Cheap Cigarettes and How to Get Them

The recent cigarette tax hike has bumped the price of smokes up to more than $9 a pack in some states. 

Committed smokers are fuming and some folks who have been on the fence are thinking about quitting the habit altogether.

Others just want cheaper smokes.

So, if you absolutely must smoke, here are some ways to light up for less, without breaking the law. (Though frankly, we think there are plenty of good reasons to quit.)

Option 1:  Go Generic

You can’t get away from state and local cigarette taxes, but you can smoke a cheaper cigarette. According to Darryl Jayson, vice president of the Princeton, N.J.-based Tobacco Merchant’s Association, consumers can shave as much as 10% off the cost of a pack when they buy generic brands such as GPC (Stock Quote: RAI) and Basic (Stock Quote: MO). Generic cigarettes are produced by the big cigarette manufacturers like R.J. Reynolds, but marketed as discounted brands.

For example, instead of buying a pack of Camels (Stock Quote: RAI) at $4.99 a pack, you could buy a pack of Basic brand cigarettes for $4.00 a pack, for a savings of 20%.

Option 2: Find a Discount Tobacco Shop

Although it may be convenient to go pick up a pack of cigarettes from a Safeway (Stock Quote: SWY) a tobacco store such as Smoker Friendly may be better for your wallet.

For instance, a carton of Marlboros, which retails for $50.49 at Safeway in Fountain, Colo., goes for $43.49, a 14% savings, at Smoker Friendly, a national chain with 610 stores. For a two-pack-a-day smoker, that would mean savings of $470 a year.