The Cost Of Lifetime Smoking Uncovered


If you’re not a smoker, you probably don’t know the actual cost of smoking in today’s economy. I’ll give you a hint…it’s really expensive! And if you are a smoker currently, then you will know the cost of smoking pretty well, but do you really know just how much someone could potentially spend on cigarettes in their lifetime?

In this blog, I’m going to take a look at this topic, and use a calculator that’s been created by one of the leading non smoking charities to tot up how much an average smoker would spend on cigarettes in their lifetime, and for a bit of fun compare it with what you could buy with that money! Let’s get into it.

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The Current Cost Of Smoking

The price of cigarettes and tobacco products in the UK as of right now is the most expensive it’s ever been. This is because of the tax duty that is imposed on these, and it’s something that has consistently risen every year within the Budget that is conducted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The UK Government have the goal of England becoming a Smoke Free Country by the year 2030, and this year’s budget announcement saw the price of cigarettes and tobacco hike up to the highest it’s been in a bid to start deterring people off the idea of smoking, with the average price of 20 cigarettes now costing a staggering £12.31 a packet! And a 50g pouch of the biggest selling brand of hand rolling tobacco is now well over £30 a packet so the cost of smoking really is becoming unaffordable to some people.

In the UK at the minute, everyone is well and truely living in the middle of a “Cost of Living” crisis in some way or another, and cut backs are having to be made for people to afford their essentials such as food and bills, and for some smoking is one of these luxuries that is at the forefront of people’s cut back lists but it’s not as simple and straight forward just to say you’re going to quit, but what if you knew the actual cost of smoking and how much it would cost over the course of your lifetime? Well, I might just have some information that’ll open your eyes a bit!

UnSmoke’s Survey With Adult Smokers

You might not have heard of Unsmoke before, but they are a company who work to bring awareness and education to people who are smokers to show the true cost of smoking, as well as providing resources and tools to people to help them in their quitting process.

But want to know who’s behind Unsmoke? Philip Morris International. Yes, THAT Philip Morris International, the biggest tobacco manufacturer in the world. Now you might think why are they behind a brand who are trying to get people to quit smoking? It’s because they are part of the Big Tobacco group, all of whom have pledged to creating a smoke free future to lower mortality rates as well as protecting the planet as well with less carbon monoxide and toxic fumes polluting the air from the smoke of cigarettes.

I think this is really good to see one of the Big Tobacco companies making their pledges a reality, by creating information outlets like these websites for people to reference and help them along their quitting journey.

Unsmoke carried out a survey asking 2000 adults, all of whom were nicotine users (so this could be smoking, vaping, nicotine pouch users etc) a series of questions relating the costs of smoking. A staggering 67% of those asked knew that they were essentially throwing money away by continuing to smoke and acknowledging just how much it’s costing them.

But over three quarters of them showed motivation to want to quit smoking, with money being the main driving factor, with improving their health being a close second. So we’ve established that money is a big driving factor for most, so let’s get into some figures using Unsmoke’s conveniently made calculator to work out just how much a lifetime smoker would spend on cigarettes!

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The Costs For A Lifetime Smoker Added Up!

Right, now we get to the fun part! I’m going to use Unsmoke’s “Cost Calculator” which is pictured above, and also linked here if you wanted to try it out for yourself and see how much every year an average smoker would be paying out to smoke.

I’m using the cost of £12.30 which is the average price of 20 cigarettes, and I’m using a person who is say 30 years old, and is a 20 a day smoker as the example to get the end results.

And the grand total of the yearly cost of smoking to a 20 a day smoker is….£4489.50! This is an absolutely absurd amount that people will spend on cigarettes! But let’s not stop the maths there, let’s add this up to the “lifetime amount”

And using this, it’s estimated that the average lifetime spend of a smoker if they continued to smoke 20 cigarettes a day through their life equates to…wait for it….£120,000!

Just to put into context (and because I want to have some light hearted fun with this) you could buy for that amount;

  • A Tesla Model S (and have pocket change)
  • 2 Round The World Cruises
  • 15 Rolex Submariner Watches
  • A Pretty Hefty Deposit For a House

It’s just mad really to think that people could spend that in their lifetime on cigarettes! Especially when there’s so many different options out there to help people quit smoking, not only to enrich their lives but also to save them some serious cash. You know what I’m going to suggest next don’t you…

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Vaping Can Save You Money!

My favourite thing to discuss when it comes to the cost of smoking, and that’s to emphasise just how much money you can save by making the switch to Vaping!

The average cost of Vaping is a bit more all over the place though however, and not as clear cut as what smoking is. As there are a lot of variables when it comes to Vaping which can affect the cost. Things like coils, vape juice and occasionally a new tank are the main things you need to keep up with, but the cost of these is absolutely minimal compared to what you’d be putting out on cigarettes if you continued to smoke.

The average cost of Vaping per year is around £1500, which is less than half the price of what smoking will cost you a year. And people tend not to even be lifetime vapers like they are smokers, as Vaping can help people completely quit Nicotine so you won’t be forking out silly amounts until the end of your time like you would if you smoked.

Just think…you could give up smoking and enjoy vaping whilst driving a Tesla with the money you’re saving!

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