Do Cigarettes Expire After Open & How Long Cigarettes Last?

Do Cigarettes Expire

Cigarettes are bad for health, and they can cause lung cancer. If you’ve ever come across an old pack of cigarettes with one or two left in the carton, you have probably wondered this at some point. Do cigarettes expire? How long will my cigarettes be good for? It is one of the most searched questions on Google. Google sarcastically answers this question,” No, cigarettes don’t expire, but the person smoking them does!”

The reason behind this sarcastic answer is just to spread awareness among people. World Health Organization has revealed that for every person who dies because of smoking, at least 40 persons live with a serious smoking-related disease. We all know that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, heatstroke, and chronic pulmonary diseases. Smoking increases the risk for tuberculosis, eye diseases, and other problems of the immune system.

Do cigarettes have an expiration date?

We strongly agree with this point, ‘’Cigarettes don’t have an expiration date printed on them.’’ World Health Organization suggests that there should be no expiration date written on the tobacco packaging. Otherwise, the smokers will believe that it is completely safe to consume the cigarette before it expires. In this case, smokers will smoke more and more. Smoking cigarette has inherent risks that can never be neglected. 

It doesn’t mean that they will never go bad. Always remember that smoking expired cigarettes are not worse as compared to the new ones. Time and exposure to oxygen can have a negative impact on the freshness of cigarettes.

What happens when cigarettes go bad?

This is one of the most common questions asked by cigarette smokers. As we all know, that cigarettes never expire. However, they do get stale as time passes. When we expose the cigarettes to air, moisture escapes from resins and oils. Changes in humidity can cause a change in the burn pattern of the wrapper. In this case, cigarettes mostly burn faster.

When a cigarette loses moisture, it becomes stale. The taste of stale cigarettes is very unpleasant like menthol cigarettes. If you want to know whether your cigarette is stale or not, you can do it. First and foremost, smoke it and look out for any unpleasant flavor. Observe whether it is difficult to take or not. In the second case, if you don’t want to take any single risk of smoking a stale cigarette. Look for some visual signs of staleness. Roll the cigarette between your fingers, if it pours out of the end. This indicates the staleness of cigarettes.

How can you say that a cigarette is expired or not?

The easiest and riskiest way to determine the expiration of a cigarette is to try it. You will observe a couple of things while trying it.

  • As already mentioned, stale cigarettes are very unpleasant in taste. Menthol cigarettes have a very sharp taste.
  • Stale cigarettes feel much harsh than fresh ones. It results in difficulty inhaling and exhaling the smoke.

If you don’t want to take risk of smoking a stale cigarette. There are some other ways to check these signs.

Brown or Yellow spots

There are yellow or brown spots on the stale cigarettes, which come from the moisture and oils leaching out from the tobacco. Thus, you should not take these cigarettes if you are a smoker!

  • Dull Smell

Stale cigarettes often smell papery or plain. They don’t leave a strong impression. You have to smell them and if it smells differently, throw it in the Dustbin. It suits there not in your hands!

Fresh cigarettes smell like sweet raisins and other characterizing flavors of cigarettes. 

  • Tobacco falls out

When the moisture decreases, the tobacco inside the cigarette dries out and the cigarette becomes stale. If you want to check roll it between your fingers and if the pieces of tobacco fall out, it is expired!

Always remember, that cigarettes can expire but they are good for more than a year after they are sold. Cigarettes never expire but we have to understand the fact that Fresh cigarettes can kill you. Cigarettes can become stale if they are exposed to moisture. Otherwise, they never expire. 

Drawbacks of expired cigarettes

Cigarettes become expired when they become stale. When you smoke stale cigarettes, you are putting yourself in danger. As we all know, tobacco is made of dried leaves. An expired or stale cigarette has more tendency to grow mold or fungus.

image 1

If you are in perfect health, smoking a stale cigarette can cause negative effects on your health. As a result, you will experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or coughing. Secondly, if you are allergic to such cigarettes, the hazards will be much serious. You will face symptoms like sinus drainage and pain, congestion, and wheezing. 

How can you tell the age of a pack of cigarettes?

Unfortunately, the tobacco industry doesn’t provide an expiration date on the pack of cigarettes. Thus, it becomes really difficult to know when you bought the pack and when it will expire. It often happens that you buy a pack of cigarettes sitting on the shelf, when you open it is a pack of stale cigarettes. There are multiple ways to avoid this situation. 

As we all know, the tobacco industry uses a variety of internal codes for the labeling of cigarette packs. To an uneducated person with untrained eyes, it may look like a bunch of numbers or alphabets. However, these numbers can tell that where the cigarettes were made, what type of tobaccos were blended, and what type of additives are included in the cigarettes. In simple words, they can tell you where that pack was produced and packaged.

If you want to check the age of your cigarette, observe the production code. It is often known as the ‘’Julien Date Code’’. It is a six-digit number. The first three numbers present the actual day of the year the cigarettes were manufactured. Let suppose, it is 130, then consider it as the 130th day of the year. Come the next two digits, represents the year in which the cigarette is manufactured. If it is 19, the cigarette pack was manufactured in the year 2019. 

There are more numbers on the labeling after these but our concern is with these 5 digits. Other digits don’t affect the age of the cigarette.


People often smoke cigarettes for different reasons. You will like to smoke a cigarette with a fresh taste and pleasant smell. We have explained in detail that cigarettes do not expire, they often go stale if you exposed them to moisture. Cigarette smoking has bad and diverse effects on our health. We have to stop people from smoking because, in the end, a smoker dies of lung cancer.

Scroll to Top