Can Marlboros Be the Next Dollar?

Money is by definition any easily exchanged commodity which people value and are willing to accept in exchange for goods and services. In our video asking people what they would use as currency should the dollar cease to exist, we got a lot of different responses on what people consider valuable.

While many people believe gold or silver to be the most valuable asset, there is one thing that could have value in a post-apocalyptic world: cigarettes.

According to author Dan Martin, author of the book Apocalypse: How to Survive A Global Crisis, he would stock up on cigarettes so he could use them as currency when the dollar eventually crashes. Mr. Martin believes that anything people “can’t live without” would be a valuable commodity, and can be easily exchanged for goods and services.

While he is not a smoker, Mr. Martin recognizes that throughout history, people have used cigarettes as currency. One example of the value of cigarettes was in Kurt Vonnegut’s “Brighten Up,” which told of his experiences as a POW in Dresden:

Louis converted most of his wealth into the most negotiable of all securities, cigarettes. And it wasn’t long before the possibilities of being a loan shark occurred to him. Once every two weeks we were issued twenty cigarettes. Slaves of the tobacco habit would exhaust the ration in one or two days, and would be in a state of frenzy until the next ration came.

While smoking is a nasty habit, if the dollar does become worthless by 2019, cigarettes, which always has a high demand, may be worth their weight in gold (or silver in the case of our rebels). So if you’re planning on quitting smoking, save your leftover packs of Marlboros and Camels….they may just make you a rich person someday.

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