Cigarette Dispenser : What is it?
A cigarette dispenser is a manually operated or static container that stores and dispenses cigarettes. They can either be portable (pocket type) or desktop type dispensers.
Because of the prevalent discouragement of tobacco use in the last decade, the desktop type cigarette dispensers have been relegated from being functional items to display items or gag gifts. Antique cigarette dispensers have also become collectibles, appreciated for their fine craftsmanship. Older, beautifully crafted dispensers are considered art pieces are can go for thousands of dollars.
Kinds of Cigarette Dispensers include the following:
Portable / pocket cigarette dispensers
- Typically comes with a built in butane green torch lighter
- Protects cigarettes from being busted, split, or broken
- Perfectly sized for carrying in the breast pocket
- Can automatically dispense cigarettes with the touch of a button
Mechanical cigarette dispensers
- The cigarettes are manually loaded but dispensed by depressing a lever or similar contraption
- They are quite expensive, usually costing upwards of $250
Antique cigarette dispensers
- Made of precious materials, like porcelain and fine wood
- Some of the most coveted antique cigarette dispensers look like teapots, disguising cigarettes so that they can be displayed in the home
- Original dispensers by Rookwood - an American ceramics company founded in 1880 – are also quite popular.
Static cigarette dispensers
- Simple boxes or rings that hold cigarettes
- Some double as ashtrays
Novelty cigarette dispensers
- Usually made of plastic
- Quite popular as giveaways
- One of the most popular models is the “donkey” cigarette dispenser, which dispenses cigarettes through his butt once his ears are depressed.
- Popularly given as gag gifts
If you intend to actually use the dispenser to store cigarettes, then choose an enclosed type that can protect the contents from sunlight and humidity.
Double duty cigarette holders and dispensers offer good value for money. Some are actually alarm clocks with hidden cigarette compartments at the back. Some are also ashtrays.
If you smoke both hand rolled and king sized cigarettes, choose a pocket dispenser with two separate compartments so you can dispense two kinds of cigarettes at any given time.
If you intend to buy the dispensers as collectible works of art or as display items, go for those handcrafted in the 1800’s, when smoking was still very fashionable and smoke sets, tobacco humidors, cigar cutters, and other such tobacco accessories were made with care.
If you want to become a serious collector, consult expert books on tobacco antiques, such as those written by Neil Wood.
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