The Cost of Smoking By Atlantic/Smith, Cropper & Deeley 10/17/2016 If you’re a smoker and looking to save money, quitting smoking is a good place to start. Unlike canceling your cable subscription or purchasing generic supermarket goods, quitting smoking will put money in your pocket while also benefiting your health! • On average, a pack of cigarettes costs $6.36. Using this number, if you smoke one pack of cigarettes per day (20 cigarettes), you could save $2,321.40, or the cost of engagement ring, after one year if you do not spend that money on cigarettes. Over three years, you could save $6,964.20—or about a 25 percent down payment on a new car. In five years (assuming the cost of cigarettes hasn’t gone up), you would save $11,607, or more than the average yearly cost of shelter. • If you purchased a 20-year term life insurance policy for $500,000, it would cost between $570 and $1,035 in premiums yearly for a nonsmoking middle-aged man—it could cost as much as $4,250 for that same man if he smoked a pack a day. That’s a difference of $3,215—or a week-long trip for two to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. • When trading in your vehicle for a new one, car dealers will reduce the resale value of your car by about $1,000 for smoking damage, which is roughly the cost of a mortgage payment on a $150,000 house. • Some studies suggest that smokers earn 4 to 11 percent less than nonsmokers because they are perceived to be less successful. This could equate to a $5,500 loss for someone who would earn $50,000 per year, or the maximum annual IRA contribution for workers under 55. • Under the Affordable Care Act, premiums for smokers can be 50 percent higher than their nonsmoking counterparts. The same policy with a $300 per month premium for nonsmokers can cost smokers $450, which equates to an additional annual payment of $1,800. • If a 40-year-old smoker quits and puts the amount he or she would have spent on cigarettes into a 401(k), he or she could save as much as $350,000 (assuming 9 percent annual rate of return) by the time he or she reaches 70 years of age. • You could also put all of the money you save into a Health Savings Account (HSA). The money would accumulate tax-free, and you could take it out at a later date to cover your medical expenses (also tax-free). Quitting smoking really is a great way to save money. Thanks for reading and good luck if you are working to quit. We support you 100%.