Cigarette Prices: Which States, Brands are Most Expensive?

Fact-checked

Are you part of the 34.1 million adults who smoke in the US? With the continual increase in cigarette prices, you might be interested to know their current prices. How much is the average cigarette price per pack, including tax? How much are cigarette prices by the state? Who smokes the most packs of cigarettes per state and why?

Cigarette Prices by State: Intriguing Facts and Stats

  • New York’s average price of a pack of cigarettes is $12.85. (The worst destination for smokers.)
  • Only 11% of Massachusetts’ population smoked tobacco products in 2020.
  • The average cigarette price in the US is $6.28.
  • Missouri has the lowest excise cigarette tax ($0.17) in the US.
  • A survey conducted in 2020 revealed a slight increase (one percent) of Kansans occasionally lighting up.
  • California’s government is making an impact on the decrease of cigarette consumption.
  • Washington D.C.  has one of the highest tax rates on cigarettes at $4.98/pack.

Average Cigarette Price in the US 

Would you like to know how much money you spend on your smoking habit?

  • The average cigarette price by state is $6.28.

(National Cancer Institute)

Typically, a US smoker smokes around 15 cigarettes a day (more than half a pack), with the average price of a pack of cigarettes at $6.28. But the lowest cost per pack is below the average at $5.25, whereas the most expensive is $12.85.

  • New York has the most expensive cigarettes by state.

(World Population Review)

New York is home to the most expensive cigarettes in the US. The average price of cigarettes by state includes New York’s $12.85 a pack.

    •  A New Yorker smoking 40 cigarettes per week will spend $1,336/year on cigarettes.
    • New York has a cigarette tax of $4.35 per pack
  • Massachusetts is the fourth costliest state to smoke cigarettes, with the average smoker paying more than $2.3 million in a lifetime.

(Masslive, Statista, America’s Health Rankings)

A smoker’s life in Massachusetts is far from cheap. Although not among the cheapest cigarettes by state, the average price for a pack of cigarettes In MA is $9.95. An average smoker then will spend over $2.3 million on cigarettes in a lifetime. In 2020, the excise tax per pack in MA was $3.51 and will remain until the end of 2021.

    • According to one survey, only 11% of those living in MA smoked in 2020.
    • There’s a sharp difference between the male and female population of smokers in Massachusetts—smoking prevalence is higher among men than women at 12.8% and 9.5%, respectively.
  • The lowest cigarette prices for some states start at $5.25 per pack.

(World Population Review)

The following presents the top cheapest price of cigarettes by state. (The most inexpensive cigarette dollars are located on the East Coast.)

State Price/pack
Missouri $5.25
Virginia $5.25
Tennessee $5.30
North Carolina $5.45
West Virginia $5.43
Louisiana $5.44

Excise Tax Rate of Cigarettes 

The US government has effectively reduced cigarette consumption by increasing taxes on cigarettes. So the more extensive the taxes, the higher the cigarette costs by state.

  • Missouri has the cheapest cigarette tax rate, with only $0.17 in excise tax per pack.

(SalesTaxHandBook, Statista)

Not only does MO have the cheapest cigarette prices by state, but it also has the lowest excise tax price in the US. And taxes in Missouri haven’t changed in over a decade.

    • Other tobacco products in Missouri are subject to 10% of the manufacturer’s price.
    • A 2020 survey ranked the state 14th (16%) among states with smokers.
  • Washington D.C. has the highest tax rates on cigarettes.

(The IGEN Blog)

Washington D.C is not the cheapest state for cigarettes. The tax rate in this jurisdiction is $4.98 for a pack of 20 cigarettes, making D.C. one of the more expensive districts or states to buy tobacco. Although retail statistics show that the retail industry will flourish in the next few years, tobacco retail—no matter the brand—doesn’t weigh in on this prediction, especially in D.C.

  • In January 2021, Colorado cigarette prices per pack were $7.00 but are expected to increase by nearly a dollar in 2024.

(Colorado Public Radio)

Colorado is advocating the phasing out of smoking. In January 2021, the state imposed a new tax rate on a pack of cigarettes at $7.00—expecting to soon increase to $7.50/pack.

Cigarette Prices by Brands, Location, and Other Factors

  • The leading cigarette brand, Marlboro, offers different prices around the US, starting at $5.71 per pack.

(Numbeo)

Marlboro has become a reputable brand. The cheapest pack of Marlboros can be found in Lexington, Kentucky, for $5.71. But smokers in NYC are willing to pay $15 per pack, whereas, in Florida, the same pack costs $7.00. 

Marlboro’s cigarette price by state varies and even exceeds the average price range of a cigarette in NYC.

Statistics on consumer loyalty state that many are loyal to a brand for three reasons: price, value, and great customer experience. Marlboro is one of many nicotine products considered by some to be less harmful.

  • West Virginia had the highest rate of adult smokers in 2020 at 22%.

(Statista)

One possible reason behind such a high percentage of smokers in WV could be due to the lowest prices of cigarettes by state, paying less than $6.00/pack.

  • In 2019, 10% of the adult population smoked in California. But in 2020, they hit the lowest smoking rate of 8.9%.

(America’s Health Rankings, World Population Review)

The price of cigarettes by state includes the Golden State at $8.31/pack. The slight increase in dollars affected people’s pockets, resulting in them giving up smoking.

  • Smokers in Kansas spend $654 annually.

(World Population Review, America’s Health Rankings)

A pack of cigarettes in Kansas costs $5.83 and slightly over $58 per carton. The cost of cigarettes by state also affects the number of smoking adults in Kansas (16.20%).

    • An upward trend of smoking is seen in Kansas. In 2019 around 15% smoked, whereas, in 2020, 16% of Kansans occasionally lit up.

Conclusion

Cigarette dollars in the US smoking industry will continually increase as states seek to raise awareness of the health consequences of the smoker. The most expensive cigarette pack can be found in Eastern US, whereas the cheapest ones are in the West.

FAQ

What state has the highest price for a pack of cigarettes?

New York leads the highest prices for a pack of cigarettes at $12.85.

Are cigarette prices going up in 2021?

There is the possibility of a proposal from the US congress for a cigarette excise tax increase. But, in 2021, inflation may play a prominent role in price increases.

What is the cheapest way to buy cigarettes?

Purchasing cigarettes in bulk (often discounted by carton) in a market, for example, typically saves more money than buying per pack.

Why are cigarettes so expensive in 2021?

Cigarette prices increase almost every year—intending to reduce cigarette consumption, especially among the young population.

How much are cigarettes in different states?

Cigarette prices by state vary because each state has its own rules to determine prices. For instance, New York and Illinois prices are beyond the typical standard at over $10 per pack. Generally, prices vary from $5.00 to around $13.

ABOUT AUTHOR

When she couldn’t decide between being a nurse, a psychotherapist, and a financial genius, Ofelia decided to do all three. Her interests run far and wide, and she loves researching about everything you get to read on our website. Credit cards or top-notch software, she’s here to tell it all like it is.

Latest from Ofelia

Best Cat Trees The Cutest Dog Breeds That Will Melt Your Heart When Should You Euthanize a Cat With Kidney Failure? What to Do When Your Dog Dies and How to Say Farewell Properly

1 Comment

  1. thanks for sharing

Leave a Reply