

Governmental laws do impose to put an expiry date along with manufacturing date on any consuming products being or about to be sold in the market. But what are the regulations specified for cigarettes – an already dried bunch of tobacco hay? Would it make cigarettes more harmful than already is? What’s the worst that could happen if you inhale years old tobacco?

Following is every nitty-gritty you would need to know.

What’s the worth of “expired” cigarettes?

To get it straight, first, you need to have a hunch on the domain of possibility for “post-expiry” consequences of intaking or consuming any product. Usually, expiry dates are embedded on a ‘best to be used before’ basis, implementing an idea that it may involve health risk on exceeding dates from the notified date; even though most of the items still hold their preservatives to keep the “protection shield”, and are safe to intake after the expiry date. It does not usually or necessarily mean that the very item or product is not suitable to be used or consumed. There is still some margin to every expiry date. But it is a good practice to avoid the usage to minimize the risk of any possible side-effect to your health.

What are the governmental restrictions regarding the expiry dates of cigarettes?

As far as cigarettes are concerned, WHO has restricted to display of expiry dates on cigarettes, because it supports the idea that ‘cigarettes are safe to be smoked within the expiry date. Nonetheless, some manufacturers do put expiry dates based on governmental rulings. In such a case, it also follows the same idea – ‘best to be used before’; although it is not better to use ever. The only thing concerned related to the expiry date, with cigarettes is the paper package and tobacco. A seal-packed container keeps the moisture preserved. The longer they are exposed to air, the sooner the moisture evaporates; leading cigarettes and tobacco to decay. Decayed cigarettes may appear with yellow spots.

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What happens after the expiry date?

Well, it does not depend on the expiry date alone for a cigarette to ‘expire’. As stated earlier, exposure to air allows moisture to escape from essential oils added for preservation of tobacco and paper wraps. Fluctuations of humidity may also cause cigarettes to ‘expire’ quicker or sooner than the notified date, and cause the burn patterns to unfold differently. 

Moreover, loss of moisture, and decaying may cause tobaccos to taste different. A brand-new pack of cigarette might taste ‘fresher’ than a decayed cigarette – that contains only the leftover tobacco leaves, dried up, which have gone stale. 

Apart from that, you might experience older cigarettes to burn and turn into ashes quicker than an out-of-pack brand-new cigarette. This is due to the total absence of moisture from tobacco leaves, which allows them to burn quicker than before.

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Can we smoke a cigarette manufactured years ago?

It is silly to consider if an old cigarette can cause any harmful effect; when a brand new already causes the majority of them. But, being unbiased, yes you can smoke a cigarette manufactured years ago. Yet again, the taste and smell might be different than a brand-new cigarette, and enthusiasm might not last long because they burn quickly. 

With all its moisture dried up, the nicotine effect might be faded, if a cigarette has been exposed to air for the time span. On the other hand, if a cigarette was sealed pack in an air-tight environment, you would only sense a difference in taste and smell. No judgments, you can enjoy your cigarette the way you want, even after years have decayed its preservatives; you can still light it up and turn the hay to smoke and ashes!

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Final words: It is never a good time to cross thoughts through your mind related to initiating a cigarette smoking habit. Although, if you do smoke, these questions might stand valid as you might be concerned for whatsoever reason. So, cigarettes do not expire with time but they do lose their taste and nicotine percentage over time. Nonetheless, a stale cigarette might not be as concerning as it causes your expiry date to shrink. You will always be advised to quit the habit.

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