You may already know that smoking can take your health, young beauty, and even your social status, but what you may not realise is the extent of the economic loss?
As a broad estimate, smoking may make you one million dollars worse off in your lifetime, because giving up cash to buy a pack of cigarettes, instead of making a better investment, will result in a compound opportunity cost.
According to the new government report, despite these shortcomings, 52 million Australians continue to light up. Fortunately, the proportion of smokers in Australia is declining, especially among young people: the number of smokers between the ages of 18 and 25 has fallen by more than a third between 2002 and 2015. Part of the decline in cigarette prevalence is attributed to the rising cost of a pack of cigarettes. In addition, public health efforts remind Australians that smoking is the number one cause of preventable death.
In April, the New South Wales Parliament passed the “2018 Smoke-free Environmental Amendment Act”, which prohibits heat-free smoking in the same space where cigarettes are banned. New South Wales and Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory have also signed laws prohibiting shopping malls, cinemas, libraries, trains, buses, public swimming pools, parks, sports fields and outdoor.
Decreased use of cigarettes has seen an increase in the controversial use of heat-free electronic evaporation devices for the delivery of nicotine, but is it really cheaper to vape over the long term?
From a financial point of view, what is certain, is that quitting smoking can save you a ton of cash. Here are the factors that determine exactly how much, and why.
The cost of cigarettes continues rise
According to analysis by finder.com, a pack of smokes per day now costs around $40, depending on your preferred brand and pack size. That equates to a whopping $14,600 per year! Since 2008, Australian cigarette prices have doubled and are now the highest in the world. The price keeps increasing, dramatically, mainly due to the taxes on cigarettes rising. And, it’s said that taxes will likely rise again from 66% of cigarette prices to 69%. Colin Mendelsohn, chairman of the Australian Tobacco Reduction Injury Association, said rising tobacco taxes would exploit and punish addicted smokers.
How much you can save by quitting smoking?
It’s crystal clear to us how expensive cigarettes are! So, it is high time to stop. Quitting smoking can save you money not only now but also future health costs. If you need additional quit incentives, consider how much of your weekly income is dissipating. Have you ever calculated the figures? Even a 20-pack of Marlboro costs close to $27 in Australia which is $9,855 per year, and remember, prices are rising. What could you do for yourself and your family with that extra money? More than you think. At today’s price, if you smoke a pack of $27 cigarettes a day for ten years, assuming inflation of 3% per year, you will spend nearly $113,000 – that could easily be enough to buy a new car (or two) or make a very nice deposit on a house.
One day not smoking
After one day without smoking, you would have $27 in your pocket. You could enjoy a cafe lunch or buy some of your favourite magazines.
Not smoking for one day is good for your health and would mean:
Most of the nicotine is removed from your body.
Your heart rate slows down to normal speed and your blood pressure is more stable
Your fingertips are warm.
Two days not smoking
After two days without smoking, you would have saved $52. You can take friends to the movies, go to the football or cricket pitch, or eat at a restaurant.
Two days of non-smoking are good for your health and would mean:
Your skin, hair, and breath are fresher
The less carbon monoxide in your system means the more efficient your lungs
One week not smoking
After a week of not smoking, there would be an extra $190 in your pocket. You could enjoy a massage or facial, take some friends to eat out, watch a show or buy some new clothes.
Not smoking for a week is great for your health and would mean:
The small hair structure of your lungs, called cilia, would be clean and start to work better (some people may cough for weeks)
A higher blood level of protective antioxidants such as vitamin C.
Your sense of smell and taste may improve.
One month not smoking
After a month without smoking, you would have saved $820. You could do a lot! Go out for the weekend, afford several months’ worth of petrol for your car, pay off overdue debt, or go on a small holiday!
The health benefits of not smoking for one month mean:
Your lungs work more efficiently
Exercise is easier
The immune system begins to recover.
Three – Six months not smoking
After three months of not smoking, you would have saved nearly $2,500. This is enough for a new computer or TV.
After six months, you would have close to $5,000 to use as you like. How about an overseas holiday, a return ticket to Europe for yourself and your partner?
Plus health benefits such as:
1. Coughing and wheezing less
2. Improved blood flow to the fingers and toes
3. Your body is better at healing wounds and wounds
And the grand finale…. One year not smoking
After a year without smoking, you would have saved close to $10,000! Enough for around the world airline tickets, some new furniture a dent in your home mortgage, or a big boost to a property loan deposit.
The health benefit of not smoking for one year is that your lungs continue to improve. Your little airways are healthier and your lungs function better than when you smoke, plus so much more!
Plus, if you quit smoking, you will also save money in many other ways, including:
1.You are less likely to have a cold, flu or other respiratory infections, which means fewer visits to hospitals, fewer medications, and fewer sick days.
2.You don’t need so many dentist visits to professionally clean your teeth.
3.You don’t have to spend too much time and money to maintain your home. For example, smoking at home can cause discolouration of paint and wallpaper.
4.You will reduce the cost of cleaning because there is no longer a cigarette smoke inside the clothes, furniture and the interior of the car.
Your home has a lower risk of fire.
As the years go by, the health and economic benefits of quitting smoking go on and on and on, including:
1.Your chances of getting pregnant have improved.
2As time goes by, your sense of smell will continue to improve slowly.
3.Your heart attack and stroke risk will be greatly reduced in 2 to 5 years. You could also save $20,000 – $52,000.
4.After 10 years, your risk of developing lung cancer is lower than that of persistent smokers and continues to decline (if the disease has not yet occurred). You could also save close to $113,000.
5.After 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke is almost the same as that of a non-smoker in your lifetime. You could save nearly $168,000.
Quitting smoking benefits men and women of all ages and usually improves health. Keep in mind that the speed and extent of recovery varies from person to person.
If not for your health, think of your pocket. Quit now and save. Open a separate bank account and make a conscious decision to transfer the money that you save each week from not buying cigarettes. This is a very visual exercise and one which will reward you, your family and your lifestyle! No more saying that you ‘can’t afford’ the good things in life! Until you quit smoking, you really are burning a hole in your pocket.
Disclaimer: This information provided is general in nature. It is based on the knowledge and experiences of the author and not intended to be taken as financial advice. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of you or any other particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on the information. You may have to modify the information and do further research, for it to suit your personal financial situation. Therefore, before acting on the information, it is recommended that you consider its appropriateness to your circumstances or consult a financial adviser, tax advisers or legal professional to assist you in doing this