We know what a pack of smokes costs us, and we have a vague idea that it adds up over time, but we rarely stop to think about how much money we will spend on cigarettes in a year, 5 years, 15 years, or during our entire lifetimes. The answers may surprise you.
The cost of smoking cigarettes varies greatly depending on the state and the number of packs smoked, which varies depending on the smoker, so let’s consider a couple of possibilities.
According to LUNG.ORG the average price of a pack of cigarettes in the United States is approximately $5.5. Now this may not seem like that much, until you consider how many of those you buy in a year. Each year, a person who smokes one pack per day will spend $2,011 on cigarettes alone. If you smoke 2 or 3 packs a day, in a year you will lose $4,022 and $6,033 on cigarettes, respectively.
Cigarettes can be far more expensive in certain states. In New York, a smoker will spend over $5,000 every year. In ten years, that same smoker will waste $50,000 on a habit that’s killing him. That’s enough to buy yourself a brand new BMW.
The lifetime cost of cigarettes varies greatly between states, not only due to the differing costs of cigarettes, but also due to the different life expectancies. Studies indicate that the lifetime cost of cigarettes for the average smoker varies between $1,097,690 in South Carolina to $1,982,856 in New York, to $2,032,916 in Alaska.
Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death and diseases in the United States. Every year, over 393,000 Americans die of smoking-related causes, and every year, smoking is responsible for over $96 billion of healthcare expenditures in America alone.
The average medical cost per pack of cigarettes is $5.31. That’s another 5 bucks for every pack you buy, but also considerable deterioration of your health and a drastic increase of the risk of premature death.
In addition to the direct costs of tobacco, researchers have discovered a significant wage gap between smokers and non-smokers caused by productivity loss, health-related absences and workplace bias.
The average smoker earns 8% less than a non-smoker of the same background. For the average hourly wage (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) of $25 that can mean a monthly loss of $275, and a loss of $3,306 every year.
Is It Worth It?
Once you add up all the losses that smoking cigarettes can cause, you get a figure as high as over $7,000 every year for an average one pack a day smoker. In 5 years, the same smoker will pay $35,000 to keep up his habit, and over a 15-year period he will lose $105,000. That’s enough to buy yourself your dream car or put your kids through college.
Quitting could save not only your life but also allow you to save many others. The money you’re spending on cigarettes is enough to build 73 wells every year and help countless people without access to clean drinking water. Just by looking at the financial figures, you can begin to realize how much you can gain by quitting — and there’s nothing to lose if you do decide to quit. Smoking is an exceptionally poor investment.
Here is a recap of the statistics above:
- 393,000 Americans die of smoking-related diseases every year.
- In certain states, you can spend as much as $5,000 on cigarettes every year.
- Over your lifetime, smoking can cost you over $2 million.
- Smoking is responsible for over $96 billion in healthcare expenditures in the United States.
- In a year, an average smoker earns $3,306 less than a non-smoker.
- Over 15 years, a smoker will lose more than $105,000
Not convinced? Read The Effects of Smoking. Do you still think it’s worth it?
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