By SUSIE REMPFER Staff Writer
Smoking on CCC’s campus is everywhere. With the declining economy, it is surprising how much money students still invest in cigarettes.
Since its discovery, tobacco use has been a substantial part of society. Although health-related problems can arise from smoking, most smokers are more concerned with the constant rise in cigarette prices.
According to cigbuynow.com, “Marlboro remains the world’s most profitable brand of non-durable consumer goods, surpassing even Coca-Cola.” The amount of sodas bought on campus is high, yet it is surpassed by the amount of cigarettes bought.
In the early 1990’s cigarettes only cost about $1.67 per pack. Now, nearly two decades later, the average cost for a pack of cigarettes is seven dollars. About $2,352 is spent in one year by those who smoke a pack a day.
“I started smoking when I was about fifteen. I’m twenty now and still smoke, so I can only imagine the money I’ve thrown away on cigarettes,” said CCC student Tiffany O’Connell.
With the cost of gas, food, books for school, and other essentials it is hard to find extra money anywhere, let alone seven dollars for a pack of cigarettes.
Since prices are elevated almost everywhere, the question is how do students budget their money to afford cigarettes?
An anonymous male freshman explains how he allots himself cigarette money: “I put half of my paycheck in my bank account, and the other half I keep in my wallet for spending money. More than half of my cash goes to buying cigarettes. There’s been several times when I’ve given up going to the movies or out to eat with my friends so I’d have money for smokes.”
Andrea Quinones, a sophomore at the college, says budgeting is not a problem for her. “What is annoying is when people see me smoking and come bum cigarettes off me without offering me money. I’ve experienced this more times than I can count, and have probably given away five full packs within my two years here.”
Although being a smoker is expensive, the process of quitting smoking can often be more costly. Nicorette Gum, and other gums designed to help a person quit smoking can cost as much as thirty dollars per pack. Similarly, Nicoderm CQ and other patches cost around forty dollars per box. “I still smoke because trying to quit ended up being more expensive,” said O’Connell.
The new electric cigarette, sold to those 18 and older, consists only of nicotine. The tiny white stick lets out vapors of nicotine that supposedly gives the smoker a nicotine buzz. This battery-powered device does not produce smoke so it is acceptable in places where regular cigarettes are not. However, like all regular cigarettes, the electric cigarette is still harmful and should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
The electric cigarette costs around $140 depending on the brand, and cartridges for the e-cigarette run more than $3 dollars and last up to two days. The e-cigarette, although more versatile, is not a cheap alternative.