Smoking burns money, too

By • Published: February 21st, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Shelling out four bucks for a pack of cigarettes doesn’t sound like a big deal. Until you add up a few other costs. First, multiply four times three-hundred-sixty-five. In case you don’t have a calculator handy, that’s about fourteen hundred dollars. Now add the price of cough drops to deal with that wicked smoker’s cough, the costs of lighters and matches, dry cleaning fees to get the smoky smell out of your clothes… and the list could go on.

It’s no wonder then that the added expense of smoking spells financial trouble for about one-quarter of American smokers.

According to a study that appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, one-fourth of American smokers and one-third of Australian smokers admit the cash they spent on cigarettes could have eased their struggles with bills or food costs.

The researchers say kicking the habit led to a twenty-five percent decrease in financial stress.

More than five-thousand smokers were surveyed as part of the study. They weren’t asked about how much they spend or how often they smoke, but experts say heavier smokers usually tote a greater financial burden than smokers who only light up occasionally.

These are only the monetary costs, too. Smoking causes eighty-seven percent of lung cancer and is the primary cause of other mouth and throat cancers. Smokers are also twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop coronary heart disease.

Cutting out smoking won’t just save you cash. It could help your health, too.