How long should I open the product up to the air before using it?
Ideally, you should allow at least four hours. You can do it with less, but the tobacco can suffer “humidity shock” which isn’t dangerous, but can affect the quality of the smoking experience.
What is “humidity shock” and what causes it?
Some manufacturers “wash” their tobacco to remove nicotine from it. Tangiers doesn’t “wash” its tobacco. Products that contain nicotine are sensitive to the effects of the humidity in the air. The tobacco will absorb moisture from the air slowly until it becomes “comfortable” (equilibrium is the chemistry word). If the humidity in the air is different than what the tobacco become comfortable with, then the tobacco will try to get comfortable again. If the weather changes or you open a package of tobacco up for the first time, this change may occur. During this period of change, if you try to smoke it during this period, you may find that it:
A) “burns the throat” or makes it feel tickly. This happens when the tobacco is comfortable with drier air than the air is when it is smoked.
B) Flavor dies out very quickly or seems weak or varies greatly during smoking. This happens when the tobacco is comfortable with more humid air than when it is smoked.
Remember, allow newly opened tobacco 4 hours or so to get comfortable with the surrounding air.
When you isolate your tobacco from the surrounding air, it protects it from strange or foreign odors, but it also prevents the tobacco from getting comfortable with the humidity in the air.
If your tobacco always seems to be off one way or the other, just leave it slightly open. So air can get at it.