Schmidt, 94, is afraid the European Union will ban his favorite cigarettes -- Reyno brand menthols -- so he has stored about 200 cartons of them in his house, the Hamburger Morgenpost reported.
That amounts to about 38,000 individual cigarettes, The Local.de reported Tuesday.
Schmidt's secret was revealed by chancellor candidate Peer Steinbruck of the Social Democrats.
Steinbruck told a group of business representatives about Schmidt's smoking habit at a election campaign meeting after he admitted he stocked up on his favorite French lightbulb, which could be banned under new EU regulations.
Steinbruck said he used Schmidt's cigarette stash as an anecdote to illustrate his argument against the "unbearable regulation frenzy" going on in the EU.