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Tax $7.42 per Pack
Old 11-02-2013, 06:57 PM   #1
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Tax $7.42 per Pack

When I gave up smoking in 1989, cigarettes were about $8/carton of 10 packs.
Current Chicago Per Pack cigarette tax is $7.46. That puts the pack price at between $11 and $12... and a carton price of well over $100. The current estimate of "bootleg" cigarettes is 23%.

Hmm... at the height of addiction, (2 packs/day) that would have been a total of $154/ week, or $8000/year. ($8000 X 24yrs = $192,000).

See chapter #32 in the "Frugal Retiree" for more ways to retire early.
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:22 PM   #2
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Selling cigarettes is big business on the Indian reservations here in Arizona. My understanding is they are tax free on the reservations and you don't have to go far from the cities to find one. Can kill yourself for half the price out here.
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
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A good friend and i (same ages) were talking about buying cigarettes for our parents (no questions ever asked) for $.20/pack or $2.00/carton, c.a. 1957 or so. His dad stated that, if they ever went to a quarter a pack, he would quit. But, of course, they did go to a quarter a pack and he still smoked 5 packs of Luckys per day until he died at 63. My dad tried at least a dozen times to quit. he finally did so, but still had COPD when he died. Same with mom. Quit in mid 50s, but died of COPD in mid 80s.

FIL was in the mid stages of some sort of dementia (his early 70's). He asked me to pick up three packs of cigarettes for him and game me a dollar. "Keep the change", he said. This would have been about 1990. I just smiled and got his 3 packs for him. Even then, I think they were around $2.00/pack or more.

I'm not certain how I feel about "sin" taxes. If they were used for either "prevention", "treatment" or "health care", maybe I wouldn't be ambivalent. But, gummints just use the taxes to buy votes and then whine because they don't have enough money. Of course, I could be biased (or just wrong, heh, heh). YMMV
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:03 PM   #4
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gummints just use the taxes to buy votes and then whine because they don't have enough money. Of course, I could be biased (or just wrong, heh, heh). YMMV
No, no you're not wrong. Don't be apologetic about speaking up about this sort of thing. Lack of outspoken people commenting on these sort of things is partly responsible for the sad state of current affairs.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:23 PM   #5
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The desire to smoke has always been a complete and utter mystery to me. Both my parents smoked, and I could never see the point.

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Old 11-02-2013, 09:31 PM   #6
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I miss smoking. January 2, 1975, last Marlboro, filter, box. Good times til they weren't.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:52 PM   #7
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In the late 70's when I was in the Air Force, I had a part-time job bagging groceries in the commissary on base. The base was in North Carolina, which is a big tobacco producing state, and back then taxed tobacco products very lightly. I remember that a carton of name-brand cigs was around $2.50 - $3.00 depending on the brand, with no sales taxes since it was the commissary. Quite a few military retirees with out of state license plates would fill up their car trunks with the cheap smokes & apparently haul them back out of state. I would imagine there was some amount of re-sales going on. In fact, probably quite a bit of it.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:54 PM   #8
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$7 tax per pack? That's insane.
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:10 AM   #9
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$7 tax per pack? That's insane.
Even more insane than the tax itself is the Illinois politicians' reaction to seeing the growth in revenues from the ciggy tax slow. Apparently they never considered the fact that a tax that high might encourage a market in contraband ciggies snuck in from other states or that some people might be priced out of the market and sales would slow.

I don't care if they tax ciggies at a million bux a pack. I don't pay it. But I wouldn't assume that other people would pay it and tax revenues would increase correspondingly.

But no one every accused politicians of being smart.
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:15 AM   #10
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The desire to smoke has always been a complete and utter mystery to me. Both my parents smoked, and I could never see the point.

Amethyst
I am adopted and was asked to join a research study when I was 18 studying nature vs. nurture in drug and alcohol addiction. They were trying to figure out if it was hereditary.

Fast forward 20 years and I asked the researcher if they had figured it out. No, she said, but they thought that they has discovered that smoking was hereditary.

It got me thinking and I had a conversation about it with my Rheumatologist. Smoking being hereditary is a little far fetched but auto-immune diseases are hereditary and smoking suppresses your immune system. Maybe what the research was seeing was a reason some people were inclined to pick up the habit while others were not. Self-medication of sorts.

I haven't been contacted for about 10 years now so I assume they ended the study or decided that after all those years of not being drug or alcohol addicted, I never would be, and dropped me.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:14 AM   #11
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Even more insane than the tax itself is the Illinois politicians' reaction to seeing the growth in revenues from the ciggy tax slow. Apparently they never considered the fact that a tax that high might encourage a market in contraband ciggies snuck in from other states or that some people might be priced out of the market and sales would slow.

I don't care if they tax ciggies at a million bux a pack. I don't pay it. But I wouldn't assume that other people would pay it and tax revenues would increase correspondingly.

But no one every accused politicians of being smart.
Washington just increased its alcohol tax rates. (Something Sweden did after WW2) The Swedes did it on purpose to curb drunkenness, and it worked. From a nation of famous boozers they became quite temperate. I am not sure how it is working here regarding taxes collected or sales, but two heavy drinking friends have told me that they have switched from liquor, which has the new tax, to beer or wine. These are boozers, not social drinkers or wine connoisseurs, but buzz seekers. So excise taxes do affect behavior.

Ha
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:55 AM   #12
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Even more insane than the tax itself is the Illinois politicians' reaction to seeing the growth in revenues from the ciggy tax slow. Apparently they never considered the fact that a tax that high might encourage a market in contraband ciggies snuck in from other states or that some people might be priced out of the market and sales would slow.

I don't care if they tax ciggies at a million bux a pack. I don't pay it. But I wouldn't assume that other people would pay it and tax revenues would increase correspondingly.

But no one every accused politicians of being smart.
One of my ex coworkers used to beat the system by going to Indiana for cigarettes. I think he was also buying online for a while.

You're right - the increase in revenue certainly won't come close to the increase in tax
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:32 AM   #13
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if they ever went to a quarter a pack, he would quit.
A favorite memory is from the late 50s when a pack cost 24 cents and there were vending machines everywhere. You put in a quarter and got a pack of cigarettes with a penny inserted under the cellophane wrapper.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:37 AM   #14
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I miss smoking. January 2, 1975, last Marlboro, filter, box. Good times til they weren't.
Yep, I miss it, too. I smoked my last Camel Light at least 10 years ago. I have a friend who hand rolls his own and I get sorely tempted to ask him for one every now and again. But that slope is too slippery.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:54 AM   #15
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A favorite memory is from the late 50s when a pack cost 24 cents and there were vending machines everywhere. You put in a quarter and got a pack of cigarettes with a penny inserted under the cellophane wrapper.

Growing up in North Carolina where tobacco is a huge cash crop and big source of revenue for the state, the situation you described was still very common even in the 70's when I was a teenager. I fully remember cigarette vending machines all over the place, from fast food places to movie theaters to restaurants.....basically everywhere. I remember prices of 30 & 35 cents as the usual. I did try smoking briefly when I was around 16 or 17, but never really picked up the habit, thank God. I also smoked some of the "funny" stuff, but didn't pick that up as a habit, either.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:59 PM   #16
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Washington just increased its alcohol tax rates. (Something Sweden did after WW2) ......From a nation of famous boozers they became quite temperate. Ha
I dunno, I see a lot of drunken Swedes in Copenhagen.
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:04 PM   #17
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The desire to smoke has always been a complete and utter mystery to me. Both my parents smoked, and I could never see the point.
Same here. My dad actually quit when he was about 50. My mom continued to smoke. And Dad died from a lung cancer that spread to his brain, when he was 70. And even then, Mom kept smoking.

Only earlier this year did my mom finally declare that she had quit, once and for all, after having a bit of a respiratory health scare a few months back.

And she quit at 78, so it's never too late....
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:10 PM   #18
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I admit to getting started as a teenager, simply because most of my friends were smoking. Finally quit in my 20s, but I was already over two packs a day at that time. My father was a pipe smoker, and quit in his 40s. Still, he died of esophageal cancer in his 70s.

However, I believe your genes have something to do with whether smoking is harmful to you or not.
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The oldest smoker in Britain has died aged 102, after puffing her way through 170,000 cigarettes.
Oldest smoker dies at 102 just a month from her 103rd birthday | Mail Online
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:12 PM   #19
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The oldest-ever properly-documented human, France's Jeanne Calment (1875-1997), who died at age 122, is said to have smoked until she quit at -- wait for it -- age 117....
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:33 PM   #20
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However, I believe your genes have something to do with whether smoking is harmful to you or not.


Oldest smoker dies at 102 just a month from her 103rd birthday | Mail Online
My dad was a 40/day smoker all the time I knew him. He said he started smoking before he was 10 as his 2 older brothers and all their mutual friends were already smokers. His brothers lived into their late 70's. My mother gave up smoking several times for health reasons and used to, rightly, blame my father for her starting again. She always hated the fact that he never even had a slight cough. He was also never sick, never even seemed to catch the flu when the rest of us went down with it.

He must have smoked well in excess of half a million cigarettes over his lifetime. He also started down a coal mine at age 14 in 1939 and was an underground miner at that same pit for 46 years.

He died age 84 from an abdominal aneurysm. I just hope that he passed on some of his genes to me. I did give up smoking when I was 11 after I went to grammar school and started hanging out with kids who didn't smoke.
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