Friends and relatives I have who smoke often dismiss the cost they are paying to smoke, “It’s only a few bucks every morning at the gas station.” Few people actually do the math. At $8 per pack, a pack a day habit costs around $3,000 a year. This may not be that big of a deal for someone earning $100,000 a year, but what about for someone earning $25,000 a year? Or $15,000 a year? This is a major chunk of income. $3,000 a year at 8% interest over a 35 year period of time is $558,000. That’s a lot of money by just about anyone’s standard. In some states like New York, a pack of cigarettes tops $12! That’s about $4,500 a year!
There are ancillary expenses that also come along with smoking. Health insurance, life insurance, and missed days at work are some of the larger expenses. Health insurance has always cost more for smokers, and Obamacare penalties on smokers can cause insurance prices to cost from 50% to over 10,000% more. As far as life insurance goes, A 20 year $500,000 term life insurance policy for a 30 year old male non smoker costs around $245 per year, for a smoker, this increases to $885. That’s another $640 per year. Smokers also miss on average 2.7 more days of work per year than non smokers. What cost does 3 missed days of work have in your world?
With these added costs, a pack a day easily costs over $5,000 a year (and with Obamacare penalties could top well over $10,000 a year). What could you do with that extra $5,000? Of course the main benefit to quitting smoking is having better health, giving a chance to be with friends and family longer on this earth. Quitting this addictive habit improves many facets of life, and can make a major difference in short and long term finances.