More New Yorkers are smoking—16.1 percent of adults reported puffing squares in 2013, the most recent year for such data, up from 14 percent in 2010—despite a pack of cigarettes running an insane $14 in the city nowadays. A new report by the city's Independent Budget Office blames the uptick on the decline in funding for the Bloomberg-initiated antismoking ad campaigns, but it's also possible that the stress of keeping your head above water in this obscenely overpriced city may be driving more otherwise sane humans to forfeit vast sums to suck down cancer-causing breath destroyers.

It should be noted that e-cigarette sales were picking up steam in 2013, and the addictive doohickeys have only become more ubiquitous since then. The e-cig industry's PR denial machine is already running full tilt, but the medical research about the health effects of inhaling nicotine vapor isn't back yet, and though the city has banned the devices in parks and government buildings, it has yet to launch the sort of all-out offensive on e-cigs that Big Tobacco has faced.

All that and the well-documented health hazards of conventional smoking aside, it's utterly bonkers that anybody is paying nearly two hours of New York's minimum wage for a pack of cigarettes. How the e-cigarette, shady online mail-order, and rolling tobacco companies haven't totally taken over by now is beyond us.

The de Blasio administration says it has budgeted $7.3 for anti-smoking campaigns this year, a slight increase from the $7.2 million spent last year.