Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

What A Pack Of Cigarettes Costs, State By State

This list has been updated with new data in August 2014! Click here for the latest!

51. West Virginia: $4.74
50. Louisiana: $4.82
49. North Dakota: $4.91
48. Kentucky: $4.97
47. Idaho: $4.99
46. California: $5.19
45. Alabama: $5.27
44. Georgia: $5.29
43. South Carolina: $5.42
41-42. Indiana, Wyoming: $5.50
40. North Carolina: $5.51
38-39. Nebraska, Virginia: $5.55
37. Tennessee: $5.56
36. Missouri: $5.58
35. Oregon: $5.59
34. Mississippi: $5.75
33. New Hampshire: $5.87
32. Nevada: $5.95
30-31. Arkansas, Colorado: $5.96
29. Montana: $5.99
26-28. Delaware, Iowa, Kansas: $6.00
25. South Dakota: $6.03
24. Texas: $6.07
23. Florida: $6.08
22. Oklahoma: $6.19
21. Ohio: $6.22
20. Minnesota: $6.53
19. Maryland: $6.70
18. Pennsylvania: $6.80
17. Arizona: $6.87
16. New Mexico: $6.88
15. Michigan: $6.90
14. Utah: $7.22
13. Maine: $7.97
12. Washington, D.C.: $7.99
11. Wisconsin: $8.11
10. Vermont: $8.23
9. Connecticut: $8.25
8. Massachusetts: $8.30
7. New Jersey: $8.35
6. Rhode Island: $8.60
5. Alaska: $9.14
4. Illinois: $9.67
3. Hawaii: $9.73
2. Washington: $9.89
1. New York: $11.90

Methodology: Prices were obtained by calling a gas station in each state's most populous city and asking the clerk for the price of a pack of Marlboro Reds with tax. Memphis, Tenn., was toughest (nine phone calls). The gas station in Milwaukee, Wis., had the only employee who ended the conversation with "have a good one."

Update: To compare these prices to a more recent 2012 survey, go here.

Nate Hopper is a summer Awl reporter.

Photo by romana klee.

80 Comments / Post A Comment

Trampus Climer (#10,622)

Uh, there's only 50 states. I'm guessing Columbus is Ohio? This list needs a tweakin!

deepomega (#1,720)

@Trampus Climer: I'm sure a few commenters from DC will have something to say to you about this.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@deepomega Last time I checked, states had voting representation in Congress. Yeah, I said it!

Carrie Frye (#9,863)

@Trampus Climer Argh, Columbus fixed — thanks!

HiredGoons (#603)

@boyofdestiny THERE'S A 'NEW' MEXICO!?

Van Buren Boy (#1,233)

@boyofdestiny But we do pay federal taxes! And we pay the most taxes per capita out of any state. (this always hits a nerve)

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@HiredGoons I'll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Missourah!

cherrispryte (#444)

@boyofdestiny You and your voting-members-of-Congress privilege is so oppressive.

SeanP (#4,058)

@HiredGoons now with 50% more enchantment

saythatscool (#101)

I always knew that those fuckers in Central Ohio were going to break off and form their own republic.


deepomega (#1,720)

So THIS is what interns are for!

Natzzzzzz (#7,318)

While this list didn't make me miss smoking, the last sentence made me miss my home state.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

OUTRAGEOUS! Now do the cost of an eighth of weed, by state. That should only take 1 phone call to either Willie Nelson or Snoop Dogg.

iantenna (#5,160)

@whizzard i would love to read an in-depth analysis of weed pricing. i've been smoking weed for, jesus, almost 18 years, and it's never not been $50 plus or minus $10. what other good or service can that be said for?

boysplz (#9,812)

@iantenna You're right the price has stayed the same even as I've moved from state to state. Only the quality differs, I wonder if that's that's the same for other illicit goods too?

mrmcd (#9,309)

@whizzard Oh, hey:

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@mrmcd of course that's a website. Weed is interesting here in Oakland, CA. So prevalent.

@boysplz I think so. Cocaine is still generally the same price it was years ago, uh so I've heard.

iantenna (#5,160)

@whizzard oakland, represent! after living here for 10 years, i don't ever want to live in a place where i can't walk down the street smoking a spliff.

Brunhilde (#1,225)

@iantenna That's pretty much anywhere in Cali at this point. I blazed up in the parking lot of Costco in Redding while my boyfriend checked the fluids in the truck, and nobody looked twice or seem to care.

stunts blunts & hip hop

HiredGoons (#603)

Oh, I'll be traveling to New Hampshire in two weeks – if anyone wants me to pick up a carton you can email me or whatever.

deepomega (#1,720)

@HiredGoons: Assume, given your recent decasting, you'll be jogging there and back just because you can.

@HiredGoons "Traveling" means Bloomberg is kicking you out until the cast-stench dies down, right?

HiredGoons (#603)

@deepomega: you… don't have 'people' for that?

HiredGoons (#603)


distrighema (#13,978)

And prices are much lower outside of the cities. Where I live, a pack of Pall Malls goes for about $3.50, and packs as low as $2.25 aren't hard to find (although they're probably hard to smoke). Living in middle America ain't all bad.


That's true. In Manhattan, most brands of cigarettes are atleast $11., but if I were to buy the same cigarettes in the Bronx, I would only pay $6.

City_Dater (#2,500)

So, like everything else interesting, cigarettes become more expensive the closer one is to a seat of power, assuming the definition of power includes "glamorous beachfront property."

HiredGoons (#603)

@City_Dater: Have you BEEN to Brighton Beach!?

deepomega (#1,720)

@City_Dater: Except for California. Perhaps the sudden pleasure Edith took in smoking in California was purely cost-related?

@deepomega Cigarettes are cheap here because California taxes gasoline instead. Quitting smoking is easy but you would have to put a gun to a Californian's head to get one to take public transportation.

CatsInBags (#3,656)

go badgers.

keisertroll (#1,117)

The Garden State is only number seven? Time for my dad to stop calling it "New Germany".

Fresh off my recent trip to Baton Rouge, it appears that cigarettes in Louisiana may soon get 4 cents cheaper, due to Bobby Jindal's refusal to countenance any "tax increases" (even those that are renewals, not increases). There's also pending legislation to repeal the state income tax. Yay!

Werner Hedgehog (#11,170)

I worked in a gas station in Ohio back in high school (1995ish) and hadda shovel out smokes all shift long. Our cheapest smoke was "Cimmaron" @ 1.17 a pack, tax included. The destitute could purchase them for half a handful of panhandling money.

jfruh (#713)

What of our colonial possessions? How much do the happy campers of Samoa, or the many servicemen and -women on Guam, pay?

@jfruh Guam will depend greatly on where they are priced, because 1) the entire island is the size of some cities and 2) the tourist zone has costs approximately 400% higher than anywhere else. Of course, the servicepeople would know this and buy from the PX.

Leon (#6,596)

The real insane thing in NY to me is the price of rollies. A pouch of Bali Shag (so good it's almost worth rolling your own [it is not]) was $5 when 'real' smokes were $9-$10. Real smokes have gone up $2 in the last few years, and a pouch of Bali Shag has gone up to $10-$11 pretty much everywhere, except this one bodega in Crown Heights my friend lives near where they're only $2 and you can smoke joints and drink in the store if you want.

Matt (#26)

Oh. Cool story.

HiredGoons (#603)

@Leon Saint-Jean: I think I know that bodega.

hman (#53)

I hope you encouraged them to become Awl commenters (really).

GailPink (#9,712)

New York!

olympiapress (#9,474)

Umm, personal experience–I can haz drive to book festivals–smoking Camel Filters–gives me: Virginia: $4 (Manassas, where I go most often). Missouri: $3.75 (Somewhere near the OK border). Tie, GA, also $3.75, somewhere on 95 near Savannah, after you cross that river. South Carolina used to be really low, but I heard they're raising taxes. North Carolina is no longer a deal (you're better off shopping in VA before you clear the border; you might want to cut over to 301, actually, 'cuz the traffic sucks there.) WVA is closer to $5 for a pack, at least in my area (Charlestown/Martinsburg).

/You'll often find two-pack specials that can lower your prices by another $ per. Marlboro's, best deal is to get 'em in packs of 5.

//Certain cities in VA charge a double-sales-tax (i.e., Fredericksburg, but also Staunton. Your #s may vary.)

patty2011 (#13,992)

Oh boy! if you're one of those smoking you're buying your own death & it's not cheap

Mr. B (#10,093)

@patty2011: Hi! You're new? Welcome and thank you for contributing to the marketplace of ideas. One friendly word of advice: Sentences tend to look better when concluded with punctuation marks of some kind!

Regarding the sentiment you expressed: Smoking is unhealthful, you say? Your intended audience already knows, and doesn't care.

babsy (#13,996)

what the what? in australia you cannot get a pack of 25 for less than $15! you guys are absolutely cruising by

Brunhilde (#1,225)

@babsy Packs come with 25 in Australia?!? You're getting a deal! (No you're not, but I really didn't know that, and will now stare at my pack of 20 imagining what your pack is shaped like and how they're configured.)

kneetoe (#1,881)

Need to adjust for the cost of booze.

The closing sentence made me miss Madison.
In Texas the price is more like 5.75 after tax, at least at my neighborhood Walgreens.

alorsenfants (#139)

Looks like California ranks way up there among the most unenlightened… and Who would have expected that?
I suppose it's because the daft (better), more populated southern end of the state still misbehaves.
Don't travel above Point Conception with those coffin nails! They (the denizens) will kill you far sooner than those naughty things in your purse, or in your glove compartment, or what have you!
Sorry. Got me started.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

I'm sure back in 2008 I was buying Camels in Florida for like, $3.80, $4.25, something in that neighborhood.

LDM (#10,599)

Unbelievable that this is the only thing cheaper in Europe than NY. I can't find up-to-date stats on which country has the highest prices, but I'm going to go ahead and guess Britain?

bombed_pop (#10,642)

@LDM Tie between GB and Denmark. Spain and Portugal are the cheapest – under 3E for a pack of Gauloise.

Good god, how to people afford it?

pbump (#8,320)

Threw the data into a quick little infographic, for no really good reason.

Michael Dunford (#4,984)

Hmm. I'm going to guess you called the biggest city in each state? As far as Mississippi goes, $5.75 sounds about right for Jackson (maybe a little high), but you can certainly get way cheaper cigarettes in the Delta (and probably more expensive ones on the Gulf Coast). I think cigarette prices vary pretty wildly by county/local municipality as well as state.

Not to be a dick or anything. This was fun to read.

JoshUng (#11,371)

You got to be pretty desperate to buy cigs at a gas station, at least in NJ. There's generally a WaWa or Quick Check somewhere close where you can get them for almost a dollar cheaper than the price listed.

Reminds me of a time I bought some in Florida. There was a guy from South Carolina complaining about the high price, and then me, who was jumping at the chance to "only" pay $5.

gregorycraigory (#13,983)

@Joshua Ungerleider When I first moved to North Carolina I tended bar at a local music venue. Being a college town, about half the crowd was surprised at only having to pay $4 for a microbrew, while the other half griped about having to spend more than $2.50. Also, WaWa – i miss it!

from what I understand you can get them cheap on a Indian reservation. If you live near one and want the product check it out.

jonnys (#14,096)

in china they're 50 cents a pack…

Fuck you New York! Fuck you!

maggienyc (#47,773)

Maybe $11.90 some place in NY. Carlton 100s (if they can be found) – Brooklyn: $12.00 to $12.75 a pack – Manhattan: $13.00 to $14.50 a pack. Have to be careful of stores that post a lower price and then add on 8+% NYC tax on check out.

HILLY (#163,204)

OMG 51 states,see what smoking does to your brain. This is America…right?

jazzy (#165,311)

Wow! Glad my wife smokes in California. :-) New York almost $12.00 that is insane. That really turns into to a drug habit Lol. Thanks for the info.

Aging Process

So basically, people pay the Tobacco companies (and Government) thousands of dollars a year, to slowly kill themselves? Now, that's population control. I have an associate that live in NY, he smokes 2 packs a day and is always complaining how broke he is… Well he could save about 8K a year if he quit. Oh, and her is the kicker… he makes 36K a year before taxes! Go figure?!?!

heavenleey (#210,271)

Lawrence 36k in New York is peanuts.. LOL… Try my hubby makes more then 100k a year and we are still always broke. I smoke 1 pack a day..Mr. NATE HOPPER nobody in New York has proper phone etiquette do be offended… I live in Brooklyn New York I pay 11.90 a pack if you go to Staten Island their 12.00 and up…. Funny how suicide is illegal in New York..

I'm from Brooklyn and currently in Guatemala, here I pay 0.60 per pack or $6.00 a carton. I smoke 10 cartons a month $60.00 Damn back home I'd pay $1,200.00

True Enterprise (#222,786)

@Leo LaChance@facebook Wow that's amazing!!! You definitely can't beat $60 versus $1,200. Yeah I live in the Bronx and prices are crazy. Say how many cartons are you allowed to purchase at one time in your current area of Guatemala?? Wouldn't mind going down strictly to purchase some to take back home

Prices are much lower on the web. There are a lot of websites that sell cigarettes manufactured and delivered from Eastern Europe where tax policy is more favorable and labor cost is cheap. Thus they can offer reasonable prices. I pay for Marlboro Red on just 20$ per carton + delivery.

Dont know who wrote this . But there not 9.67 in Illinois there 7.69 . So get it right. the sales tax just went up a week ago to 1.98 . So there only around 7 bucks it all depends were you go….

Rossy Tie@facebook (#236,021)

The people not reading your blogs are missing out a lot of quality contents.
free shipping cigarettes

david mercahnt (#236,790)

I have been searching for hours and I haven’t found such awesome work
Brian Lee

david mercahnt (#236,790)

I have been searching for hours and I haven’t found such awesome work
Brian Lee

I live 20 minutes outside of Chicago and pay under $6 a pack. Chicago has a Municipality tax as does NYC and a few others. You can't possibly make this an accurate representation without taking that into account.

sammiejo (#241,446)

Hey, this is a crappy list I quess every pack has a different price am i right? This summer I go to maine for work( I'm from The Netherlands)and I'm a smoker. So I need to know how much money I have to spend to keep smoking my lovely cigarettes.
In Holland we pay for lucky strike 5 euro's(that's 6,76 dollar)is it the same amount of money i'm going to spend there?

Lush Acres (#245,074)

Future residents will be able to access the nearby Compass Point in Sengkang and Greenwich V in Fernvale Link which is a short drive away for some family fun and gatherings. A truly unique lifestyle awaits you.
Lush Acres Eligibility

Michael Adam Barlow (#246,346)

For the record, the state tax in my state (Massachusetts) went up by $1. Marlboros at my store are ringing in at $9.96 now, and I know Minnesota raised theirs sometime this July. Might want to tweak this again. ;)

francis (#247,923)

I am new to Spokane Washington and want to know how much a cheap pack of cigarettes are?? please give me some good advice!! thanks

Post a Comment