Quitting Smoking and Saving Money – Ending the High Cost of Smoking

The money spent on smoking cigarettes can add up to enough to send children away to college, buy a home, or open a business.

Smoking is more than just a bad habit. Smoking cigarettes puts not only the smoker, but everyone one around them at immediate risk of developing adverse health complications. In addition to health issues, smokers also put themselves in what is known as a financial black hole. Many do not take into account the long-term financial commitment smoking entails, as well as the fact that this expenditure does not end unless the user quits.

Pack of cigarettes on a photo of hundred-dollar notes

Financial Black Hole

A financial black hole is defined as putting money into a product or action that does not produce any financial, or otherwise, beneficial results. Smoking cigarettes is a financial black hole by definition. There is no return on your investment. A pack of cigarettes range anywhere from $5.25 per pack in Virginia, to $12.85 per pack in New York.

This would mean that a smoker endlessly purchases a pack of cigarettes with no beneficial end result. Even a mortgage has an end, where you then own your home outright. The same goes for a car note. Purchases eventually become final. Insurance even has a beneficial outcome if, and when, an accident occurs. Cigarettes, however, have no end. The purchases do not become final unless the smoker quits.

Not only is there no end in sight, other than quitting, there is no beneficial return on the smoker’s investment. In fact, the longer the individual smokes, the more adverse health issues will arise. This adds an additional cost in the form of medical bills. Additionally, if the smoker then passes away, all monetary debts will then pass on to the spouse or children, thus, causing financial hardship on family and loved ones. Quitting, however, can alleviate all possibilities of health issues and financial burdens being passed down to loved ones due to smoking – in a blink of an eye.

Personal Cost

According to the American Lung Association, the average cost per pack nationwide is $5.51. If, on average, a smoker purchases one pack per day, they would then be spending approximately $2,011.15 per year. This could be a down payment on a new car, or a brand new 4k television. $2011.15 is also the amount for those who smoke only one pack per day. At 5 years, this amount skyrockets to $10,055.75. At 10 years, this amount becomes an astonishing $20,111.50, and $40,223 at 20 years.

This annual expenditure increases dramatically for each pack purchased. At merely two packs a day for 20 years, a smoker typically spends an average of $80,446. At three packs, the amount is approximately $120,669 after 20 years of smoking. This is enough to send a child, or in some cases two, to college. It is enough in many markets to purchase a home outright – no mortgages. It is also enough to open and operate a restaurant for one year. Imagine what can be accomplished by quitting now.


Having the ability to save upwards of 120 thousand dollars in 20 years can be a godsend to many. Having the ability to pay for a child’s college tuition can mean the difference between financial success and freedom, or mediocrity and struggling week to week for your child. Having the ability to open a business and experiencing financial freedom is the American dream. Saving the same amount of money that would be otherwise spent on smoking could mean the difference between dreaming the dream, and living the dream.

With so many possibilities, why wait? There are numerous smoking cessation aids available with or without a prescription like nicotine gums and patches, which are a great way to help quell nicotine cravings.

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