When I was a kid all the adults smoked.

OK, maybe not all the adults, but it seemed like about 100% of the men and 75% of the women did. I can see just about all our dads standing outside church after the Sunday morning service smoking and complaining about the price of corn and beans.

According to statistics I've seen these days, less than 20% of adults smoke these days. And that is a good thing. I'm hoping by the time all five of my grandkids are adults, smoking will be in the rearview mirror, a thing people did in the "old days".

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There are, of course, a whole bunch of reasons for that good news. Education would certainly be a huge reason. And what about the cost?

I remember decades ago my dad said "When cigarettes get to a buck a pack, I'm quitting". He was a product of the so-called Greatest Generation, a World War II vet, back when the Army would give out free packs of cigarettes to soldiers. Yeah, those days have changed.

But getting back to the cost...how much of the cost of a pack of cigarettes is tax?

Well, according to igentax.com, a website that keeps track of such things, a fairly high amount. In South Dakota, you'll often pay something around $7.00 for a pack of smokes, give or take. How much of that is tax? About a buck fifty-three. Over in Minnesota, it's much higher at three dollars and four cents. You folks in Iowa fork over about a buck thirty-six a pack.

If you're heading east you'll find the highest cigarette tax in the country in New York and Connecticut at $4.35 a pack, while Missouri's cigarette tax is the lowest at just 17 cents a pack. You can check all the states here.

The best way to avoid those high taxes? Don't smoke.

Your wallet and your lungs will thank you for it.


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