Hello, smokers around the world. Big question: If half a million dollars in cash was on the table and you had to decide right now to quit smoking cigarettes and never pick up another one, would you pick up the pack of Marlboro Reds or the fat stack of cash?! Every smoker in the world has heard at least once how much money they’re wasting on cigarettes. They usually hear it from their relatives. Somebody did the math, and it was ugly, but it obviously still didn’t matter enough. So who’s talking about $500,000 now? That’s half a million dollars. Could this much money really be at stake, today, when you make that choice?
Rising cost of a pack of cigarettes
The cost of a pack of cancer sticks ranges from $5.00 to $14.50, depending on city, county and state, and of course, being in a state the grows the MOST tobacco helps, like Kentucky. In metropolitan cities like New York, cigarettes cost over $14.00 per pack! And so the math gets started at a pack a day in New York, and over 15 years the grand total is $79,387. Let’s call it an even $80,000.
In some US states, packs of cigarettes have jumped in cost 35 percent in just one year, as has been the case in New Hampshire and Vermont. In New Jersey, cigarettes run more than $9.00 per pack. Same goes for Alaska, Hawaii and Arizona. In Illinois, a pack of smokes runs you over 11 bucks. Menthol cigarettes comprise over 30% of the total cigarette market. Those prices jump around, usually up, along with cloves and flavored cigarettes. Either way, it all adds up faster than most people ever want to consider. Plus, the cost of the cigarettes is just the tip of the iceberg.
Compounding costs of being a smoker
The following are estimates based on typical costs in the USA over 15 years:
Teeth-whitening kits (at home and at dentist): Ranges from $25 to $300 (for quality ones that still only last six months). Add up $300 every six months for 15 years and that’s… cha-ching (sound of cash register): $9,000.
Dry cleaning and clothing damage: Clothes stink, dress shirts get stains, and burn spots ruin them: $14,000.
Gas: Extra trips to the convenient stores, grocery stores and drug stores add up: $750.
Sleep aids: Millions of smokers have insomnia thanks to chemicals in cigarettes: $15,400.
Libido enhancers: Millions of smokers lose some or all of their sex drive due to chemicals in cigarettes: $12,200.
Air fresheners (that are also toxic): Candles and disinfectant sprays, etc: $26,000.
Breath fresheners: chewing gum, mints and mouthwashes: $6,480.
Medicine (over-the-counter and prescribed) — for cough/cold/flu: $13,000.
Pain killers for muscles/joints/headaches (aspirin, ibuprofen and prescription): $9,000.
Typical smoker’s diseases and disorders:
Let’s just guess that you’ll have to battle at least one of these preventable diseases or disorders thanks to cigarettes in the next 15 years. Average cost of yearly checkups, routine testing, surgery, hospital overnight stays ($10k), medications, possible chemo and radiation treatments, recurring prescription meds and painkillers: Easily spend $3,000 to $8,000 per year, especially at the latter end. (Some cancer fighters right now are spending $10k per month on chemo drugs*). That’s $120,000 over 15 years, and that could be “light” for an estimate, especially if you throw in surgery and regular chemotherapy treatments. Then you’re at about $315,000, if you’re still alive to pay it, and trust me, one of Obama’s 16,000 IRS agents will find you to make sure that you do. Medical bills can now be collected as bank accounts and investments get frozen and confiscated.
*”Overall, cancer drug prices are skyrocketing. Of the 12 drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for various cancer conditions in 2012, 11 were priced above $100,000 for a year of treatment. Writing in an op-ed in the New York Times in October 2012, three physicians at New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center noted that ‘the typical new cancer drug coming on the market a decade ago cost $4,500 per month (in 2012 dollars); since 2010 the median price has been around $10,000,'” reported .
So here we go… let’s do the math
….. cha-ching …
Grand Total: $500,000
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Sources for this blog post involved studying the following: