Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Cost of a Vice

Vices. We all have them. We all pay a price. However, some vices cost more than others. I’m going to pick on cigarette smokers because that is the vice that got my attention in a very drastic way today.

I’m not a smoker so I have not paid attention to the price of a pack of cigarettes in a very long time. I just know it’s expensive. While picking up some junk food (I do realize I’m plucking at the speck in my neighbor’s eye while toting a plank in my own) from the convenience store in our lobby, a man came up behind me and requested a pack of cigarettes…Marlboro Menthol Smooth Ultra Light in a box. I glanced up as the clerk reached for the pack of smokes and gasped when I saw the price -- $5.05 per pack! I almost dropped my M&Ms, Salt & Vinegar chips and Reese's Cups. That is outrageous for a pack of cigarettes. Then, tack on 10% sales tax courtesy of the City of Birmingham and you have a grand total of $5.56 for a package of cancer a la carte! I paid for my calories and quickly left the store. Upon returning to my desk (and my handy calculator), I did the math. This is how the numbers add up.

One pack of cigarettes = $5.56
Smoking 1 pack per day 7 days a week = $38.92 per week
Multiply $38.92 by 52 weeks = $2,023.84

$2,023.84 is a very nice vacation for one with lots of spending money OR 3 ½ new laptop computers OR a new 16.2 megapixel digital camera.

However, the average smoker smokes at least two packs per day (stats per Benita Roberts who has lived with smokers her entire life – until now).

Two packs of cigarettes per day = $11.12
Times 7 days a week = $77.84
Multiply $77.84 by 52 weeks = $4,047.68

$4,047.68 is a European vacation for one with lots of spending money, etc., etc.


As I sit here finishing off the Salt & Vinegar chips (accompanied by my M&Ms – you always have something salty and sweet together), I’m just flabbergasted at how much it costs to smoke. Not to mention that nasty little cancer thing that usually tags along with a pack of cigarettes.

I’m just askin’, what’s your vice and how much does it cost?



Jamie said...

My vice is cheez-its which are $2.50 per box with an average of 20 boxes a year. Not too bad.

Handbags and Shoes are not vices. They are necessities.

Margo Redding said...

Jamie, I agree. Handbags and shoes are definite necessities! Cheez-its are good too! They are my junk food choice of the day many days! :-)

Joseph said...

World of Warcraft = $14.99 per month.

Being married to a wonderful woman = You never stop paying for that.

Chris Barnette said...

Starbucks..$4 a day although alot of times I get them for free when I am in uniform ;-)

Katie Peekaboo said...

Internet on my phone $29.99 a month.. eek!