Smoking Economics

One of the biggest annoyances while sitting at my side of the bar is cigarette smoke. It is not the smoke itself that is annoying it is the smoke always gravitates in my direction. I think this is one of the unwritten rules pertaining to smokers and non-smokers. The smoke always gravitates in the direction of the non-smoker. I do not know why, that is just the way it is. I also have noticed this since I have began to enjoy an occasional cigar that my smoke always goes directly to the non smokers.

As I sat in my usual spot at my side of the bar I could not help making an observation about a smoker and I asked myself this question. How could she afford the price of a pack of cigarettes? She appeared as if she had very little income and was scraping the change out of the bottom of her purse to pay for her beer. Yet she had a pack on the bar and was lighting up a second cigarette from the first. She was more than likely a chain smoker, or at least was a chain smoker while in a bar. As we struck up a conversation she let me know that she had recently lost her job.

The two of us were having a pleasant enough conversation and I offered to buy her the next round. She graciously accepted and ordered a cheese burger. Hum, guess I will not be the last man to be conned by a pretty face.

As she ate her burger with one hand and still smoked the cigarette with the other I came to the conclusion that some smokers must not have very good math skills!

I asked my new neighbor at the bar what a pack of smokes was going for these days and almost fell off my bar stool when she replied, $4.00 - $5.00. She also added she could do a little better if she would make her purchase by the carton.

Now let’s do the math. I will drop the price to $4.00 a pack to adjust for some of the discount brands as she was smoking Camels. My new friend informed me that she smoked a pack a day and as I have no way of knowing if this is the norm or not I will adjust down to roughly half a pack a day for my calculations.

So 3 packs a week (and I do know several pack a day smokers) multiplied by $4.00 a pack comes out to:
$12.00 a week
$48.00 a month
$576.00 a year

Wow! You would think that alone would make people stop smoking!

Thus my conclusion that people who smoke must have very poor math skills!

Well my drink is gone and I need another.

As I get ready to pay my tab I find my bill for the night is $26.00!

That is:
How much per drink?
How much per week?
How much per month?
How much per year?

Well maybe if I had not had so many I would be able to do the math!
Hum, maybe drinkers are not all that good at math either!



  1. I am not a cigarette smoker. I was back in the day, but kicked that habit after watching my fam waste away.

    That being said, I AM a cigar smoker.

    The economics there work out better. I know I drop about $5 a stick (on average)....but I don't chain smoke them, and only break them out on occasion. In fact, today was the first cigar I had smoked in almost a month.

    Like fine wine, I have several in my humidor...and I do buy in bulk at times to keep the cost low.

    The difference is, I can afford it (vs your young hungry vixen) and this is one of the few (Besides Booze) vices I have in life.

    I do agree though, it does seem like 90% of the low income people I see are smoking cigarettes and yet they can barely afford food.

    I shake my head.

    As to smoke....I think it goes towards the Non-Smokers because Opposites Attract :)



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