I read an article tonight that some states are considering lowering the taxes they attach to cigarettes to draw in smokers from neighboring states to buy the smokes there. When times are tough and states are in deep trouble financially, no idea is out of bounds, even enticing smokers to purchase their carcinogens across state borders.
Though I've done this mathematical breakdown before, I thought it would be interesting to show how much a smoker with a pack a day habit spends each year if he/she goes to the local convenience store.
The average price for a pack of cigarettes is $5.92/pack and we'll use 6% as sales tax since that is the average rate- the total per pack comes to $6.28
20 cigarettes in a pack = 31.4 cents per cigarette
A person with a pack a day habit who chooses to buy via convenience store:
$6.28 x 365 = $2,292.20
Two-Thousand Two Hundred Ninety-Two dollars and twenty cents!
20 cigs/pack x 365 = 7,300 cigarettes inhaled in 1 calendar year
What can a person buy with an extra $2,292.20?
A 60" 1080p Plasma HDTV or
Blu-Ray player & 100 movies or
4 iPads - wifi with 16GB memory or
28 weeks of food at supermarket (based on $80/wk) or
Roundtrip flight to Paris, Rome or London & 7 nights hotel...
Think of it another way... a person makes $12/hr before taxes; 40hr week:
$12 x 40hrs = $480 * 52 weeks = $24,960/yr.
If a pack-a-day habit costs $2,292.20, that equals 9% of yearly income
43 minutes of each work day spent earning enough to buy cigarettes