Smart Reasons to Save, Use and Invest Money

Are Cigarettes Keeping You Poor Both in Wealth and Health!

Cigarettes really do keep you poor both in wealth and health!

If you live in New York, cigarettes can cost you over $10 a pack!  For a carton, that would come to $100 since there are 10 packs of cigarettes to a carton.  In the rest of the country, the average pack of cigarettes cost about $5.00.

On the surface, It’s easy to calculate the annual cost of cigarettes.  If you smoke a pack a day, it could cost you $5 x 365 = $1,825 a year.  And if you live in New York, it would cost you $3,650 a year.

Since my grandfather smoked about 2 packs a day, it also cost him about $3,650 a year.  Both my grandfather and grandmother smoked about the same, it would have cost them $7,300 a year if they were still alive today.  In the end, my grandmother did wise up and stopped smoking about 5 years before she died of a nonsmoking related illness.

But my grandfather (who never stopped smoking) had emphysema, and eventually died of lung cancer.  To make matters worse, their friends also smoked, so when I would visit them, the house would be filled with so much smoke that it actually would look like fog inside of the house.

With respect to wealth, my grandparents didn’t do all that badly since they had a few small businesses that they were running.  However, I have to wonder if they would have had a lot more money if they invested that money they spend on cigarettes instead.

If they had invested $5,000 a year in a decent mutual fund for 30 years, they would have had at least an additional half a million dollars of wealth.  Cutting out the cigarettes would have extended their livespan and improved the way they lived!  This would have enabled them to do more in retirement than they did.

They did do some traveling, even visiting Hawaii back when it wasn’t nearly as common.  But they never went to Europe, like my grandmother always wanted to do.  Perhaps with that additional half a million dollars, they could have squeezed in.

Other cost associated with cigarette smoking are the following:

  • Limited dating partners.  I dated one girl who smoked, but after that experience, I weeded out females that smoked out of how I would consider dating.  I’m sure there are females that would do that same as I did.
  • Decreasing physical fitness.  It’s hard to jog when you smoke.  Eventually you start to become more sedimentary and settle to mainly watching TV after your day job.
  • You health declines in almost every area.  There are too many health ailments to list, check out this smoking info site if you are interesting in learning more!
  • You constantly smell like smoke.
  • If your hair is white, it will start to yellow, as will your teeth.
  • Since you smell like smoke, people will dislike the smell of you, so you limit your pool of potential friends.
  • If you go on a job interview, the interviewer might know that you smoke base on visual cues and may be more inclined not to hire you.
  • The list goes on and on.

Since there are so many negatives, I’ve never considered smoking.  Even when many of my family members did and still do.

Is it possible to become wealthy while smoking?  Sure, but you have a better chance of being wealthy if you don’t, not to mention the healthier life you’ll live!


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26 Responses to Are Cigarettes Keeping You Poor Both in Wealth and Health!

  1. I couldn’t agree more with your posts. There are so many downsides to smoking that it makes me wonder why people even begin in the first place.

    My grandfather died of smoking and it’s sad because I barely got to know him as a result. Besides the monetary reasons you not only kill yourself by smoking but you also harm others with second hand smoke. That seems like the worst thing a person can do.

    Thank you for the great post. I’m glad to see posts that go into health and other areas beside money. That being said money ties into everything, there is no escaping it.

    -Ravi G.

    • Yes, luckily today kids and society are more educated about the dangers of smoking.

      I personally can describe the death the my grandfather experienced… it was heartbreaking, not a good way to go!

  2. Smoking is my number one pet peeve. I get so angry when I see teens smoking. Actually, nobody my age and younger should be smoking.

    My parents smoked, my grandma smoked, all the neighbors smoked. I cannot imagine how bad I smelled growing up and I didn’t even realize it. Long car rides in the winter were just awful.

    It just baffles me why anyone would take up a habit that is incredibly expensive, and kills you.

    • You’re upbringing sounds similar to mine…

      I remember getting nauseous driving to Arizona and Delaware as a kid on vacation with my grandparents.

  3. On Long Island the price is about $10, but in the city it is even more! In NYC you can expect to pay about $12/pack…NUTS

  4. I hardly ever see people smoke anymore. The only other time I saw it was in a rich part of NYC and it was usually an ultra skinny supermodel type. I think they smoked instead of ate. It was still gross, but that’s the only area I’ve seen it kind of glammed up.

    My dad smoked and he was addicted to lots of things. I knew I probably inherited his addictive personality, so I was afraid of starting any kind of drugs or cigarettes.

    • I was lucky, both my grandparents smoked all the time, so you’d think I would be attracted to it. But the one period when I did smoke (I dated 1 girl that smoked), I was able to kick it before I got addicted.

      Still, I don’t want to press my luck.

      Oh, I do occasionally smoke and drink though. I haven’t done that in quite a few years though.

    • Yep, health cost all around would be reduced drastically if nobody smoked and everybody that could exercise did regular modest exercise…

  5. My problem with smoking is the unintended consequences of smoking. Smoking is a choice, habit or addiction. The people around smokers are affected and did not make a choice. My second problem is tobacco farmers are subsidized by the government. Tax dollars are spent to subsidize a crop that can kill you, hospitalize you and affect other peoples health. Then tax dollars will subsidize the health system to support the people who are sick from smoking. Let’s stop the insanity!

  6. I only tried smoking once or twice when I was young. Thanks goodness it never stuck. I would hate to pay that much every day and have bad health to boot.

  7. I’m shocked that people still smoke. In the 1970’s, we might not have known how bad it is for your health (after all, they even allowed smoking inside hospitals).

    But today, we very darn well know the dangers of smoking. I’m surprised people still smoke regularly.

    I am uplifted, though, by the fact that even among 20-something’s, smoking is “uncool” (at least, all my 20-something friends think it’s uncool … and my friends are cool).

    • Yes, I complain about the media/TV shows on TV, but this is one case where the media/TV has had a positive affect. One of the few though…

  8. Smoking is such a waste of money and health. I think cigarette packs are not expensive yet, they should be sold at 20+ in order to dissuade people from smoking.

    Why don’t smokers realize that they are hurting people around them with second hand smoking besides hurting their health?

    • Ironically the group that smokes the most (according to a gallup poll) are those in the 6,000 to 11,000 dollar range. How they are able to afford this? I have no idea.

  9. Lots of people still smoke – it is still a billion dollar industry.
    When you “judge” smokers you’re judging myself and my struggles to stop and the difficult reasons behind why I started.
    It wouldn’t be fair for me to bash caffeine drinkers, alcohol drinkers, the overly frugal or people who have faith. Not everyone will agree with every habit or life decision.

    Remember, judge and open thyself to be judged.


    • I’m not judging, but seeing my grandfather die the way he did, I think people should take heed and try to kick the habit… as hard as it may be, for both the cost and health benefits.

      I didn’t go into the gory details of his death, but it involved pain and a lot of blood. I loved my grandfather, and hope he’s in a better place.

  10. I think that if someone is already hooked, it’s hard to make judgements on them. Smoking at one time was so common, and even in recent years many got hooked as teenagers. I’m guessing most would love to quit but it’s apparently really tough.

    That said, if somebody STARTS smoking today, after all we know about it, it’s entirely senseless.

    As a side note – I have never smoked, and never will.

    I’ve had to deal with caffeine consumption, which is a different animal altogether. So far, no caffeine in 2011.

    • Congrats on no caffeine! I did smoke for a brief spell, when I dated the female smoker that I mentioned above. I later developed the habit of occasionally smoking while drinking at bars with friends.

      But for the last few years, I haven’t touched a cigarette… But occasionally, I do the the urge, even though I wasn’t hooked…

  11. Quitting now will save you $45,000 in 10 years if you smoke 20 per day in Australia. So it would be prudent to have the resolve to quit now! If that is what you truly want to do, don’t sabotage yourself – If you were planning to go on a well deserved interstate driving holiday with your loved ones, would you purposefully let down the car tyres or put sugar in the fuel tank the morning before you started your holiday? Of course not! If you have decided that you would like to quit smoking why would you want to sabotage yourself and undermine your resolve to quit? What steps can you take to make it easier for you and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome in your resolve to quit smoking?

    Remove temptations – Mae West once comically stated “I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it”. Many smokers trying to quit feel that they can resist everything except the temptation of smoking. Clean up your home, office and vehicle and dispose of all your cigarette supplies, lighters and ashtrays. This way temptations will be removed and you will be taking sides with yourself rather than being a self-defeating saboteur of your own well meaning. Some pertinent anonymous quotes and pearls of wisdom about temptation that I really enjoy and that are pertinent to quitting include the following:
    …… “Good habits result from resisting temptation”.
    …… “The problem most people have with resisting temptation is that they never really want to discourage it altogether”.
    …… “Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell”.
    …… “Those who flee temptation generally leave a forwarding address”.

    So once you have made up your mind to quit smoking, follow the intent of Richard Branson who said “screw it, just DO it”!