How Much Money You Can Save by Giving Up Smoking

by Hyrum Taffer

Non-smokers don’t understand how much smokers love to smoke. The sound of the paper burning, the heat in your lungs, and the smoke coming from your mouth all add up to a very pleasurable experience. There are many other reasons why people smoke, but when you boil it down the reason people smoke is because they genuinely enjoy it.

With the love of smoking set-aside, there are many reasons why quitting is a good idea. It turns out that smoking is…well, expensive. Actually, saying that smoking is expensive is putting it mildly. Smoking is ridiculously expensive. From the actual cost of cigarettes to the medical bills to the increased insurance premiums, smoking can really break your bank.

breaking a cigarette

The Actual Cost

The Surgeon General has only placed one label on your carton or pack of cigarettes, it says you might get cancer from using this product.

In reality there’s another label on each pack of cigarettes. And that is the actual price tag, or cost to smoke.

The price of cigarettes varies depending on the state. But for the most part the cost of a pack of cigarettes is about five dollars.

The math is real simple here, five dollars a day equals about $2000 per year. That’s a lot of dollars to trade for those little nicotine/tar sticks and such brief satisfaction.

To get a larger picture of the cigarette cost for a lifetime of smoking, simply multiply the cost per year against the cigarettes and you will understand the real cost.

For most people this number comes out to be about $100,000 give or take $20,000 for a life of smoking. In some cases, those people who tend to smoke a little more, may run up a bill of $200,000 or more in their lifetime!

Medical Costs

According to the Department of Health and Human Services a smoker’s healthcare cost is 40% higher than a non-smoker. The insurance premiums for a smoker is where you find most of these costs.

Take the insurance premiums for a nonsmoker and add 40%. The average cost for healthcare per person each year is about $8000. If you happen to be a smoker it is roughly $12,000.

Work Costs

Lets face it, smokers need to take time away from whatever they are doing to smoke. If you work this turns into time lost and decreased productivity. How much time does it take to have a smoke break? From walking to the smoking area, washing up after, and getting back to work, I would say it takes about 10 minutes.

If you take six smoke breaks a day that ends up being an hour total, gone! The time really adds up people. If you miss an hour of work a day for smoking breaks, that turns into a full work day missed every seven days or so. The number of work hours lost really starts to add up quickly. For some people who take regular smoke breaks this could add up to 7 to 10 complete workdays missed every year.

If you’re a salaried employee obviously this doesn’t matter, but if you work from an hourly minimum-wage standpoint this could really put a dent in your paycheck.

Even if this doesn’t effect you monetarily, your employer may notice you’re not as productive as your coworkers. That could hurt your bottom-line by not being promoted or even being let go due to poor productivity.

Resale Costs

Smokers suffer financially when they want to try and resell items they may have smoked in. Nobody really wants to buy a car that smells like an ashtray. Or a home for that matter. According to Kelly Blue Book smokers cars sell for about 10% less than non-smokers vehicles.

When it comes to selling a home that has been smoked in you will have to pay major bucks to make the stench go away. The money will be used to go around and replace items in your home before it can be resold. What will you need to do to get the smoke odor out?

The answer is actually simple but very expensive, repaint the entire house and replace the carpet. How much do you think that will cost? Depending on the size of your home it can be very substantial. You’re probably looking in the tens of thousands of dollars. OUCH!


With the economy struggling and our fiscal future hanging by a thread, spending money on cigarettes is an expensive hobby. If you think about what you could substitute for cigarettes the prospects of quitting become a little more enticing.

Combining the actual cost, medical costs, costs on reselling items, as well as other things we didn’t really touch on, like teeth whitening and laundry, all combined you get a hefty daily price tag to smoke. After just one day of not smoking you save anywhere from $10-$15.

What could you do with that money you might save every day? A nice lunch? A cheap date? What? For $15 a day extra in my pocketbook, I might want to have fun at first and then I’d probably end up just saving the rest in a stable account.

If that is the money saved in just one day imagine what you can do with two days! By simply not smoking cigarettes you can save anywhere from $25-$35 in just two days. What could you do with that money? I think you’re getting the idea.

What about a little bit bigger time period of not smoking like a week, or a month, or a whole year? The savings get rather large. In a month you could save roughly $500. A nice little $500 getaway for the weekend would be nice every month! Saving $15 a day will give you well over $5000 a year in savings. After 30 or so years you would have close to $200,000 in the bank.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, no matter how much you love smoking, you will eventually get sick. The personal and societal economic burdens of taking care of people who smoke is immense. Heart attack, stroke, miscarriage, obesity, and much much more are waiting those who smokes cigarettes. Non-smokers are less likely to get sick with the flu or cold. That means you will save money by not having to go to the doctor as often as smokers.

Other less frequent but equally expensive things are avoiding the risk of burning down your home by a careless cigarette, or having your teeth professionally whitened on a regular basis. Maybe it is simply keeping the upholstering on your furniture nicer for longer.

Smoking becomes an incredibly expensive thing to do. The costs associated with smoking for any period of time is big. I don’t believe the price tag is worth it. Quitting is not easy, nicotine produces a boost of dopamine that produces an addictive effect. Breaking the addiction is not easy but can be done. Seek help and follow the steps necessary to overcome smoking.

(About the Author: Hyrum Taffer is a freelance writer with a great deal of experience in drug addiction/recovery. In his personal time he helps out with an Oklahoma drug rehab.Through much personal experience and a lot of research, Hyrum hopes others can benefit from his writing.)

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One Response to “How Much Money You Can Save by Giving Up Smoking”

  1. I have found that smoking is really addicting. I used to do drugs but smoking has been harder to quit. All of these Nicoderm products never seem to work either. I wish someone could help me with this.