The price of a single pack of cigarettes in New York City is now $11.25USD — and that’s just for an ordinary brand.  If you’re buying imported, you are going to pay a whole lot more.  Marshall Jamison — my friend, inspiration and mentor — used to smoke English Ovals by the fistful, and I’m sure he would be sickened by the high rise prices for a stack of smokes.

I am thrilled with the high taxation of this dirty, filthy, sin that gets propagated into the air around us against our will.

Smoking is now a common, public, scourge and not a private, dutiful, right.

You want to inhale carcinogens, go ahead, but do it on your own time and keep everything inside your own body.  Can’t do it?  Okay then.  Switch addictions and become a boozer — but stay at home, don’t drive, and keep your hands to your pickled self.

We non-smokers don’t want to even remotely inhale the smoky, stanky, exhalations of others — and we would love to see the price-per-pack soon rise to $100.00USD to really press home the issue that quitting smoking costs a whole lot less in every way than continuing the addiction.

Smokers might not care about their lungs — or ours — but like everyone else in a mouldering economy, they will most certainly care more about the dissolution of their disposable income than their dying hearts.

New York City Mayor Bloomberg — who also has fat and salt on his health hit list for New Yorkers — sees these punishing sin taxes as a way to immediately force better behavior and, in the long run, pre-pay for the inevitable health consequences that will, once again, affect each of us as we pay higher insurance rates and for longer hospitalizations for those who have no money, but who could afford the price of a fistful of cigarettes every day of their miserable lives.

12 Comments

  1. When I visited the folks in the UK after residing in the US for many years I had forgotten at the time over there you could still smoke in restaurants and other public places. It was awful sitting there with the wife eating dinner while people smoked all around us. Luckily that has changed as far as I know.

    With the laws prohibiting smoking within 25 feet of doorways and bus shelters, now I rarely get assailed with secondhand smoke.

    Having never smoked, like you I don’t mind the high cost of cigarettes. Expensive unhealthy addiction and always surprised to see people complaining of not having enough money for the bare essentials but will always find cash for their ciggies.

    1. Mik!

      You were caught by Akismet again! This happens every time on this blog. You should visit http://akismet.com/contact/ and click on the radio button “I think Akismet is catching my comments by mistake” and let them know you’re not a spammer! Or visit the other blogs and see if you get caught, and if you do, we’ll train Akismet to leave you alone.

      Yes, I remember as a child growing up in the Midwestern United States that any indoor activity — eating, sports, entertainment events — were always clouded in a thick, acrid, smoke that actually choked you. It was impossible to breathe and nobody cared.

      We still need to have “smoke free” apartment buildings. A single smoker can ruin an entire building with their wafting stench.

      It’s is such a gift that the great outdoors are now generally smoke free in public places, too. A few years ago we attended a Mets game and everyone around us smoked. There was a gentle breeze that only moved the exhaled cloud closer to us. When you’re stuck in a seat, you shouldn’t have to suffer smoke from which you cannot escape and did not create.

      We should raise taxes on booze and marijuana, too. Let people do whatever they wish — as long as they don’t hurt others — and will pay for the future ravages against their bodies via paying high sin taxes now.

    1. Gordon —

      I agree the addicted will always find a way to feed their cravings — and that’s why huge taxation of their lack of willpower is so viscerally pleasing — we finally get a bit of revenge, if only financial, against the death they exhale into our fresh air.

      When I first moved to NYC, I think a pack of cigs was $3.50. Then, a few years ago it was $7.50. Two years ago it was $9.00. I don’t smoke and never have — but a lot of my friends and associates are smokestacks and I always hear them crying when the price to pay to play goes up. They say they want to quit, but are not strong enough to do it through willpower alone. Perhaps the power of the state and city to tax them into oblivion will help them make the right choice to give it up already.