Quit smoking, live longer and improve your long-term wealth
As ever on this website, we are not looking at wholesale changes to your lifestyle. Instead, we are focusing on the little things (the small steps) which can make a huge difference over time. Today, we’ll work out how much money you could save in the long-term if you quit smoking.
How many of us are lighting up?
Let’s look at some facts. In England in 2009, 21 per cent of adults reported cigarette smoking. This highlights a significant reduction since the 39 per cent in 1980. Prevalence continues to be higher among men than women with 22 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women reporting cigarette smoking.
In 2009, an average number of 13.1 cigarettes were smoked each day by current smokers. This includes an average of 13.9 cigarettes for men and 12.4 for women.
In 2010, £17.7 billion was estimated to be spent on tobacco in the UK. The proportion of total household expenditure on tobacco was 1.9 per cent in 2010. In 2010, tobacco was 33 per cent less affordable than in 1980.
So, if we take an average smoker, they will spoke 4,782 cigarettes in a year. A packet of 20 of a well-known cigarette in a UK supermarket currently costs £8.07. This means that the average UK smoker spends an incredible £1,929 each year on cigarettes!
Over 25 years, if you quit smoking today and save the money at the average rate of bank interest, you would have an unbelievable £110,434.
…and the monetary cost is obviously not the only negative impact
One not so obvious impact of smoking is the amount of time lost. Smoking a cigarette is considered to take around 5 minutes. Over the course of 25 years, this time accounts for 1 year, 1 month and 16 days! Instead, let’s assume that you could spend this time performing any activity that could earn you a meager £5 per hour. In this case, you would be earning an additional £50,000 from the alternative to smoking! Yet another reason to quit smoking.
But it’s not only the time and price of smoking that is costing you. Smoking kills around 114,000 people in the UK each year. Of these deaths, about 42,800 are from smoking-related cancers, 30,600 from cardiovascular disease and 29,100 die slowly from emphysema and other chronic lung diseases. Among adults aged 35 and over, there were approximately 1.5 million hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of a disease that can be caused by smoking.
The annual number of admissions has been rising steadily since 1996, when the number of such admissions was 1.1 million. Around 457,800 hospital admissions were estimated to be attributable to smoking. This accounts for 5 per cent of all hospital admissions in this age group.
Money Saving Tips
- Just stop smoking. Any way that you can, stop!
- Try smoking electronic cigarettes at first to help you quit smoking.
- Other options to help you quit smoking include nicotine replacement programs, prescription drugs, counseling, acupuncture, hypnosis and even low-level laser therapy.
Remember, this website discusses the very small steps which we can make with very little impact on our lives in the short term, but which have huge financial benefits over time.
Happy climbing one and all!