A new article from demographic research firm WalletHub takes a closer look at both the health and financial consequences of smoking, and it’s not a pretty picture. The negative health consequences of smoking have been known for several decades now, but the financial costs of smoking cigarettes has rarely been systematically addressed.
WalletHub decided to take on the challenge, and produced a report that breaks down the total costs per smoker on a state by state basis. Not surprisingly, the most significant factor in the cost of smoking cigarettes is the cost of cigarettes in the state where you live.
Health-related consequences of smoking cigarettes
Smoking-related illnesses have cost at least 20 million lives in the U.S. since 1964, and 2.5 million of those deaths were of nonsmokers who became ill due to secondhand-smoke exposure. Moreover, tobacco use still causes 443,000 premature deaths in the U.S. every year. The American Lung Association notes that smoking is also the primary cause of lung cancer, and men who smoke are 23 times more likely to develop the disease and women smokers are 13 times more likely.
State by state costs of smoking cigarettes
New York is the third most expensive state in the U.S. to be a smoker. According to WalletHub, a smoker in New York will spend an additional $1,982,856 related to their tobacco habit over a lifetime, with $1,527,924 being the costs of the cigarettes.
Connecticut is the second most expensive state in the U.S. to smoke cigarettes. WalletHub notes that a smoker in Connecticut will spend an extra $1,992,690 on their tobacco habit over a lifetime, with $1,461,747 representing the costs of the cigarettes.
Alaska is the most expensive state in the U.S. to be a smoker. According to WalletHub, a smoker in Alaska will spend an additional $2,032,916 on their tobacco habit over a 69-year average lifetime, with $1,553,228 being the costs of the cigarettes.
South Carolina was the least expensive U.S. state to be a cigarette smoker. It will only cost you $1,097,690 in additional costs to smoke cigarettes for your lifetime in South Carolina, with a mere $786,346 in total cigarette costs over 51 years (ages 18 to 69). Of note, South Carolina has the cheapest cigarette prices in the U.S.