Come on down! You could get a new car! Or, a down payment on a house. Or several years worth of trips. How about money towards your children’s college education, or your education? There’s no obligation…oh, wait, not so fast. And restrictions do apply. But all this and good health can be yours, and “the price is right”…it’s FREE. Let me explain how this works.
Currently, a pack of cigarettes is about $4.60 if you buy three packs, otherwise it is probably about $5.00. I don’t smoke, but I like to use round numbers, stay with me on this. If you smoke one pack of cigarettes a week, that is $260 a year ($5/pack x 52 wks). If you buy the special of three packs for $4.60/pack, it is $13.80. Since you have two extra packs sitting around, you will probably smoke all three packs in one week. Now you have gone from spending $260 in one year to $717.
Once you start smoking, you crave nicotine all the time, so you will be buying more cigarettes. Spending $5 for a single pack per day gets expensive ($1,825/yr). Of course, it is cheaper to buy them by the carton, but you may have to determine whether you need to spend $45/carton or put gas in your car. Tough decision in today’s economy. But if you have the money to smoke, you must be making good money. That’s $17,447 for a pack-a-day, 10 year addiction.
Speaking of making good money, some employers are now charging smokers more for their health insurance. Higher premiums mean less money in your pocket. Smokers get sick with more respiratory illnesses, and that’s lost productivity for your employer. Smoker’s children have more respiratory illnesses too, resulting in you or another breadwinner missing days from work. Even if you don’t smoke around your children, smoke containing tars and nicotine left on your skin, clothes, hair and in the car – called third hand smoke – impacts their health. Smoking may even cost you a job as many employers don’t hire smokers because of higher health care premiums and lost productivity at work due to absenteeism.
Quitting cigarettes and going to smokeless tobacco isn’t any better. Users still run the same risks of gum disease, heart disease and addiction as cigarette smokers, but with a higher risk of oral cancer. Smokeless tobacco contains a lot of sugar and permanently stains the teeth, causes bad breath and contributes to tooth loss.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what smoking costs you in dollars, but it is more difficult to figure out the costs to your health, your family or your life. Every year over 400,000 people in the United States die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the U.S. No body wins by using tobacco. Instead of paying the tobacco companies to make you sick, put that money away and reward yourself and your family with good health, and a new car. It’s FREE!
Use the following cigarette calculator to figure out the number of cigarettes you’ve smoked and the amount of money you’ve spent. It also provides the amount of tar and nicotine you have inhaled as well as other deadly toxins that are in a cigarette.