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Cigarette Prices By State

Cigarette Prices By State
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The Economics of Smoking Across the U.S

Smoking in America comes with a price, which varies considerably from state to state. When we examine the 50 states, we see a stark contrast in cigarette prices: in New York, the most expensive state for smokers, a pack costs a whopping $10.53, while in Missouri, the cheapest state, it's a mere $5.21. In the middle, the median price is $7.93, hovering around the national average of $8.00.

Key findings: 

  • The Northeast region of the United States, featuring states like New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, has the most expensive cigarette prices, with an average price of over $9.80 per pack in all of these states.
  • The Southern and Great Plains regions, on the other hand, offer some of the most affordable cigarette prices. States in these regions, such as Missouri, North Carolina, and Georgia, all have average cigarette prices below $6.00 per pack, notably lower than the national average.
  • The Midwest presents a mixed picture. While Illinois ranks among the top ten states with higher cigarette prices, neighboring Indiana and Kentucky have substantially lower prices, with averages of $5.89 and $5.88 per pack, respectively. 
  • Interestingly, the non-contiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii both have average prices well above the national average, at $9.55 and $9.44, respectively. These high costs could potentially be attributed to factors like higher shipping and distribution costs.
  • Smokers face a high financial burden. For instance, an average smoker in New York spends over $4,705 annually on cigarettes, substantially more than a smoker in Missouri, who would spend an estimated $2,402 annually. This disparity suggests that geographic location significantly impacts the financial burden of smoking.

Most Expensive Cigarettes by State

The states that have the most expensive cigarette prices are New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Alaska, Hawaii, Minnesota, Illinois, Vermont, and Washington. New York has the most expensive cigarettes in the country, at $10.53 per pack. Connecticut is the second state with the most expensive cigarettes a cigarette price of $10.04 per pack. Rhode Island has the third most expensive cigarette in the country at $9.87 per pack. Massachusetts comes in fourth place with an average cigarette price of $9.75 per pack. Alaska is the fifth state with the most expensive cigarette with an average cigarette price of $9.55 per pack. Hawaii ranks sixth with an average cigarette price of $9.44 per pack. Minnesota is the seventh state with the most expensive cigarettes at $9.13 per pack. Illinois comes in eighth place with an average cigarette price of $8.97 per pack. Vermont ranks ninth with an average cigarette price of $8.82. Finally, Washington is the tenth state with the most expensive cigarettes with a cigarette price of $8.57 per pack.

The 10 states with the most expensive cigarettes per pack are:

  1. New York – $10.53
  2. Connecticut – $10.04
  3. Rhode Island – $9.87
  4. Massachusetts – $9.75
  5. Alaska – $9.55
  6. Hawaii – $9.44
  7. Minnesota – $9.13
  8. Illinois – $8.97
  9. Vermont – $8.82
  10. Washington – $8.57

Cheapest Cigarettes by State

"The states with the cheapest cigarettes are Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi, Wyoming, Idaho, and Virginia. Missouri is the state with the cheapest cigarettes in the country, with a cigarette price of $5.21 per pack. Georgia is the second state with the cheapest cigarettes, with a cigarette price of $5.35 per pack. With a cigarette price averaging at $5.36 per pack, North Carolina comes in third place. North Dakota is the fourth state with the cheapest cigarettes in the country, with an average cigarette price of $5.43 per pack. Tennessee comes in fifth place with an average cigarette price of $5.54 per pack. South Carolina is the sixth state with the cheapest cigarettes, with an average cigarette price of $5.57 per pack, while Mississippi, ranked seventh, has an average cigarette price of $5.64. A cigarette pack costs $5.68 in Wyoming, making it the eighth state with the cheapest cigarettes. Idaho, ranked ninth, has an average cigarette price of $5.72. Virginia is the tenth state with the cheapest cigarette price at $5.73 per pack.

The 10 states with the cheapest cigarettes per pack are:

1. Missouri – $5.21

2. Georgia – $5.35

3. North Carolina – $5.36

4. North Dakota – $5.43

5. Tennessee – $5.54

6. South Carolina – $5.57

7. Mississippi – $5.64

8. Wyoming – $5.68

9. Idaho – $5.72

10. Virginia – $5.73"

Cigarette Prices by Brand

Cigarette prices by brand vary significantly in the United States, with some of the most popular brands being Marlboro, Newport, and American Spirit. Generally speaking, Marlboro cigarettes tend to be the most expensive at around $9 per pack in many states. American Spirit cigarettes are less expensive than Marlboro cigarettes and cost around $7 per pack. Newport cigarettes are usually a bit cheaper, typically costing about $6 for a pack across many states. However, there is significant variation by state in these prices; for example, in California, the price of a Marlboro pack can be as high as $10, whereas it is only around $6 in Alabama. Furthermore, taxes also play a role in the differences between cigarette prices by brand and location; while some states have higher sales taxes than others, certain local governments within those states also impose additional taxes on tobacco products that can affect their cost even further.

Carton of Cigarettes Price

A carton of cigarettes is a packaged box containing 10 packs of cigarettes. On average, one carton of cigarettes typically costs between $30 and $60 in the United States. This means that one pack of cigarettes will cost between $3 and $6. Compared to a single pack of cigarettes, buying a carton can bring savings of up to 30%. Generally speaking, the price of a carton of cigarettes varies from state to state and even from store to store. For example, a carton of cigarettes costs $55 in Delaware and Florida, while it costs $66 in Maine and Maryland. A carton of cigarettes is even more expensive in New Jersey, costing $76 on average. The price of a carton of cigarettes also depends on the type and the brand. For instance, a carton of Marlboro costs around $55 to $65, a carton of Newport costs around $50, and a carton of American Spirit can cost up to $80.

Cigarette Tax by State

The cigarette tax is an important source of revenue for many states in the US. The amount of tax levied on cigarettes varies by state and, in some cases, by locality within the state. The District of Columbia levied the highest cigarette tax in the US at $4.50 per pack, followed closely by New York and Connecticut, both of which charge $4.35 per pack. These high tax rates are intended to discourage smoking and to provide revenue for the state.

The states with the lowest cigarette taxes include Missouri, with a tax rate of just $0.17 per pack, followed by Georgia, at $0.37 per pack, and North Carolina and North Dakota, both of which levy taxes of less than $0.50 per pack. These low tax rates may be an incentive for smokers to purchase cigarettes in these states rather than in neighboring states with higher tax rates.

As a rule, states with higher cigarette taxes tend to have lower rates of smoking. For example, New York has the highest cigarette tax in the country and also has one of the lowest smoking rates. Conversely, states with lower cigarette taxes tend to have higher smoking rates. This suggests that high cigarette taxes may be an effective tool for reducing smoking rates, particularly among young people.

Finally, it is worth noting that some states have recently increased their cigarette taxes in an effort to raise revenue and discourage smoking. For example, in 2021, both Illinois and Massachusetts increased their cigarette tax rates. It remains to be seen whether these increases will have a significant impact on smoking rates or whether they will lead to increased tax revenue for the state.

By State

Full Data Set

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a pack of cigarettes?

The average price for a pack of cigarettes in the US is $6.28.

How much is a carton of cigarettes?

A carton of cigarettes can cost anywhere from $48 to $76 in the US.

How many packs of cigarettes are in a carton ?

A carton of cigarettes typically contains 10 packs of cigarettes.

How many cigarettes are in a pack ?

The number of cigarettes in a pack can vary between 20 to 25 cigarettes, depending on the brand.

How many cigarettes are in a carton ?

A carton of cigarettes can contain anywhere from 200 to 250 cigarettes.

Methodology