I don't have any hard feelings for Newports. They were the first-ever menthols I smoked in my life. And Newport was the primary brand I smoked within the past decade. I'll still smoke a few of those cigs when I spend time in public in particular.
Some Blacks call Marlboros a "White brand." And I know for a fact most Black cig smokers refuse to smoke any brand other than Newports.
Well, I think enjoying a brand is more important than whether or not it's a white brand or a black brand. What's the point of ANYONE smoking if you hate the brand's taste or strength? I can understand why most Black smokers prefer ports. Those are the cheapest premium menthols on the market. Based on the cost of a pack, a bro or sista might as well buy a port pack instead of a Kool or Benson and Hedges Menthol pack.
But there are also smokers who buy port packs from street dealers. Those dealers are making lots of money from bootlegging packs thanks to the politicians raising taxes. I bet even with my right to buy cigs online taken away, Big Daddy is STILL losing taz money with smokers buying packs from underground dealers.
Even when I smoked Newports daily, I NEVER bought a pack from a bro in the streets. No need to. Not when I can get a Newport pack in Indiana for only $5.50 (with the sales tax included). A port pack is now about $5.63. But that's still cheap compared to $7.50-$10 in/around Chicago.
Marlboro Menthol Lights are cheaper than Newports. When I can save up to $10 off of a carton or $1 off per pack in Indiana. But even without those savings, a Marlboro carton is still a buck cheaper than a Newport carton over there (if I assume I don't use ANY cig coupons as well).
2 promotional Marlboro Menthol Light cartons in Indiana is about $90 total with tax included., That's $10 less than the price of a Chicago carton for Marbs AND ports. I can get an extra carton for my money next door in the Hoosier state. And since I'd essentially save an extra $20, I could buy 3 extra packs of the Marlboro regular lights or 3 port packs. So in reality, I can get 2 promo Marb cartons plus 3 extra Marb packs for the same amount of money I'd spend on 2 Marb cartons alone WITHOUT the promo savings.
Missouri has better cig prices than Indiana. But unfortunately, I don't live near Missouri. But I still live near a state where the prices are similar to the old prices from online smoke shops.
I'm sure a lotta Chicago area smokers still drive outta state to buy cigs. But the high gasoline prices makes up for saving money on cigs for some smokers. I know even if I did drive, spending 70 bucks on gas in order to make a roundtrip to Indiana in order to buy 2 cartons wouldn't be worth it. Since when I include gas costs, those 2 Marlboro Light cartons would cost me $160 if I pretend the 2 cartons are promo cartons.
If I'm gonna essentially spend $170 to buy 2 cartons in Indiana, I'd be better off saving money on gas and I might as well buy 2 Marlboro cartons around the corner for $156. A carton aint 100 bucks in the Chicago burbs (but they still more than 50-55 bucks each) But I'm lucky I don't have to worry about buying gasoline period.