News & Politics

Brooklyn Woman Growing Own Tobacco, Sticking It to the Man


While you losers are out there paying $12 a pack for your Marlboro Lights — or even quitting, like the quitters you are — Audrey Silk, a retired cop in Brooklyn, is growing her own cigs for a quarter of the price. Silk lives in Marine Park and is the founder of a smoker’s rights group called CLASH (Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment), and she has “gone off the grid” by growing her own tobacco. And she doesn’t plan on sharing.

Silk’s first crop yielded the equivalent of nine cartons, which would cost roughly a grand. The whole process cost her $240. Her goal: to “make the antismokers apoplectic.” And to avoid having that moment that a lot of us smokers have had in recent days where you’re like, “Oh my God. I’m paying $12 a pack for something that is killing me? I should obviously quit.” And then you don’t quit and feel guilty about it. Audrey Silk has found a way to feel no guilt whatsoever.

She actually sounds like quite a character. The “antismokers” are a big thing with her, as she worries they’ll target homegrown tobacco next. She’s “waiting for the black helicopters to start flying over my yard.” Don’t you wish your life could be exciting like that? The constant imagined threat of black helicopters.

There are two downsides to this whole thing. The first is that after planting a crop, you have to wait months to start using the tobacco for cigarettes. The second is that Silk will not be sharing her extremely cheap smokes. “When I have to put a lot of work into something, I don’t share,” she told the Times. And the Times was like, “I’ll give you a dollar!”

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