When cigarettes were cheaper than food

Do you remember this? Or am I old? When I was in high school you could buy a carton of smokes for $10. That's ten packs, which is 200 cigarettes - yes, just like the New Year's Eve movie with Courtney Love which was kind of terrific, all for $10. That was in the wake of Kurt Cobain's death when people didn't wash their hair.

The world has changed. Nobody smokes anymore. Least of all me. I've got this whole persona I've constructed where I'm a Good Mom who eats healthy food and does rich lady stuff, but back when I was, um, "between homes" I smoked cigarettes because it was cheaper than eating.

Cost of Taco Bell bean burrito in 1997: 69 cents

Cost of two cigarettes: 10 cents

See?! Totally cheap! But how does that work, you ask. How does the cost of a cigarette have anything to do with the cost of food? I dunno, there's some sciencey stuff in there but somehow nicotine makes you not want to eat. So if you smoke a few 5-cent cigarettes you are less hungry for a 69-cent burrito. Crazy! Maybe no one smokes anymore because:

Cost of a taco Bell bean burrito in 2012: 89 cents

Cost of two cigarettes: 80 cents, meh, I'd rather eat

It was my first step to becoming rich and skinny. I haven't smoked since college, but any takers on when I'll die of lung cancer?

NOTE: Smoking is disgusting and will kill you.

Edited to add: I was just corrected that cigarettes are $9.50 a pack. NINE FIFTY. That's it, only assholes would choose to start smoking now. You'd be broke before you'd be dead anyway. $9.50 x 365 =


Filed under: Momenomics


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  • Cigarettes are extremely expensive in Chicago, when I first moved I quit briefly. Then I visited my family in Indianapolis and paid somewhere around 2.25 (including $1.50 off coupon) on a pack and jumped back on the horse so hard his legs broke. I believe if smokes were more expensive more people would quit, or be poor which essentially stops the volume of smoking.

    Either way, I'm currently "between homes", so therefore I am a chimney. But I always have Indianapolis.

  • In reply to Curtis Shaw Flagg:

    You're between homes?? What can I do for you? Please tell me what you need. Where are you sleeping?

  • Amen! This was so me. If you drank a bunch of coffee and smoked a bunch of cigarettes you could literally go all day without a single pang of hunger!

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