The Price of Cigarettes Through the Decades

At a time when cigarettes were still considered safe, they were cheap and widely popular, costing just 25¢ a pack on average in the 1950s. In 1965, 42% of adults smoked. Since then, the adult smoking rate has declined and today stands at 11.5%. Despite the decline, smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the U.S., accounting for nearly 500,000 deaths each year. Today, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes in the U.S. has risen to nearly $9 a pack, with prices at the state level ranging from $5.21 a pack in Missouri to $10.53 in New York. The differences in the state-level prices are the result of differences in state tax rates. Federal and state taxes range from just 10% in Missouri to a whopping 75% in New York. To highlight how the price of cigarettes has changed over time, take a look at the prices over the decades.


Average Price: 24¢ per pack
Taxes: 12¢ per pack

Average Price: 30¢ per pack
Taxes: 15¢ per pack

Average Price: 47¢ per pack
Taxes: 20¢ per pack

Average Price: $1.01 per pack
Taxes: 31¢ per pack

Average Price $1.93 per pack
Taxes: 56¢ per pack

Average Price: $3.94 per pack
Taxes: $1.39 per pack

Average Price: $6.32 per pack
Taxes: $2.62 per pack