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The Cost of the Cigarette Habit

Updated on June 1, 2012
The iconic women's lib smoking ad of the 1970's
The iconic women's lib smoking ad of the 1970's

I think society as a whole had greatly infringed on the rights of cigarette smokers. They do so by having so many restrictions and added taxes on the cost of cigarettes. Those who do not see it that way, see it as a way to keep society free of a harmful habit, which is true. Yet, the restrictions impinge of their freedom to have a cigarette at a club, bar or maybe, their apartment. Where does one stop?

It was not like that even 20 years ago, let alone further back. Then, a pack of cigarettes cost 50 cents, a carton (20 packs) was like $10-15. While I have always hated cigarette smoke, I tolerated it as a kid of two parents who smoked in the house, in the car. I had friends who smoked, mostly because it was thought of being cool. Why does it still look cool to have a cigarette? I even tried to become a smoker, but the logic killed it- I, mean, why would I spend my money on something I knew was bad for me and could kill me?

I often tried to present this argument to my mom, who started when she was 17 (she lived to be 79, and only got lung cancer in the last six months of her life). She would often cite past attempts to stop. I would even locate her carton of cigs and open the packs and break the cigarettes. Man, she was so pissed. That did not stop her either. As to second hand smoke, despite the studies, I find them silly. I was subjected to it all the time. I can spot a smoker miles away. The second hand smoke is, by the time you might inhale it, sooo dispersed in concentration, whatever dangers are minimal. What you are left with is the smell and traces only.

I am anti-smoking, but smokers have rights also. Why should society tell them they cannot smoke in their apartment? or, be an outcast at a bar (you might has well put a symbol on their back). Why does the law have to intervene? Before the law intervene, people worked it out. If I did not like it, I would ask them to put it out or I would distance myself, open a window. Only 20% of Americans now smoke.

The cost of this habit is just insane now. The taxes should force all to stop ASAP. In New York, a pack costs $4.35 in taxes alone, these are in addition the regular cost, which is the costliest place to smoke. The cheapest is in Missouri, where only 17 cents is added to the cost.The Federal tax on a pack is $1. The tax in Calif. may jump from 87 cents to $1.87 soon. Right now, the cost for a pack is $5. If the new tax occurs, the price will be nearly $7!


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    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      I am glad I was finally able to quit this stinky habit. I remember back in the day when you could smoke in offices all day. Then they banned smoking inside office buildings and I was a smoker and was glad they banned because I knew I would smoke a lot less. Now as a nonsmoker I am glad I don't have to smell cigarettes in public places. But I agree with you bars and restaurants should be allowed to make the choice themselves if they want to have smoking sections, and certainly individuals should have the right to smoke inside their own apartments.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      Thanks. No matter how much I tried to get my mom to stop, she never did and she smoked Pall Mall, no filter. I don't even despise the smell of it. What does a carton cost today wherever you live? The eyeballkid from the UK is spot on, when I hear a residential complex forbids smokers, it seems like a major infringement and discrimination. Yes, the states are making a ton of money from smokers and California needs it!

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 5 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      You know, it's rare as hen's teeth to find a non-smoker who is compassionate about smokers. I wish I didn't smoke, but I do. I've cut down a lot, but haven't managed to quit. Yet. Yes, it's expensive and I'm used to standing outside. We used to smoke inside college classrooms and at work and in the rear of airplanes. Now we smoke outside. I totally agree that it wasn't fair at all to smoke inside where non-smokers had to breathe that sh*t in. Smokers outside should not throw their butts on the ground either. Many states have tobacco taxes in addition to normal tax. In Iowa, every carton has $10 tacked on. This was passed by saying a good chunk of the money would go toward cessation programs, but it has just been revealed that the average monies for cessation was 3% of receipts-- and most of that was for commercials. States LOVE cigarette smokers. They get to piously say how they want people to quit but they would freak out if everyone quit tomorrow. Wish I could quit tomorrow-- but sometime I'll do it. Hell, I've quit dozens of times. Great hub, perrya.

    • Theeyeballkid profile image

      Theeyeballkid 5 years ago

      Great hub Perrya, its nice to read a balanced article that doesn't treat smokers like halfwits that have no idea what the dangers are. Over here in the UK a pack of 20 is now £7.50 (over $10), the Government off course makes too much money out of it to ever ban it entirely.

      The simple fact is that smokers (and I am one) understand the risks they take when they put a cigarette in their mouth. It is a calculated gamble and they do it because it is incredibly enjoyable, and sociable (to smokers). These days smokers are forced outside (except in some parts of Europe), but even this is not enough for some. I really cant understand the mentality of some folk that take it upon themselves to try to force thier own morals and life habits on to others. Yes Smoking is bad for you, but so are a lot of things. Alchohol for instance costs the government far more in Accident and Emergency hospitalisations than smokers. The Obesity epidemic is costing taxpayers a small fortune, yet the price of fast food is untaxed.

      It should not be the goverments role to dictate to businesses (bars, restaurants, private workpaces) what is permittable in regard to smoking. If a bar or restaurant owner wants to make thier establishment a smoking premisis they should be allowed to, if you are non-smoker and dont like it tough, there will be somewhere else you can choose to go that will be smoke free.