Life’s tough for Chicago’s smokers. Between strict smoking laws and the months of miserable winter weather that make even the briefest outdoor excursions a nightmare, the city is not the most hospitable place for those craving a little nicotine. The real kicker, though, is the exorbitant price of one measly pack. That’s why Cigs at Pitts is such a godsend, with hand-rolled cigarettes for only $3.25 per pack. The setup is, admittedly, a little strange—it’s on the second floor of the Chase Bank building, and you have to be buzzed in. Getting started requires a membership and a fee of $10-$14, which pays for the first pack and a reusable cigarette holder in either plastic or metal and leather. And now you’re cooking. Or smoking.
How do they manage to sell cigarettes in the heart of Chicago cheaper than anything outside the city? Technically, Cigs at Pitts is a charity that provides hand-rolled, virtually chemical-free cigarettes (they still contain nicotine) to the public; that $3.25 price tag is considered a donation. Is it legal? Sure. Is it a hidden treasure for the city’s smokers? Without a doubt.