Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

What Does A Pack Of Cigarettes Cost In Each State Now?

This information has been updated as of August, 2014. Click here!

Last summer, we checked the price of cigarettes state by state and in D.C. Here's how prices have increased and decreased since then.

51. West Virginia (last year $4.74): $4.84 = +2%
50. New Hampshire ($5.87): $4.86 = -20%
49. Tennessee ($5.56): $4.91 = -13%
48. North Dakota ($4.91): $5.03 = +2%
47. Idaho ($4.99): $5.11 +2%
46. North Carolina ($5.51): $5.14 = -7%
45. Alabama ($5.27): $5.18 = -2%
44. Colorado ($5.96): $5.19 = -15%
43. Wyoming ($5.50): $5.21 = -6%
42. Oklahoma ($6.19): $5.24 = -18%
41. Virginia ($5.55): $5.43 = -2%
40. Mississippi ($5.75): $5.55 = -4%
39. Indiana ($5.50): $5.56 = +1%
38. Ohio ($6.22): $5.67 -10%
37. Oregon ($5.59): $5.74 +3%
36. Missouri ($5.58): $5.87 +5%
35. Georgia ($5.29): $5.93 = +12%
34. Minnesota ($6.53): $5.96 = +10%
33. Nebraska ($5.55): $5.99 = +8%
32. Nevada ($5.93): $6.04 = +2%
31. Delaware ($6.00): $6.10 = +2%
30. Montana ($5.99): $6.12 = +2%
29. South Carolina ($5.42): $6.25 = +15%
28. Florida ($6.08): $6.29 = +3%
27. California ($5.19): $6.45 = +24%
26. Kansas ($6.00): $6.47 = + 8%
25-24. Louisiana($4.82), Michigan ($6.90): $6.50 = +35%, -6%
23. Maryland ($6.70): $6.53 = -3%
22. Kentucky ($4.97): $6.56 = +32%
21. New Mexico ($6.88): $6.69 = -3%
20. South Dakota ($6.03): $6.82 = +13%
19. Utah ($7.22): $6.88 = – 5%
18. Texas ($6.07) $6.89 = +14%
17. Pennsylvania ($6.80): $6.93 = +2%
16. Maine ($7.97): $6.97 = -14%
15. Arkansas ($5.96): $7.10 = +19%
14. Arizona ($6.87): $7.46 = +9%
13. Iowa ($6.00): $7.52 = +25 %
12. Vermont ($8.23) $7.60 = -8%
11. Wisconsin ($8.11): $7.98 = -2%
10. New Jersey ($8.35): $8.00 = -4%
9. Rhode Island ($8.60): $8.16 = -5%
8. Washington D.C. ($7.99): $8.27 = +4%
7. Massachusetts ($8.30): $8.49 = +2%
6. Connecticut ($8.25): $8.85 = +7%
5. Washington ($9.89): $8.98 = -10%
4. Alaska ($9.14): $9.39 = +3% *
3. Hawaii ($9.73) = +5%
2. Illinois ($9.67): $10.25 = +6%
1. New York ($11.90): $12.50 = +5%

Methodology: As we did last year: a gas station was rung up in the most populous city in every state and asked for the price of a pack of Marlboro Reds with tax. All told, 84 separate numbers were dialed. Six stations refused to give cigarette prices over the phone as per store policy. Three clerks in New Mexico refused to believe that I was at least 18 years old and so wouldn't give me cigarette prices (not sure whether it’s a legal issue or they didn’t like my tone). One clerk in Massachusetts cursed at me, apparently under the impression I was a competitor trying to undercut his business.

* Editor's note: The final four states on the list were reordered (and the graphic above corrected) after publication to adjust for Illinois' recent tax increase.

Nic Turiciano is an Awl summer reporter. You can follow him on Twitter. Thumbnail photo by melloveschallah.

26 Comments / Post A Comment

CheeseLouise (#2,074)

$6.50 in Louisiana sounds quite a bit higher than average to me. I got a pack of Camel lights at a convenience store yesterday for $4.07. Unless I hallucinated that price due to the 103 degree New Orleans heat?

Bitzy (#1,913)

@CheeseLouise Maybe they include bar prices? I know Washington is up there, but in Seattle my Camel lights cost $7.50ish at the corner store, $11 at the bar (I am frequently drunk, lazy, and bad with money).

Edit: Didn't read the Methodology section…So not much of an average, just a place in the state.

CheeseLouise (#2,074)

@Bitzy I'm just saying, I get the methodology but I don't know that the $6.50 price is representative. Just as I imagine you can get cigs in New York for much cheaper than $12.50 outside of New York City, right? I don't know. Anyway, come to New Orleans and I'll show you where the $4 Camels are. :)

stuffisthings (#1,352)

New Hampshire: Live free and die.

No but seriously, I almost always pay between $6.25 and $7.00 for Camel Lights in both DC and Maryland (depending on if there is a sale). I always forget what I pay in Virginia because I am too transfixed by the sight of booze for sale in a CVS.

Yeah, this is perfect for scale and trending, but basically to get the REAL cost of cigarettes, subtract 75 cents at the cheaper states (because: Walgreen's) and add a couple bucks or so in the more expensive states (because: deli surcharge, gas charges, etc.). So the real cost of cigarettes in Florida for instance is $4.65 and the real cost of cigarettes in New York City is $13 or $14.

growler (#476)

@Choire Sicha@facebook Actually, at the two gas stations closest to my apartment in Brooklyn, cigs were at least a dollar cheaper a pack than anywhere else in the city. Or were; I quit last year.

Leon (#6,596)

@Choire Sicha@facebook – You just need a sketchier bodega. Mine frequently sells me 2 packs for $20, as long as I pay in cash, nobody else is in the store, and I occasionally hang out and drink a beer with the guy (also free, and I get to pick one from the case and open it myself, so no poison).

Also, Duane Reade is always cheaper. And if you weren't a blogger and worked in an office, you could ask one of your Jersey coworkers to buy you cartons.

growler (#476)

@Leon Saint-Jean I've found most Walgreen's to be cheaper than Duane Reade. Also, why isn't Balk weighing in on this?

Little Book of Calm (#157,178)

@Leon Saint-Jean WHERE IS YOUR SKETCHY BODEGA?! Inquiring minds want to know. Um, for a friend.

Little Book of Calm (#157,178)

@Little Book of Calm also, found the NY info to be pretty spot on- at my corner grocery in Wash. Heights, cigarettes are $12.50, and I always thought they were jacking up the price of everything.

@growler Duane Reade is actually owned by Walgreens. They bought out [Duane Reade] a year or two ago. Prices shouldn't vary much or at all.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

"Cartons at the State Line" to replace "Wild and Wonderful" as the WVa state motto.

Claire Zulkey (#6,639)

Dang, I didn't realize that cigs in Indiana were that much cheaper than in IL. That's definitely worth a drive across state lines. Well, almost.

kamakiri (#202,641)

A PACK(!!!!!!!!!!) of cigarettes costs $12.50 in New York?????? My GOD, I thought you were talking about CARTONS.

I gave up smoking (I was an ultra-heavy smoker) when I was 25 years old back in 1983 A PACK cost 60 cents! I believe a carton (of 200) was about $6.40.

Wow . . . that works out to 60 cents a cigarette more or less, in Good Ol' NY. Well, GOOD FOR THEM, says I. At those prices, Daddy would have to give you a great allowance if you were to take up the habit at 12 years old. Too bad all the Indians (that's what they're still called up here in Canada — not "Native Canadians!") undercut everybody and sell the cancer sticks for so cheap. By God, if they would only make tobacco illegal and make pot legal, hundreds of billions of Medicare dollars wouldn't be shelled out for the monstrous diseases tobacco causes.

I stopped drinking 5 months ago after a nasty 35-year habit, so it would be nice to see a bottle of Popov vodka retail for $350 . . .

mpsoccer13 (#241,850)

@kamakiri I will say I glad that people either dont smoke or quit im proud of people that do. Its amazing how much peoples lifes turn around!! :)

kamakiri (#202,641)

Could you do the same for Canada and maybe the rest of the world? Or could someone point me to a site where I could see this? Tanks!

Eardex@twitter (#236,316)

Have a look at http://www.eardex.com. It works like a wiki for prices in all the towns and cities, regions and countries of the world: Based on the "wisdom of the crowd" principle, it is the Eardex users who enter the local prices of more than 45 products such as Marlboro. You´re very welcome to join our community!

MedvedsPris (#242,693)

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.
Prices are much lower on the web: cigarettespub.net/pall-mall

Although smoking is an odious habit, it disgusts me that the American public is allowed to think that avoiding smoking will save them from all their other behaviors. Like spraying Febreeze and Glade and Lysol all around their house. These products contain everything from benzene to formaldehyde and never should be used anywhere near where children are trying to exist. Yet for whatever reason, the purveyors of these products are given a free pass, even as cancer rates for infants and children go sky high. Why!?!

sgpgames (#244,220)

J Gateway is a new and upcoming condominium located in Boon Lay Way, Jurong East area. It is located right beside JCube, and the upcoming Westgate and Jem. With expected completion in mid 2016, it comprises of 4 towers with 783 units and stands 38 storeys tall. J Gateway

Lush Acres (#245,074)

Lush Acres EC is a 99-years leasehold Sengkang EC development located Sengkang West Way / Fernvale Link in District 19. With expected completion in mid 2016, it comprises of 3 towers with 380 units and stands 25 storeys tall. It is situated right beside Kupang LRT Station.
Lush Acres Location

Michael Adam Barlow (#246,346)

The state tax in my state (Massachusetts) went up by $1. Marlboros at my store are ringing in at $9.96 now.

Aussie96 (#246,856)

WOW!!!!! $12.50 a pack!!! Here in Australia a packet of Marlboro Reds 25 will cost about $23 A PACK!! And the prices keep going up coz the government has a massive tax on them. Yes I'm 16 and yes it's illegal for me to purchase cigarettes. But at your prices I would love to live in america

4.25 is average in Los Angeles premium would be 5 what a hopeless chart

Alex67 (#270,367)

@Aussie96-Hey, smoking is so bad for you. Don't smoke. I'm only in middle school but I totally don't smoke. So just…don't because I know a friend named Mellisa who died becaause of smoking. It's just not right, you know? And anyway what a horrible way to die! It's like committing suicide except you're not jumping off a bridge. i'm trying to save your life. Maybe you'll rethink smoking.

I used to live in new york and not un the city much further north that was 3-4 years ago and marbs were $10 a pack then

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