Bumming Cigarettes.."It's my last one"

Smokers are an oppressed class these days.

Then there are the homeless and others who get along by bumming whatever they can from whomever will comply. Some might consider them oppressed by society as well.

The other day I witnessed one of the latter ask for a cig from one of the former who replied “It’s my last one”.

If you are a cigarette smoker, is “It’s my last one” the standard brush off? Or is there some kind of honor among smokers to share when you can. If so, where do you draw the line??

Share when you can.

Cigarette karma always comes back around. I’m sure that the number I’ve bummed and the number I’ve given are not that much different.

That said, nobody insists on taking a benefactor’s last cigarette. It’s impolite. And nobody lies about only having one (see “share when you can”).

That’s really all there is to it.

As long as cigs stayed in a resonable price range, yeah you’d share. But the “It’s my last one” has long been an understood practice. It can be used as a cop out, but usually it is used when you have only a few cigs left.
That said I will always remember the gal I was asking a cig once, saying to me “Those are my last ones” and showing me a pack with 15 or more cigs in it to back that.

Back when I was in college that was the standard brush off to say to someone if I knew that giving them out would mean running out before getting back to the gas station. Of course, you don’t want to do that in a place where you’re going to be hanging out smoking in front of them for the rest of the night either so you have to be careful who you say it to.

But yeah, if I was walking from one class to another and someone that I’ve never seen before asked me for one, that’s what I’d say if I was anywhere near running out.

I usually say “take two in case you run into a bum”.

This, in a nutshell, is the Smoker’s Code


That is the one thing I miss about smoking in general. You can just walk up to random people and ask then to give you something of theirs that costs real money and they will generally do it and they will also chat with you while you smoke more often than not. You don’t see that type of social norm much outside of smoking. I am glad I haven’t smoked in a very long time but one of the unsung benefits of it is social lubrication among perfect strangers. But yeah, asking for a cigarette out of the last one or two in a pack has always been a mutually understood reason fro rejecting the request even when cigarettes were dirt cheap. It isn’t about the money. Smokers just don’t like being forced to go to the store to buy more when they are likely already rationing their own supply.

Opinions seem to vary on this… to some, “the last one” is sacred…to others it could mean a few … and to others it could mean however many you need before you can procure some more.

Take away the chatting while you use/consume what they gave you, women do this with pads and tampons. We know the horror of realizing you had forgotten you used up your purse supply. I’m not shy at all (a titch embarrassed, sure) about asking a totally random woman in a public restroom if they have one.

I wonder if she meant that literally, as in she was planning to quit after those were gone, which in my experience is even more sacred than giving away your last one from a pack?

Better give me three or four then…there’s lots a bums around these here parts…

The most awesome exchange I ever saw went like this:

“Hey, can I bum a smoke?”

"Sorry, I don’t smoke."What made it awesome was the cigarette dangling from his lip as his polite denial passed it.

Wait, back up a minute here - smokers are an oppressed class? I’m afraid I’m going to have to call bullshit on that one. Smokers are being restricted from allowing the carcinogens that they choose to release into the air around them to affect innocent victims - that’s hardly oppression.

I once had a gentleman insist on giving me $5 for my last cigarette. I didn’t even say it was my last one, I just handed him the pack. I really didn’t want to take the money, but he insisted.

I read it as “These are the last ones I have on me and I’m not planning to stop on my way home to get more so they need to last me from now until at least tomorrow morning.”

In my smoking circle (when I had one), it only applied to the literal last cigarette in a pack. You can take the last one if the person says “take it, I got another pack right here.” If you were the more superstitious (or affected) sort, you’d take the first cigarette from the new pack rather than the last cigarette from the last pack, although I don’t think that rule is particularly followed, and might have just been a quirk of our circle.

When I was a teenage smoker, there was the convention of a “two’s up”. The last smoke got smoked by all the smokers, because we had no money to buy more.

But now I smoke rollups, and have plenty baccy, and am far from a teenager, so anyone who asks gets one from me. I’ll usually roll it for them too.

Always share. I recall one night at a bar where we all were there way after closing time. By 5:00AM when the consensus was to go home, and there was no place near by to restock, we pooled all the cigarettes everyone had left and divvied them up. A couple of people just wanted one, others got a few extra for having a long trip home.

Nope, that was back in college. And while my university had the largest concentration of hot chicks you could ever find in Paris(which was cool, and made me realize that class differences do play a large role in attractiveness), it was also one of the most right wings university you could ever find in France (which was uncool, except if you like to be beaten up by Neo-Nazis). That meant it was full of cunts, and more than a few of its students saw nothing impolite in telling you that was their last ones while clearly having enough cigs to share.