Americans collectively spend more than $300 billion on cigarettes.
Not only is smoking bad for your health, but it’s burning a hole through your wallet as well. The unhealthy habit accounts for nearly half a million deaths per year in the United States and is the leading cause of lung cancer, according to the American Lung Association. But even if you don’t suffer from a symptom of smoking, odds are it’s putting a dent in your bank account.
Every year, Americans collectively spend more than $300 billion, which includes “nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults” and “more than $156 billion in lost productivity due to premature death and exposure to secondhand smoke.”
To encourage the estimated 36.5 million tobacco users in the U.S. to kick the dangerous habit, WalletHub’s analysts gauged the true per-person cost of smoking in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. They calculated the potential monetary losses — including both the lifetime and annual cost of a cigarette pack per day, health care expenditures, income losses and other costs — brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.
Key stats from the study include:
- Estimated financial cost of smoking over a lifetime per smoker: just above $1,5 million.
- The out-of-pocket cost per smoker is $120,111 over a lifetime. Smokers in New York will pay the highest costs, $194,341, which is 2.3 times higher than in North Dakota, where smokers will pay the lowest costs at $84,140.
- The financial-opportunity cost per smoker is $1,011,762 over a lifetime. Smokers in New York will pay the highest costs, $1,637,046, which is 2.3 times higher than in North Dakota, where smokers will pay the lowest costs at $708,759.
- Each smoker will incur an average of $222,915 in income loss over a lifetime. Smokers in Maryland will lose the highest amount, $304,168, which is 1.9 times higher than in Mississippi, where smokers will lose the lowest amount at $161,833.
- Each smoker will incur an average of $169,910 in smoking-related health-care costs over a lifetime. Smokers in Massachusetts will pay the highest amount, $280,080, which is 2.5 times higher than in Arkansas, where smokers will pay the lowest amount at $110,583.
States with the Lowest Cost for Smoking
2. North Carolina
7. North Dakota
8. South Carolina
States with the Highest Cost for Smoking
43. District of Columbia
48. Rhode Island
51. New York