What a Pack of Cigarettes Costs, State By State

favlooorrEvery year, we check the prices of cigarettes in all fifty legally recognized states of this fair Union. (Previously: 2013; 2012; 2011.) Predictably, the results are mostly—but not entirely!—grim: for the first time in the short history of this survey, not a single store in any state state offered us a pack of cigarettes for less than five dollars. So do smoke them, if you happen to have them, since nothing is ever going to get better.

This year, reigning affordable tobacco merchant Kentucky was resoundingly knocked out of the top spot; four states now offer cheaper cigarettes. If obtaining the cheapest possible cigarettes from nearby convenience stores is the overriding factor in the choice of your domicile’s location, you can set your Google Maps coordinates for Virginia or Missouri. While New York and Illinois both offer some relief, they manage to retain their position as the states where cigarettes are most likely to cause you to bounce your rent check. Also of note: Oklahoma cigarettes cost 21 percent more this year than last, and Minnesota’s are up by 36 percent.

As for where these numbers come from: we called convenience stores and gas stations in the most highly populated areas of each state (obvious disclaimer: prices aren’t the same in every store in every area), and asked politely for the cost of a pack of Marlboro Red cigarettes. The current price is in bold; last summer’s price is in parentheses. As always, YMMV.

48. Virginia (last year -$5.81), Missouri ($5.25): $5.25 = -10%, +0%

47. Tennessee ($5.89): $5.30 = -10%

46. North Dakota ($5.04): $5.33 = -6%

45. Kentucky ($4.96): $5.40 = +9%

44. Wyoming ($5.37), Idaho ($5.25): $5.41 = +.01%, +3%

43. West Virginia ($5.07): $5.43 = +7%

42. Louisiana ($5.33): $5.44 = +2%

41. North Carolina ($6.03): $5.45 = -10%

40. Alabama ($5.80): $5.51 = -5%

39. South Carolina ($5.55): $5.58 = +.01%

38. Colorado ($5.59): $5.65 = +1%

37. Oregon ($5.35): $5.69 = +6%

36. Kansas ($6.21): $5.83 = -6%

35. California ($6.77): $5.89 = -13%

34. Indiana ($5.77): $5.97 = +4%

33. Ohio ($5.88): $6.03 = +3%

32. Arkansas ($6.50): $6.07 = -7%

31. South Dakota ($6.77): $6.08 = -10%

30. Nevada ($5.50): $6.15 = +12%

29. Nebraska ($6.09): $6.23 = +2%

28. Oklahoma ($5.19), Iowa ($7.25): $6.29 = +21%, -13%

27. Florida ($6.00): $6.30 = +5%

26. Mississippi ($5.45): $6.34 = +16%

25. Delaware ($6.00): $6.35 = +6%

24. Georgia ($5.93): $6.39 = +8%

23. New Hampshire ($6.59): $6.44 = -2%

22. Montana ($6.25): $6.46 = +3%

21. Texas ($7.24): $6.69 = -8%

20. Pennsylvania ($6.95): $6.85 = -1%

19. Utah ($6.64): $6.89 = +4%

18. Maine ($7.12): $7.37 = +4%

17. New Mexico ($6.91): $7.67 = +11%

16. Maryland ($7.93): $7.75 = -2%

15. D.C. ($7.89): $7.99 = +1%

14. Michigan ($6.95): $8.00 = +15%

13. Arizona ($9.65): $8.05 = -17%

12. Minnesota ($5.95): $8.10 = +36%

11. New Jersey ($8.55): $8.20 = -4%

10. Wisconsin ($8.11): $8.82 = +9%

9. Rhode Island ($9.56): $8.95 = -6%

8. Washington ($8.31): $9.30 = +12%

7. Connecticut ($9.30): $9.52 = +2%

6. Hawaii ($9.68): $9.55 = -1%

5. Vermont ($9.52): $9.62 = +1%

4. Alaska ($9.59): $9.79 = +2%

3. Massachusetts ($8.77): $9.95 = +13%

2. Illinois ($11.59): $11.50 = -.01%

1. New York ($14.50): $12.85 = -11%





Noah Kulwin is The Awl’s summer data journalism fellow.