Craving nicotine, you rush to the store counter, order a pack of cigarettes, and — eventually — fork over $1,178.95.

At about $3.23 a pack — the cost at Woody’s Food Store, 2413 W. Sycamore St. — that’s what you’ll pay during a year, smoking a pack a day.

That is, of course, barring any increase in prices.

Lung cancer big killer

The Centers for Disease Control released these study results:

• Each year from 1995 through 1999, smoking caused more than 264,000 deaths in men and more than 178,000 deaths in women.

• Among adults, most deaths were from lung cancer (124,813), heart disease (81,976) and lung disease (64,735).

• Smoking-related cancer and lung disease deaths in women increased from 1995 to 1999.

• Smoking during pregnancy resulted in more than 1,000 infant deaths annually.

There are other costs related to smoking. You could take that $1,178.95 and apply it to the following expenses:

Dry cleaning

You might look good in the proper attire, but smoking can make clothes smell. For what you pay annually for cigarettes, you could dry clean about 298 sweaters at $3.95 each, say the folks at Superior Dry Cleaners, 124 W. Superior St. or about 139 dresses at $8.50 each.

For some folks, their car can seem like an ashtray on wheels. At $79.95 a pop, you could get your car’s interior detailed about 15 times at Z-Tech Audio Plus, 1195 E. Markland Ave.

Or suppose you drop a hot cigarette butt on your car seat? According to Kokomo Cover and Trim Shop, 227 S. Union St., repairing regular cloth seats could run you at least around $125 to $165. Leather seats? That could climb over $200.

Tend to yourself

If you want to freshen your breath, take that total amount to CVS Pharmacy at 2340 W. Sycamore and snatch about 236 bottles of mouth wash at $4.99 each or about 1,191 packs of gum at 99 cents each.

Roll your cart over to the fragrance aisle; you could get about 148 bottles of men’s or women’s fragrances costing $7.99 each, depending on the brand.

Before you leave the westside pharmacy, you might want to grab few items to help your house smell better. At $3.29 each, you could get about 358 9-ounce containers of Fabreze to spritz on your sofa or roughly 299 cans of 10-ounce can of Oust air freshener at $3.99.

You may want to start saving now for another big expense.

According to National Funeral Directors Association, what you spend a year on cigarettes would only pay about 18 percent of the $6,407 (2001 figure) average cost of a Hoosier funeral.

Tom Carey may be reached at (765) 454-8560 or via e-mail at tom.carey@kokomotribune.com

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