Smokers and bumming cigarettes

Just curious - with cigarette prices as high as they are (I think they’re around $5/pack in MD, thanks to a tax increase) - if you’re a smoker, have you changed your attitude about giving your smokes away?

Does it matter if it’s a friend or a stranger?

I’m not a smoker, but I’m really frugal (OK, cheap) and I imagine I’d be disinclined to share with strangers, and perhaps even stingy with friends. Since I don’t smoke, I substituted “chocolate” in the equation…

$5 for a pack?!?!

Geez. I pay $8 here in Chicago. It kills me.

I don’t mind other people bumming my cigarettes. I only mind “regular” bummers - the kind that NEVER have their own cigarettes. I have some friends that bum my cigarettes when we’re drinking, but they usually buy me a pack every now and then to even things out. But that has nothing to do with cigarette prices. I always had it hammered into my head that being “stingy” with “material possessions” was petty, so I tend to be pretty free with my cigs. Even to the point where I’ll carry around an extra pack if I’m going to a party.

I always let people bum them. It’s smoker’s karma. You let someone bum one off of you, and then maybe one day you need one and someone gives you one.

$8/pack? Are you buying them at the airport? I’m in Colorado at the moment and can get a carton for $32, or $3.20/pack. It’s the same in California.

For $8/pack, I’d seriously consider throwing the pot plants out and growing my own tobacco. :stuck_out_tongue:

$8 a pack? Dang… I can remember walking to the drug store to get my dad a pack when I was maybe 8 or 9. Cost a whole quarter. Minimum wage was about a buck, so in relative terms, it was still cheap compared to today.

Chicago has stupidly high tax. I usually pay between $7-9 a pack, depending.

In Seoul Dunhills were $2.70 a pack. Here they’re $10. Yeah, I switched to Camels.

I let people borrow them whenever. I rarely get asked to bum a smoke in public anymore, but when I was in college I let whomever have one.

I have a couple of friends who do not smoke unless they’re around me (how they can pull that off, I do not know). They’re good about buying me a pack in return but that’s because they usually end up taking a pack or two of mine.

I always bum smokes to anyone who asks, but only one or two. After that piss off and get your own pack. And for some reason people who offer me a quarter or something for a cigarette bother me more than the person who just asks for a smoke.

I’m so glad that I moved out of Cook county Illinois and am back to spending suburbs prices for smokes again. Pall Mall filters box for 2.86 a pack at the gas station next to my house. There's a bar across from Wrigley Field called Yakzie's that had a cigarette machine that cost **12 ** for a pack of squares the last time I was in there in October. I’m sure with the ban that it’s gone the way of the dodo though.

I don’t walk down the street smoking anymore. I get tired of total strangers bumming them and mothers practically tackling their children to protect them from the Sarin gas I’m apparently exhaling. Children, quick, get into our gas-guzzling exhaust belching SUV, there’s a smoking person coming! You’ll get molecules!!!1!

I don’t have to worry about friends mooching anymore. I’m about the last smoker among everyone I know. :frowning:

Occasionally I’ll find myself at an outdoor cafe or something and someone will offer to buy a smoke. That’s always weird. One person will offer you a dollar and I’m all “ah, don’t worry about dude, here’s two.” But someone else will come up and ask for two and offer a dime as payment. A dime? Do you know how much these things cost?

Smoker’s karma is alive and well, despite price increases. If it didn’t change from that quarter thru a couple of dollars a pack, why would it change at any price? We’ve all deemed the habit worth continuing to pay for, a twentieth of a pack isn’t that big of a deal.

It’s not about the value, it’s about how much it sucks to be fiending. The idea is that every smoker knows what it’s like to be without and suffering, brand is no longer an important consideration at that point, it’s all about getting that sweet sweet nicotine in and soothing the monkey. I’d not deny someone that relief, and I’d expect to be supplied willingly if I were similarly in need. People don’t usually get bent over chocolate withdrawal.

Details of smoker’s karma:

You may not continually bum smokes. Buy your own, once in a while everyone’s caught out thru lack of planning, but mooching is right out.

Bumming three to five smokes means you buy a brand of the person’s pack to repay them.

Bummer’s do not comment unfavorably on strength or brand of the gifted smoke.

Bummer’s should ideally have their own lighter, running out of smokes is one thing but if you don’t even have a light it’s as if you suddenly decided to take up the habit and aren’t in the previously described desperate group.

All smoker’s have the innate right to ask another smoker, no smoker has a right to be offended by the asking, unless of course it’s habitual bumming.

Taking anyone’s last smoke is verboten. The bummee should not, however, play the injured party of “I guess, but it’s my last one.” while secretly hoarding a full pack in a non-visible spot.

Offering a pittance for a smoke makes some people feel better about bumming. It’s usually an offer made in good faith, but only between strangers and never acquaintences or friends. Most smokers wave off the money, trusting that the karma will suffice. You can willingly accept it, some do just to spare the indebtedness feeling the bummer is trying to get rid of, most don’t though.


Seriously, what is it with people offering money for smokes? When I was studying in Edinburgh people would offer me 50p for a cigarette. I’d bought them by the carton at the dutyfree back in Seoul on my way over (for $17 a carton!) so I was very generous with them - I made friends quickly. Heh.

When I started smoking, (I’ve long-since quit) in high school, they were .75 cents a pack. I can remember always having three quarters with me to buy them from the vending machine at the skating rink.

A guy that I used to work with would bum smokes in the worst way, from other co-workers:

Him: Can I bum a smoke?
Her: Er, it’s my last one.
Him: That’s ok, I only need one. Thanks.

And he took her last cigarette. Then he turned around and asked me for a light. :rolleyes:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The man in question has had his membership in the International Brotherhood of Smokers removed.


They’re still $4 a pack here. You need to get out of the Metro area and explore Beautiful Downstate. :smiley:

Having been in the position of needing to frequently bum cigarettes (I tried to make sure I wasn’t hitting up the same people over and over), I cheerfully hand cigarettes out to anybody who asks, as long as they at least look old enough. Like levdrakon, I got out of the habit of smoking while walking, at least in certain parts of town where there always seemed to be underage kids hanging about for the express purpose of bumming smokes. Basically, anywhere near a convenience store or shopping mall.

I also wave off any attempt to pay me, though I appreciate the thought.

That’s kind of weird. I mean, they’re trying not to be a mooch!

Like everyone else in the thread, I still let people bum off me. Then again, I make my own with American Spirit tobacco, empty filters, and an injector, so I really only pay $13 a week for cigarettes. I smoked two packs a day of regular cigs before I started these, but the price was just killing me. I mean, even when I started smoking in 1994, I could get Marlboros for about $1.50 a pack!

Unlike most people, bumming is something of a one-way street with me. I live in fear of running out of smokes, so it’s exceedingly rare that I find myself in the position of having to ask someone for a cigarette. I’d guess that in the fourteen years that I’ve been smoking, I’ve bummed less than a pack of cigarettes total, and at least 75% of them were from close friends.

I don’t think that rule is all that fair. If someone’s bumming because they forgot to bring their cigarettes with them, chances are pretty good they forgot their lighter too.

At $2.75/pack, I’d feel like a jerk if I didn’t :slight_smile:

But seriously, I don’t mind people bumming cigarettes. I get it a lot where I work, though rarely from the same person twice. Smokers definitely have an unspoken bond that I find fascinating, it’s quite the social activity. Far be it for me to refuse to help out a brother in need.

Not to mention the karma aspect. There have been times that I’ve forgotten to buy cigarettes before going to work or something, and I’ll end up asking for one. Pay it forward, and all.

What’s it work out to “per pack?” I used to roll my own back in the late 80’s but gave it up. Is there a significant price difference, or are you smoking less? Both would be a bonus for me.

The penalty for bumming and not having a lighter is, of course, that the person giving the light must chide the bummer:

“All you’ve got is a habit.”