Brooklyn Smoker Grows Own Tobacco To Avoid Cigarette Taxes

Frustrated by the tax-fueled rising costs of cigarettes, a Brooklyn woman has developed a private tobacco garden to feed her addiction frugally. She buys her seeds for $2 online and plants her tobacco along with roses and geraniums in her back yard. She expects to yield a total of 45 cartons of cigarettes from crops planted in 2009 and last year, saving her $5,000 from what she’d pay at retail.

In an interview with The New York Times, the woman, an ex-police officer says her operation is not just about saving money, but protesting New York’s high tobacco taxes and limitations on public smoking and taking a jab at anti-smokers.

She says:

It’ll make the antismokers apoplectic. They’re using the power of taxation to coerce behavior. That’s not what taxation is supposed to be for.

The process is labor-intensive. She has to wash the leaves in her sink, dry them and hang them, then dissecting the leaves, forming them into bricks before shredding them.

If you smoke, how much would cigarettes have to cost before you resorted to growing your own?

Now in Brooklyn, Homegrown Tobacco: Local, Rebellious and Tax Free [The New York Times]