Limited Capitol Hill Deal: Cut-Rate Cigs

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg has never liked it that Senate sundry shops sell tobacco products. Worse: They're discounted, and young buyers aren't often carded. Well, those days are nearly over. After he and four other senators complained that the sales sent the wrong message, the shops have been ordered to drop cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and chaw as of January 1.

It's a blow to smokers. The stores used to sell a pack of butts for $3.95, a discount from the neighborhood price of $4.81. But there is a silver lining for some. The shops are having a blowout sale with packs priced at just $3 and cartons at $30.

By Paul Bedard