What Happens If You Eat A Pack Of Cigarettes?

We've all been there: We're standing at the counter of a convenience store, letting our eyes wander to the cigarette case, and dreaming of munching down on a pack or two. No? Just us? Well anyway, even if you haven't fantasized about enjoying a nice meal of tobacco and scotch, you're hopefully wondering by now what exactly would happen if you just ate a couple of cigarettes.

If you were to take a cigarette out of its pack and eat it, filter and all, you'd be ingesting about 20 milligrams of nicotine. That's a fair amount of nicotine (smoking a cigarette only delivers about 1.5 milligrams), so eating just one cigarette has the potential to make you sick (and in the case of children, very sick). You'll most likely vomit before all the nicotine is absorbed, so there won't be any lasting effects, however. In reality, even if you were to eat a full pack of cigarettes, you'd vomit before enough nicotine was digested to do much permanent damage. In one case, someone ate 75 cigarettes (about 1,500 milligrams) in a suicide attempt and lived to tell the tale; they threw up before any lasting damage was done.

That's not to say that you would just throw up and be fine if you downed 20 cigarettes; the side effects of nicotine poisoning, along with vomiting, include severe abdominal pain that can last for days. So, needless to say, don't do it.