Financial Benefits of Quitting Smoking
While you probably know that smoking is bad for your health, you may not be aware that it’s just as bad for your wallet. Smokers not only have to pay for cigarettes and lighters but also higher health and life insurance premiums because they’re more prone to illness.
Smoking can even affect the resale value of your home or car and may limit your career growth. Keep reading to learn more about the far-reaching consequences of smoking and the financial benefits of quitting.
1. More Money in Your Pocket
A pack of cigarettes costs between $5 and $10 depending on where you live. Although that doesn’t seem like a lot of money, when you consider that most smokers go through a pack per day, the costs really start to add up.
If you live in a state where cigarettes are heavily taxed and cost $10 per pack, you could save $70 every week just by quitting. If you can go a whole month without smoking, you’ll save $280. A year after quitting, you’ll have an extra $3,360 in your pocket, which is enough for a nice vacation or even a used car.
Investing that money can yield an even higher return. If you keep $3,360 in the stock market for 30 years and get a 7 percent annual return, you’ll have an extra $25,577 to spend and enjoy during your retirement.
2. Lower Healthcare Costs
In addition to the cost of cigarettes and accessories like lighters and ashtrays, smokers usually have to pay higher health insurance premiums. In America, smokers pay up to 50 percent more for health insurance than non-smokers.
Considering the average person already pays $440 per month in premiums, this added cost can be a major drain on your finances.
Smokers are also more prone to colds and chronic illnesses like diabetes, cancer, gum disease, and heart disease. You’ll probably have to visit the doctor and dentist more often than a non-smoker, which will raise your healthcare costs even more.
Inhaling secondhand smoke can also cause health problems like asthma and frequent respiratory infections. So if you quit, your entire family will be healthier and you’ll have more money in your pocket at the end of the month due to reduced medical costs.
3. Lower Life Insurance Premiums
If you have a family that relies on your income, it’s always a good idea to take out a life insurance policy. But if you smoke, you’ll pay a lot more for it because you’re more prone to health problems and premature death.
Smokers pay 218 percent more for life insurance on average than non-smokers. To put that number in perspective, the cost of term life insurance for a healthy adult is roughly $126 per month. But as a smoker, you’ll pay about $274 per month—a difference of $148.
With that extra money, you could go out for a few restaurant meals or pay down your mortgage faster. Just imagine the extra financial security you’d have if you weren’t spending $148 more for life insurance every month.
4. Higher Productivity
Smoking not only costs you money but also takes up a significant amount of your time. It takes around 5 minutes to smoke just one cigarette. If you consume a whole pack, you’ll spend around an hour and a half smoking every day.
Reclaiming those lost hours may give you more time to cook and maintain your home, eliminating the need for costly convenience foods and lawn care services. You may also be able to save money on cleaning products and dry cleaning because you won’t have to remove the smell of smoke from your home and clothes.
You may even be more productive at work if you stop smoking. Smokers miss more days of work due to illness compared to non-smokers. They also tend to take more breaks while on the clock, which causes them to be less productive overall.
The CDC estimates that smoking-related productivity losses cost American companies a combined $156 billion per year.
So quitting smoking could help improve your performance at work and save your employer money. And if your boss notices that you’re at your desk more often and more engaged with work, you may earn raises and promotions that will boost your income and allow you to save more money.
5. Protects the Value of Your Assets
Believe it or not, smoking in your home and car can actually lower their resale value.
Cars owned by smokers are worth 7.5 to 9 percent less than their Kelley Blue Book value. This is likely because smoke is difficult to remove from cars and can linger in the air system and upholstery even after you deep clean them.
You may lose even more money when you try to sell your home. According to Realtor.com, smokers’ houses sell for up to 29 percent less than smoke-free homes.
Quitting can help protect the value of your assets and ensure you get what they’re worth when you sell them.
The true cost of smoking goes beyond the $70 per week you spend on cigarettes. As a smoker, your healthcare and life insurance costs are significantly higher. Assets like your home and car may also be worthless because cigarette smoke is hard to remove.
You’ll also lose an hour or more of your day to smoke breaks, which can lower your productivity at work and have a long-term effect on your career progression and income.
Although it’s hard to quit and takes a lot of willpower, there are products out there that can help make things easier for you, such as nicotine pouches.
To learn more about your options, head to nicotinepouches.org. It has lots of helpful information on the best brands of nicotine pouches and how to use them to get you on the road to a smoke-free, financially secure life.
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money-saving hacks on savingadvice.com or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.