A recent news article about cigarette smokers finding a cheaper way to feed their habit caught my attention, reminding me again how lucky I am to have stopped smoking over thirty years ago. I don’t mean to sound smug about it because I have plenty of other bad habits, and since I was never a heavy smoker that might have helped, but I was somehow able to quit.
Anyhow, it seems that a few retail shops are now installing a new automatic cigarette-making machine, one that allows customers to participate in the process (by pushing the ‘start’ button). When combined with the use of a coarser cut of tobacco usually found in pipe blends, the savings in taxes lowers the price enormously. If I understood correctly, cigarettes end up costing less than half of full retail.
Thinking about the high costs of smoking — and I don’t mean just in dollars — reminded me of an old song I’ve always liked, “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette.” I mentioned it in an earlier piece about Commander Cody, but it was also recorded by a number of others, including its co-writer Tex Williams, Phil Harris, Asleep At The Wheel (video below) and a guy who might surprise you — Sammy Davis, Jr.
A superstar in just about every facet of show business, Sammy recorded the song as part of the collection of tunes on his album, Country Classics. Since he was a heavy smoker himself, one who was seldom seen without a cigarette in his hand, his 1990 death from throat cancer was sadly ironic.