Real Costs of Smoking

Real Costs of Smoking

When looking at the real cost of smoking, one must consider not just the price per pack, but all of the peripheral costs must also be taken into consideration.

Other costs that are usually not factored in are the costs of burned clothing, furniture, and other casualties.

I remember in my smoking days how I would get angry at tax hikes on cigarettes and vow to quit when the tax goes into effect. Needless to say, that never happened. I kept smoking every other smoker caught in the trap

I seethed about what I perceived to be the unfairness and discrimination of the tax, but continued to smoke.

When a municipality needs money they tend to lean heavily on levying “Sin Taxes” which specifically target users of alcohol and cigarettes. Sin taxes can be very substantial with many states imposing tax of $4 or more on each pack.

Financial Cost

And we are not talking about “Chump Change”. While New York State tops the average price at $10.50 per pack, they are scheduled to rise to $13 per pack. In New York City, we can add another $1.50 for a whopping $14 per pack.

Missouri has the lowest cost at $4.38 per pack. For our purposes, we will use the US State average of $4.87/pack rounded to $5 for simplicity.

So let’s do some math.

The average American Smoker will smoke a pack and a half to two packs per day. Keeping the numbers somewhat conservative, let’s go with the lower number ( 1.5 packs per day).

So, $5 per pack x 1.5 packs per day x 365 days = $ 2737 annual tobacco cost for the average Smoker.

What could you and your family do with almost $3000 extra per year ?

Social Costs of Smoking

In the 1960’s approximately 42% of Americans smoked. Today, mainly due to education and awareness, that has dropped to about 14% of American adults.

Although two-thirds of those 1960’s Smokers no longer smoke, Smokers are still treated today as Pariahs.

Smokers have since become social outcasts, relegated to smoking outdoors.

Missed social opportunities such as dating, enjoying a movie uninterrupted, or enjoying a meal with friends or family without leaving to smoke has become the norm.

Smokers spend long hours alone smoking that could be better spent in activities such as spending more time with the family, being more productive, or having fun with friends.

The Ball and Chain needs to be removed.


Medical Costs

When we light up an average of 30-50 times every day, our addictive minds will minimize the effects and costs of smoking, especially costs related to medical care. Medical costs are not limited to the extra money paid for medical care or increased premium rates for health and life insurance.

Of course, we would be remiss if we did not consider the deterioration of our health, especially over long periods of time.

Doctors are not trained in Smoking Cessation. While they will all encourage Smokers to stop for health reasons, most have no training or knowledge sufficient to assist.

Cost to Loved Ones

The Loved Ones of Smokers are also victims of tobacco. I am not just referring to exposure to second-hand smoke.

Less money is available for our families. Many Smokers will even buy cigarettes before food. There is no money to take our families on vacations or family outings.

Loved Ones are affected by the medical problems that they watch the smoker endure. They live with the knowledge that their time with the Smoker will likely suffer a shortened life span.

The costs to the people around us can be very substantial.

Programs to Help Quit Smoking

If you are unsure of where to go from here, help and direction is provided to assist in your decision-making process. I encourage you to take advantage of the resources available through this website.

My students and clients are my priority. I built this website for you.

There is no such thing in matters as important as this as a “Dumb Question”.

The only dumb question is the one that wasn’t asked. Your questions are the only way I know how to best help you.

Please participate. The question that you ask may benefit another Smoker.

I will look for you in the Winners Circle.

Available Here



4 Replies to “Real Costs of Smoking”

  1. Thanks, John, for this article and for offering so much help to smokers who want to quit.

    I agree. The costs of smoking are very high. It’s just crazy that a pack can cost so much, yet people still keep paying it. They just can’t quit.

    The social costs make me sad. I remember when my mom still smoked, and she often wouldn’t attend family events because it was so awkward to have to leave every half hour or so to smoke.

    She also would never fly on a plane, because she couldn’t refrain from a smoke for that long. She couldn’t go see her family who lived far away. Very sad.

    And the medical costs just make me mad. Everyone’s premiums are higher, because insurance companies need to pay so much money on medical needs of smokers. Bummer.

    Here’s a question. Is vapeing as unhealthy as smoking?


    1. Hello Laura,

      What you have written here about your Mom’s behavior describes a very typical Smoker. Unfortunately, addiction creates denial in us that doesn’t allow us (as smokers) to accept that we have a problem. Denial creates the fear of stopping that causes Smokers to continue to make those bad decisions. 

      Vaping is definitely NOT a safe alternative to smoking. Nicotine is in vapes for the same reason it is in cigarettes… It keeps you hooked... It is a rationalization, rather than a solution to the smoking problem.

      Vaping also comes with it’s own set of chemicals, so that while not the same chemicals found in cigarettes, they are still chemicals being introduced into an otherwise healthy body…. 

      Thanks for your insights and comments.

      Best wishes,


  2. John,
    What an eye opening article on the real costs of smoking. Just wow! Another thing I was thinking about as I was reading your article is lost work. I wonder how many hours of productivity at work is lost every year due to smoking related absences. Or even smoke breaks! There are 250 people at the company I work for. I would guess about 100 of them smoke. If they each take 4 breaks at 10 minutes each per day X 100 employees that’s 4,000 minutes PER DAY lost to smoking. That’s 66 hours per day. Simply amazing.
    I smoked for about 20 years. It was a moment of clarity about 6 years I truly realized the entirety of what smoking was costing me. I’m so glad I quit.
    Great article,
    Mat A.

    1. Hello Mat,

      I personally stopped smoking when it was still tolerated in closed spaces and workplaces, so it was never broken down for me the way you do it here…. Thank you… 

      It is surprising to me that employers still allow smoke breaks… I think we may see a change in that trend as more and more employers become Ex-Smokers themselves.

      Thanks for your input, Mat

      I appreciate the visit.

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