The cost of smoking  JUN 04 2008

Yesterday, New York raised the tax on cigarettes by $1.25. With the previous taxes, the city tax of $1.25, and the variable pricing one sees at retail outlets around the city, people are now paying somewhere between $8 and $12 for a pack of cigarettes in NYC. Some smokers are understandably upset about the price but how does it compare to other enjoyments? If smoking a single cigarette takes five minutes and at $10 & 20 cigarettes per pack, smoking costs a smoker $6/hour. Some other NYC diversions, priced roughly by the hour:

Ice skating in Central Park: $4.25/hr
Yankees game (cheap seats): $5/hr
Smoking: $6/hr
Visit to MoMA: $8/hr
After-work drinks: $10/hr
Movie w/popcorn & soda: $11/hr
Dinner @ McDonald's: $11/hr
Dinner @ Daniel: $85/hr
Helicopter tour of NYC: $600/hr
Spitzer-grade call girl: $1000+/hr

For reference, NY State minimum wage is $7.15/hr. (Digg this?)

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