Cost of Smoking

The big story of the day is government’s vote to ban smoking in all confined public places, such as pubs and restaurants.

The government predicts that 600,000 people will quit smoking as a result of the ban, but apart from the obvious health risks, smoking can put a serious dent in your finances.

I was intrigued at how much people could save by giving up the fags. The obvious cost is the cigarettes themselves – using my money saving calculator, I quickly worked out a few rough figures for the table below, which shows the costs per month and per year for various levels of smoking.

Smoking Level Fags/Day Monthly Cost Annual Cost
Casual Smoker 3 £21 £260
Regular Smoker 10 £75 £912
Heavy Smoker 20 £150 £1825
Super Heavy Smoker 40 £300 £3650

*Figures based on average £5 per pack of 20 cigarettes

As well as the initial outlay, you’ve also got to factor in the other financial costs.

For example, life insurance for smokers tends to be a lot more expensive. For example, for £100,000 of life cover, over a 20 year term, for a male non-smoker age 38 next birthday, the cheapest monthly premium would be £10.40. For a smoker, the cheapest premium would be £19.49. This probably doesn’t sound like a massive difference, but over a year it’s saving another £110.

Add a critical illness option into the quote above and the difference is a whopping £35 a month (£38.56 for a non-smoker, £73.80 for a smoker), or £425 a year.
So you can see, the cost of smoking really adds up. Of course, you could argue that if you’re a smoker, you don’t need to worry too much about saving for your retirement, because there’s a good chance you won’t last that long!

What other financial costs are associated with smoking? Let me know in the comments below.

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