The Financial Benefits of Dropping the Cigarettes
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- By Stacey Bumpus
- January 1, 2012
Just about every person who smokes cigarettes considers quitting at some point, and usually because of its major health risks. If you have been thinking about quitting but haven’t yet found your motivator, you might want to consider the long-term financial impact of buying cigarettes. You’d be surprised by how much you could save if you quit smoking.
How Smoking Can Cost You the Big Bucks
If you smoke, you already know the average cost of a pack of cigarettes is somewhere around $5 (not including sales tax) in most states. However, depending on your circumstances and habits, the price of smoking could really skyrocket.
Here are just some of the costs you could encounter as a smoker:
The above figures demonstrate how the average smoker could easily pay $8,300 in one year as a result of their habit. But let’s not forget tax. The cigarette tax imposed varies drastically from state to state, but in California, for instance, the tax is only $0.87 while in New York, the tax jumps drastically to $4.35 along with an additional $1.50 municipal tax. This means New York residents could spend $2,106 per year in cigarette taxes alone.
Dropping the Habit Could Help You Save Money
Americans could easily save thousands of dollars every year in cigarettes and other related costs. Here are just a few ways that this money could be used in more productive ways:
- Savings: With the money you’re not spending on cigarettes, you could open a high-interest savings account, money market account or CD to not only store your savings but grow them as well.
- Investments: If you want to take that growth to the next step, investments like stocks, bonds and mutual funds are great ways to earn a higher return.
- Retirement: Did you know the average American will have to retire on $190 a month at the current retirement savings rate? You could always add the money you spend on smoking to your 401(k) or IRA account instead.
- Paying down debt: Another great way to make use of the money is to pay down your debt. Whether you’re reducing your credit card debt, paying off a car loan or paying off a collection account, you would have plenty of money to manage your debt.
- College savings: If you want to start saving for your child’s education, you could use money left over from dropping the habit to do so.
In addition to helping you save money, dropping the habit could also save your job. According to research from the Society for Human Resource Management, 1 percent of companies have chosen to steer clear from hiring smokers.
Further, as reported by MSN, Weyco, a medical-benefits administrator in Michigan that was opposed to employing smokers, fired four employees who would not submit a breath test. Employees with the company who do smoke are charged $80 per-month if their test isn’t clean.
The Cost of Quitting Isn’t So Cheap
Hopefully, the health risks associated with cigarette smoking (including lung cancer, nicotine addiction, heart attack, stroke, emphysema, COPD and pancreatic cancer, to name a few) are enough reason to quit smoking. If that isn’t a motivator, though, the cigarette cost itself should do the trick.
If you have decided that quitting the habit is for you, however, it’s good to know that you may have to use some of your smoking money to cover the cost of being weaned off of cigarettes.
According to SmokeFreedom.net, the cost of quitting cigarettes could vary significantly depending on your method. For instance, if you try the patch, you might pay $200 over a six-week period. However, if you use a nicotine inhaler for up to six months, the cost could average $3,100.
Of course, you could also try the cold turkey route, which means you simply stop buying and smoking cigarettes. For some, it’s just that easy and for others, assistance is necessary.
Most people try different methods of quitting cigarettes have to quit a couple of times before they actually kick the habit for good. So, if you’ve already broken down and lit up in 2011, don’t give up. Resolve to quit again in the coming weeks and this time, think about the money you’re saving.