Whole Leaf Tobacco

The Relentless Price Climb of Retail Tobacco

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
13,356
Likes
2,511
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
#1
It started about 1980. A worldwide phenomenon. The retail price of tobacco products (with a conspicuous focus on cigarettes) has climbed along an exponential curve since then.

Within the US, there has been little apparent correlation with which political party was in power. There does seem to be a difference between a first-term presidency and its second term.



If you zoom in on specific slices of that price curve, you can make a strong political argument (for or against either major party), so long as you don't zoom back out and see the contextual reality. A smoothed trend line would demonstrate a continuous, relentless, exponential growth of cigarette prices. (There is also a "reasonable" linear, average slope that could be drawn.) If you examine similar graphs for most other countries, the trend is the same, and over the same interval. The World Health Organization evangelizes worldwide tobacco taxation increases, and publicly criticizes laggards.

In mathematics, exponential curves soar to astronomical values, without limit. In our world, exponential curves are discernible in many natural and man-made phenomena, but they are not limitless. (E. coli bacteria double their numbers every 20 minutes, yet they have not engulfed the universe.) With commercial cigarettes, the limit is likely the cost as a fraction of average income. Obviously, when the cost is high enough, nobody will buy.

There is also a social factor that may encourage cascades of legislation which, despite being unreasonable, can not be tenably opposed.

So, expect this increasingly rapid price rise to continue, regardless of politics, until the economics of carrying it further render the concept moot.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
13,356
Likes
2,511
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
#3
Another curiosity from that graph is the result of the price (blue line) being plotted in normalized January 2016 dollars. In 2016, a dollar's purchasing power was considerably less than in 1970. The sticker price in 1970 dollars was lower. As the dollar lost value between 1970 and 1980, Big Tobacco did not significantly raise the price per pack of cigarettes (so they were actually earning less and less per pack). That's why the graph suggests that cigarettes became "cheaper". Because the sticker price did not change much during that interval, growth in cigarette sales continued its merry climb. Once significant taxes began to kick in around 1980, raising the sticker price, unit sales began to steadily fall.

Bob

EDIT: In the 1959 release of the Milton-Bradley board game, Life, the physician's annual salary was $20,000--the highest paid career.
 

burge

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2014
Messages
850
Likes
62
Points
28
Location
Alberta
#4
It is around 20 dollars for a pack here. When I started smoking it was 2 or 2,50 a pack when to school up to 4 bucks then 7 bucks then started ryo. That was the Belvedere super roll. Tubes were smaller in diameter thus less tobacco per stick and cost 12 bucks. Cigs went down in price to 2.75 a pack to curtail smoking then players light again. It was getting up to 35 to 40 bucks a carton so back to ryo a tub was 19 dollars and that grew to 27 then everything doubled. Thus ryomagazine.com I found and found a site to order from where my uncle in NY would back it up as a gift. That gift loophole died so found WLT. I thought it was just a simple if I want to smoke I will have to work at it might not be great, it would be just a nicotine fix, We all know its a lot more and if I won the lottery I would be smoking whole leaf.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,389
Likes
918
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
#7
My old go to MacBaren's 3.5oz tin of Dark Twist is something like $90 or $100. If I think about how it was only $20 when I started, it seems crazy, but if I compare it to the price of a cigar, i.e. $9 a bowl, it seems reasonable.
 

Orson Carte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Messages
199
Likes
55
Points
28
Location
New Zealand
#8
I started buying 'tailor-made' cigarettes in 1960 - really, I shouldn't have been wasting my money but I was a paperboy and smoking just went with the job. I was only a kid, it was an after-school job, and I made the equivalent of $2 per week.
At that time (in 1960) I could buy a packet of twenty for two 'shillings' - which, when we decimalised in 1967 became the equivalent of 20 cents.
They were pretty ordinary cigarettes ('Capstan') and they weren't king-size. You could buy them either 'plain' (no filter) or 'cork' (a thing like a filter but was really only token attempt to keep the end round). 'Real' filters were only found on the top-end brands.
Back then the average adult wage in New Zealand was around 20 'pounds' a week (later equivalent to 40 dollars.)
This meant that, if you were an absolute addict, your entire week's wages would've bought 200 packets of cigarettes - that is, 4000 cigarettes.
Today, the average yearly salary here is around $50,000 - in other words, about $1000 per week.
Now comes the crunch;
A packet of twenty cigarettes now costs, on average, about $25.
So, to buy 4000 cigarettes today (which the average wage would've bought in 1960) would cost $5000 - even allowing for almost sixty years of inflation this is five times what they cost back then.

Does anyone know of a worm-hole that can take me back to 1960? But this time I actually want to own the newspaper.
 

burge

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2014
Messages
850
Likes
62
Points
28
Location
Alberta
#9
I know I was talking to a lady a carton of the bag smokes from the reserves is 30 dollars but not as good as whole leaf. I was in the tobacco shop last year a tub of 100% more ryo was 75 dollars. Last I checked a 20 pack of export a was 17.50 plus tax not sure what it is now. The same lady told me it was 12 dollars for a discount 20 pack. For me when ryo in the states doubled it went to the pipe tobacco for ryo which I found a lot of the blending tobaccos were nice. When I found out about the tobacco loophole closed it was from cup of joes in which they said we can ship you the order however we can't mark it as a gift from your Uncle anymore. A lot of those tobaccos I was smoking is 30-35 dollars a pound now.
 

Hugh

Active Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2017
Messages
30
Likes
9
Points
8
Location
The Gaspe, Quebec
#11
Both Federal & the Provincial governments have a hand in tobacco taxes in Canada:

CIGARETTE CARTONS AVERAGE PRICES – MARCH 2018

  • Manitoba: $ 140.35
  • Prince Edward Island: $ 134.04
  • Nova Scotia: $ 133.00
  • Saskatchewan: $ 131.86
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $ 125.63
  • Alberta: $ 119.01
  • New Brunswick: $ 119.29
  • British Columbia: $ 111.15
  • Ontario: $ 105.51
  • Québec: $ 96.84
That's before sales tax is applied.

https://depquebec.com/en/quebec-the...to-sell-a-cigarette-carton-for-less-than-100/
 

burge

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2014
Messages
850
Likes
62
Points
28
Location
Alberta
#12
I know and you have to add GST or HST depending on what province you are in. I think for premium its about 150 dollars here a carton.
 

stic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
102
Likes
70
Points
28
Location
Manawatu, NZ
#13
When I was 16, my entire weeks wages would buy 50 50g tobacco pouches, or 20 Dozen beer cans.

Now i'm 50 (where did the years go), my weekly wage can buy 8 50g tobacco pouches, or 40 dozen beer cans...

I should point out, my wife won't let me do either...:sneaky:
 
Top