Cigarette Psychology, 1959

Anyone who has ever smoked or still does, knows that a big part of the habit is the ritual – to mention a few, opening the packs, tamping the cigarette down, the lighting with match or lighter, how you inhale, blowing smoke rings, flicking the ashes, having coffee at the same time, and – of course – how you hold that death stick.

This  image from a 1959 issue of Caper magazine shows Dr. William Neutra’s analysis of personality, based on how people hold their death sticks. Neutra was a Los Angeles psychoanalyst, which of course explains a lot.

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Click the image for a full-size version.

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You wanna buy some death sticks?

Back in the 50’s, nonsense of this kind bought a lot of Cadillacs for a lot of psychiatrists, but people were eating it up, so it got published.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

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The High Cost of Smoking

To my eternal discredit, I smoked heavily when I was a kid. I thought it was cool, and six years of it left lasting scars on my lungs. But when I started smoking, a pack of Luckies cost 33¢. Yes, that was more in 1965 than it is today, but let’s look at current prices in Europe and environs today (all prices are in Euro.)

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For the United States, the following list will suffice (found at The Awl). Notice that some states appear on the same line if their prices were identical.

48. Kentucky (last year $6.56): $4.96 = -24%
47. North Dakota ($5.03): $5.04 = +.2%
46. West Virginia ($4.84): $5.07 = +5%
45. Oklahoma ($5.24): $5.19 = -.1%
44. Idaho ($5.11): $5.25 = +3%
43. Missouri ($5.87): $5.25 = -10%
42. Louisiana ($6.50): $5.33 = -18%
41. Oregon ($5.74): $5.35 = -7%
40. Wyoming ($5.21): $5.37 = +3%
39. Mississippi ($5.55): $5.45 = -2%
38. Nevada ($6.04): $5.50 = -9%
37. South Carolina ($6.25): $5.55 = -11%
36. Colorado ($5.19): $5.59 = +8%
35. Indiana ($5.56): $5.77 = +4%
34. Alabama ($5.18): $5.80 = +12%
33. Virginia ($5.43): $5.81 = +7%
32. Ohio ($5.67): $5.88 = 4%
31. Tennessee ($4.91): $5.89 = +20%
30. Georgia ($5.93): $5.93 = 0%
29. Minnesota ($5.96): $5.95 = -.2%
28. Florida ($6.29), Delaware ($6.10): $6.00 = -5%, -2%
27. North Carolina ($5.14): $6.03 = +17%
26. Nebraska ($5.99): $6.09 = +2%
25. Kansas ($6.47): $6.21 = -4%
24. Montana ($6.12): $6.25 = +2%
23. Arkansas ($7.10): $6.50 = -8%
22. New Hampshire ($4.86): $6.59 = +35%
21. Utah ($6.88): $6.64 = -3%
20. California ($6.45), South Dakota ($6.82): $6.77 = +5%, -.7%
19. New Mexico ($6.69): $6.91 = +3%
18. Michigan ($6.50), Pennsylvania ($6.93): $6.95 = +7%, +.3%
17. Maine ($6.97): $7.12 = +2%
16. Texas ($6.89): $7.24 = +5%
15. Iowa ($7.52): $7.25 = -4%
14. D.C. ($8.27): $7.89 = -5%
13. Maryland ($6.53): $7.93 = +21%
12. Wisconsin ($7.98): $8.11= +2%
11. Washington ($8.98): $8.31 = -7%
10. New Jersey ($8.00): $8.55 = +7%
9. Massachusetts ($8.49): $8.77 = +3%
8. Connecticut ($8.85): $9.30 = +5%
7. Vermont ($7.60): $9.52 = +25%
6. Rhode Island ($8.16): $9.56 = +17%
5. Alaska ($9.39): $9.59 = +2%
4. Arizona ($7.46): $9.65 = +29%
3. Hawaii ($10.22): $9.68 = -5%
2. Illinois ($10.25): $11.59 = +13%
1. New York ($12.50): $14.50 = +16%

To help with the comparison, here’s a map as of 1/1/2014 showing state tax prices on tobacco:

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If you want to know how much smoking has cost you or will continue to cost you in terms of raw dollars, you can use the American Cancer Society’s Smoking Cost Calculator.

As for health and societal costs, you can see more information here.

“It’s voice-over. An interior monologue. Maybe even the voice of God. ‘Don’t, Pudgie, don’t smoke.’ “ (Mrs. Doubtfire)

The Old Wolf has smoken.