Costly Smokes

POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 7:17pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:57pm

There is a warning for smokers tonight: pay up or put it out. The new federal tax on tobacco kicks in April 1st, but the cost of a pack of cigarettes is already burning the pocketbooks of smokers. Many smokers say cigarettes are already too expensive, it’s time to stop now, no if ands or butts about it.

This might be the last pack of cigarettes Tijwana Patin will ever buy because as soon as her smokes get too expensive she plans on quitting, cold turkey! “If you can start you can stop. I don’t need a patch, no gum, I’m just going to boop stop.”

A federal tax on tobacco will go in effect beginning April 1st, but Patin has already seen the prices climb. Patin smokes a pack every two days and here’s what it’s costing her: about $12 a week, nearly $50 a month, and a whopping $580 a year. But with rumors that prices could spike as high as $7.00 or more per pack, Patin’s cigarette spending could more than double, at $1,200 a year or more.

26-year-old Jamie Chaney is a mother of two and says she’s ready to quit cold turkey too. She says smoking alternatives like the patches didn’t work. “Maybe there’s too much nicotine then what you’re used to ingesting. There’s other things that you’re wanting and you still want to smoke a cigarette but you know better.”

While quitting cold turkey is widely considered the hardest way to kick the habit, experts say almost 90% all long-term ex-smokers were successful using this method and it can be done. Patin says with enough support and encouragement she’s certain she’ll be able to stop.