Dropping the habit

California smokers call it quits

Californians are sick of smoking—or, if nothing else, they’re sick of paying so much to smoke. The Board of Equalization’s recent study on smoking habits reveals an 8.1 percent decline in cigarettes sold in California in 2009-10 over the previous year. That’s the biggest decline since 2000, and marks a 65.6 percent drop from smoking’s peak in 1980. The study cites health concerns and the steady increase in price per pack for people deciding to quit, cut back and not start to begin with. Below are data from the study over the years.

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Year Packs sold (millions) Average price 1967 2,383 $.41 1977 2,774 $.59 1987 2,570 $1.17 1990 2,102 $1.89 1998 1,523 $2.79 1999 1,353 $3.56 2009 972 $5.09

Source: California Board of Equalization