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Cost of Smoking Can Exceed $2 Million Over Lifetime

smokingThe average financial cost of smoking is about $1.4 million.  That’s the estimated amount one person will spend during their lifetime as a smoker, according to a new report.

Social network WalletHub calculated the potential monetary losses associated with smoking for individuals in each state and Washington, D.C.  The total cost per smoker ranged from a “low” in South Carolina of almost $1.1 million to over $2 million per smoker in Alaska.

“For our calculations, we assumed an adult who smokes one pack of cigarettes per day beginning at age 18,” according to WalletHub, and “a lifespan thereafter of 51 years, taking into account that 69 is the average age at which a smoker dies.”

In addition to the costs of the actual cigarettes, researchers also examined the total health care costs, income losses and other expenses including additional premiums on homeowners insurance as “nonsmokers are generally entitled to a homeowner’s insurance credit of between 5 and 15 percent,” according to the report.

After Alaska, the states with the highest costs per smoker are Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey.

According to Dee Burton, Associate Director for Research and Evaluation, Center for Health, Media and Policy at Hunter College, the nicotine patch is not a long term solution to quitting and there is not enough information on electronic cigarettes to determine their effectiveness as a cessation aid.

The patch, said Burton, “while providing some assistance in reducing cravings for tobacco, is neither a strategy for smoking cessation nor a potent facilitator of cessation.  As for e-cigs, they “should be regulated as cigarettes and there is a current proposal on the table by the FDA to extend its regulation of tobacco products to e-cigarettes.”

Burton said that “most of today’s smokers lead highly stressed lives” and “need an intervention that comes to them and that provides support over a long period of time.”

-By Alan Lyndon

Overall Rank

State

Total Cost per Smoker 

Tobacco Cost per Smoker (Rank)

Health Care Cost per Smoker (Rank)

Income Loss per Smoker (Rank)

Other Costs per Smoker (Rank)

1 South Carolina $1,097,690 $786,346
(1)
$121,270
(8)
$179,410
(9)
$10,665
(30)
2 West Virginia $1,105,977 $803,863
(2)
$127,950
(10)
$166,586
(3)
$7,577
(1)
3 Kentucky $1,115,619 $823,327
(3)
$110,321
(2)
$173,710
(4)
$8,261
(3)
4 Mississippi $1,150,702 $870,041
(10)
$113,451
(4)
$155,395
(1)
$11,815
(39)
5 Georgia $1,153,516 $831,113
(5)
$116,403
(5)
$195,403
(20)
$10,597
(29)
6 Tennessee $1,166,693 $866,148
(9)
$113,137
(3)
$178,284
(6)
$9,124
(11)
7 Alabama $1,176,633 $870,041
(10)
$120,938
(7)
$174,449
(5)
$11,206
(34)
8 Missouri $1,177,230 $825,274
(4)
$151,417
(29)
$190,291
(15)
$10,248
(25)
9 North Carolina $1,186,790 $862,255
(8)
$128,205
(11)
$186,440
(11)
$9,890
(21)
10 Louisiana $1,207,594 $897,291
(13)
$117,784
(6)
$178,932
(8)
$13,586
(47)
11 Idaho $1,209,154 $883,666
(12)
$128,737
(12)
$187,725
(14)
$9,027
(8)
12 Arkansas $1,215,647 $934,272
(17)
$106,863
(1)
$165,065
(2)
$9,447
(17)
13 North Dakota $1,220,666 $842,791
(6)
$143,610
(22)
$224,074
(32)
$10,191
(24)
14 Virginia $1,247,844 $848,631
(7)
$132,121
(13)
$257,268
(43)
$9,824
(19)
15 Oklahoma $1,255,719 $938,165
(18)
$121,334
(9)
$184,298
(10)
$11,922
(40)
16 Indiana $1,274,264 $932,326
(16)
$137,831
(18)
$195,183
(19)
$8,925
(5)
17 Nebraska $1,281,059 $903,130
(14)
$157,339
(32)
$209,590
(26)
$11,000
(32)
18 Wyoming $1,293,459 $905,076
(15)
$145,780
(24)
$233,364
(35)
$9,238
(14)
19 Kansas $1,319,229 $967,361
(19)
$133,263
(14)
$207,297
(25)
$11,308
(35)
20 New Mexico $1,320,560 $988,772
(23)
$143,449
(21)
$178,488
(7)
$9,851
(20)
21 Nevada $1,325,116 $973,200
(21)
$135,602
(15)
$207,154
(24)
$9,160
(12)
22 Oregon $1,348,224 $986,825
(22)
$150,145
(26)
$202,038
(23)
$9,216
(13)
23 Colorado $1,352,541 $967,361
(19)
$137,654
(17)
$236,199
(37)
$11,327
(36)
24 Ohio $1,357,236 $1,016,021
(27)
$138,475
(19)
$194,951
(17)
$7,790
(2)
25 Montana $1,370,191 $1,021,860
(29)
$150,823
(27)
$187,480
(13)
$10,028
(22)
26 Florida $1,372,374 $996,557
(24)
$171,447
(36)
$187,158
(12)
$17,212
(51)
27 Iowa $1,380,804 $1,017,968
(28)
$142,830
(20)
$210,744
(28)
$9,262
(15)
28 Utah $1,391,897 $1,002,396
(25)
$136,360
(16)
$238,929
(38)
$14,212
(48)
29 Pennsylvania $1,436,403 $1,060,788
(31)
$154,672
(31)
$211,968
(30)
$8,974
(7)
30 Minnesota $1,437,858 $1,008,236
(26)
$173,930
(37)
$243,947
(42)
$11,745
(38)
31 Texas $1,448,653 $1,074,413
(33)
$149,000
(25)
$209,610
(27)
$15,629
(50)
32 South Dakota $1,452,902 $1,088,038
(34)
$154,315
(30)
$201,275
(22)
$9,275
(16)
33 Michigan $1,492,182 $1,144,484
(35)
$143,672
(23)
$194,995
(18)
$9,031
(9)
34 Delaware $1,492,717 $1,047,164
(30)
$194,254
(44)
$242,348
(40)
$8,952
(6)
35 California $1,508,790 $1,062,735
(32)
$188,368
(41)
$243,352
(41)
$14,336
(49)
36 Arizona $1,527,427 $1,167,840
(39)
$151,197
(28)
$198,068
(21)
$10,322
(26)
37 Illinois $1,549,069 $1,152,269
(36)
$158,720
(33)
$227,660
(34)
$10,421
(27)
38 Maine $1,580,359 $1,185,358
(40)
$192,545
(42)
$193,412
(16)
$9,043
(10)
39 Wisconsin $1,605,164 $1,220,393
(41)
$164,702
(34)
$211,213
(29)
$8,855
(4)
40 Maryland $1,651,906 $1,160,055
(37)
$185,701
(39)
$295,168
(51)
$10,982
(31)
41 New Hampshire $1,654,680 $1,160,055
(37)
$219,555
(48)
$263,931
(44)
$11,140
(33)
42 Washington $1,670,552 $1,253,482
(42)
$167,874
(35)
$239,055
(39)
$10,141
(23)
43 Vermont $1,741,661 $1,298,249
(44)
$213,097
(47)
$219,720
(31)
$10,595
(28)
44 District of Columbia $1,747,869 $1,261,268
(43)
$201,847
(45)
$273,156
(47)
$11,599
(37)
45 Hawaii $1,853,787 $1,383,891
(46)
$185,972
(40)
$270,537
(46)
$13,387
(46)
46 New Jersey $1,874,155 $1,381,944
(45)
$193,312
(43)
$286,922
(49)
$11,977
(41)
47 Rhode Island $1,945,724 $1,481,211
(49)
$224,902
(49)
$227,154
(33)
$12,458
(43)
48 Massachusetts $1,979,050 $1,457,854
(47)
$238,937
(50)
$269,831
(45)
$12,429
(42)
49 New York $1,982,856 $1,527,924
(50)
$208,467
(46)
$233,894
(36)
$12,570
(44)
50 Connecticut $1,992,690 $1,461,747
(48)
$239,866
(51)
$277,970
(48)
$13,106
(45)
51 Alaska $2,032,916 $1,553,228
(51)
$182,575
(38)
$287,546
(50)
$9,566
(18)

2 comments

  1. Let me see if I understand this. A person smokes a pack of cigarettes a day for 51 years. That’s 51 X 365 = 18,615 packs.

    That means that in Alaska, a pack of cigarettes costs $83.44??

    $1,553,228 / 18,615 = $83.44

    • The calculation also includes “the amount of return a person would have earned by instead investing that money in the stock market over the same period,” according to WalletHub.

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