I don't know how it was in past times, in terms of how the cost stacked up - my dad smoked, like many of his age and background (services) - so probably from being at high school to well into middle age. When I was about 17, he just quit. There was no big build-up, no talk or any precursor or health concerns (at least none that I was told of). He had a thing about mints and pear drops for a while afterwards, but as far as I can see just stopped dead.
Work circumstances had changed for him around that time, and they were always prudent about finances - I suppose it's possible there could have been a money reason why he did, but this would be the late 80s, so not exactly sure how it all stacked up compared with cost of living and income.
Other people I know who smoke, now, smoke a fair amount, and have always been on modest incomes. I feel lucky, never having dabbled - looking at how much they cost, now, I'd hate to be spending money like that - much the same with booze, really. I suppose in terms of afforability, most must find a way, so I suppose if the devil drove, and all - but all the same, I'm glad neither are outgoings for me.
As to the e-cigs - well I can't truly empathise, anyways - but have seen people take to them with gusto, but true to form, although possibly reduced their consumption of real cigarettes, that may be just a short term distraction for the determined. But the rise in popularity - that will never fly if it has meaningful bites into the revenue stream of tax on cigarettes, there has been rumblings already, but some the full weight of taxation, sorry, "regulation" will be brought to bear - for the benefit and safety of the consumer, of course.
This page intentionally left blank