Gum tax

What if there was a tax on gum? Apply the current cigarette tax onto gum, and each individual piece of gum will cost $0.28 each compared to $0.30 per cigarette. Here’s how the formula used to figure it out:


  • $6.00 pack (with tax)
  • 20 cigarettes in a pack
  • $0.30 per cigarette


  • $0.83 pack (with no gum tax)
  • 12 pieces of gum in a pack
  • $0.07 per piece of gum (with no gum tax)

To buy cigarettes in chicago, the tax is $2.53/pack. So let’s put that onto gum. A $0.83 gum pack would then cost $3.36/pack. A whopping 28 cents per gum! That’s almost the exact same amount per cigarette!

(Here’s the sources for the cigarette tax numbers: state, total.)

Actually in Feb 2005, there was talk of putting tax on gum in London. Instead the “gum summit” in London decided to send gum manufacturer Wrigley a giant mean postcard signed by all delegate cities, with the message “Wish You Weren’t Here.”

However, an industry spokesman said, “Our research shows that a tax or levy would not be effective, as people would feel they have a right to drop the gum because they had already paid for it to be cleaned up.”

I say they should just have fun and connect the dots with gum on the sidewalk.

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