Cigarettes for Jellyfish Stings

Cigarettes for Jellyfish StingsCrystal Beach, Texas is one of the hidden outdoor camping gems of the South. With Galveston only a ferry ride away, there is plenty of space on the beach to set up a tent and campfire without having to worry about being smothered by other campers. Most of the people who come to relax in a chair and splash in the water stick to the more aesthetically pleasing sand of Galveston; those who want to fish or camp head across the waterway to Crystal Beach.

My buddies and I usually grab our tents and camp at Crystal Beach during spring break from college. During the day there is good Speckle Perch fishing and at night is “The Zoo.” It’s pretty much a South Texas version of Cancun. So, with it being free to camp, lots of good eating just below the waves, and lots of beer and women at night, why would you go camping anywhere else?

Caught More Than I Bargained For

On this one camping trip, my friends Nick, Marc, and I had run out of bait from fishing the day before. We really didn’t want to trek into the small town for frozen bait, and we really didn’t want to take the ferry for live bait. The Zoo would be starting up soon and there were plenty of girls around. Prompted by this, we decided to go swimming and forget about the bait for the day. After a “Baywatch-esque” jog down to the water, we started throwing around a football I had brought for just such an occasion. After a few long passes (that went uncaught), we noticed that there was no one else in the water but us. It struck me as kind of odd, but the ball was already in the air. The wind was blowing in and was going to push the ball just out of my reach. I jumped for it and, having missed it, splashed down in the waves.

I instantly caught on fire. Not literal “fire” mind you, but it sure felt that way. I yelled and flailed about in the water. My friends, thinking “shark,” immediately disregarded me and cowardly headed for the shore (I need better friends). I had no idea what had happened, but after the initial shock passed, I looked around and saw why no one else was in the water. Somehow, my friends and I had missed the hundreds of jellyfish.

Recovery From The Attack

After a few more stings, I made it back to shore where Marc and Nick had at least hung around to see me get eaten. They had taken a few shots to the legs and back as well. If you have never been stung by a jellyfish, it resembles being stung by a bee. If you have never been stung by a bee, then just believe me when I tell you that it sucks.

An Unorthodox Remedy

With our legs, arms and backs burning we headed back to our tents. After deciding we couldn’t pee on each other, we went to plan B. Nick was a smoker and had some cigarettes. I had heard of  an old-wives-tale that claimed that tobacco could be used on bee stings. This was close, so I decided to give it a shot. Tearing off the paper, I rolled the tobacco in my hand with a little water. Once it had become a paste, I rubbed it on all of my stings. It really didn’t do anything at first, but after a little bit, I could feel the stinging starting to subside. Nick and Marc followed suit and soon we were sore, but not stinging anymore. By the next day, there was barely any redness.

Cigarettes in the First Aid, Who Knew

I am not a smoker, but I do get stung by things pretty often. So now, whether I am camping in the woods or on the beach, I carry a pack of cigarettes in my emergency kit. The pack keeps them dry and the shape allows them to fit almost anywhere. I have had to use them since my jellyfish incident on a number of insect stings in the woods and they work just as effectively. This is one smoke that you can actually recommend to a friend and feel good about.

Author: William Tripp

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One response to "Cigarettes for Jellyfish Stings"

  • A says:

    This is an old wives’ tale and tobacco does absolutely nothing for jellyfish stings, even if you think it did.

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