The Financial Benefit of Quitting Smoking — Why It’s Good for More Than Just Your Health


When it comes to smoking we all know quitting is the absolute best thing you can do for your health and well-being. As the leading cause of preventable death in the US, smoking is responsible for more than 393,000 lost lives annually. With numbers like that, it’s heartbreaking to know that this addiction still plagues so many people.

But quitting is certainly easier said than done and talking about the health related consequences only goes so far to deter users from picking up another pack.

So when we came across an article by Ella Moss that discusses the financial benefits of kicking the habit, and suggests it as motivation to quit, we thought it was an interesting take on the issue. The money.co.uk writer explains the cost of cigarettes is only a portion of the overall price a smoker pays. There are other hidden costs associated with the habit and despite the fact that they pile up, many people fail to take them into consideration. She also talks above how relatively little it costs to actually quit smoking.

Moss shares startling figures on just how much money can be saved for a smoker living in the UK. We did some digging and found the numbers in the US are no less surprising.

According to the American Lung Association, the average cost of a single pack of cigarettes is $5.51. For someone who smokes a pack a day, that’s more than $2,000 a year. Additionally, researchers at Penn State University conducted a nationwide cost-benefit analysis study to find the effect it has on the US economy and when they included other factors such as medical expenditures and productivity loss at work, they found that number goes much higher. For example, employees whose work productivity suffers due to their smoking habit amount to about $67.5 billion in losses annually.

Although that study focuses on the costs on the economy, it isn’t a stretch to say it starts on the individual’s level and works its way up. Below are some examples of why smoking is a more expensive habit than you might have previously thought.


Smokers are at a higher risk of both developing medical problems and dying at a younger age than non-smokers, which results in a higher life insurance premium payment.

Additionally, the health care costs incurred by those health problems, including prescription medication, lend themselves to an even higher payout.


Multiple surveys have found that smokers earn less money than their non-smoking counterparts. One recent study concluded employees who smoke cigarettes earn 17.5 percent less than those who don’t. What’s even more surprising – and perhaps a bigger incentive to quit – is when smokers gave up the habit they started earning more than those who had never smoked in the first place, since the will power and determination required to give up an addiction is seen as a valuable quality by employers.

Another work related benefit from not smoking is missing fewer days at work due to ailing health. Moss says it’s likely you’ll feel healthier once you quit smoking and be less likely to take time off.

Quitting Costs

In her piece, Moss also outlines inexpensive methods of quitting such as emotional support offered through various programs for free, nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medicine. You can even use no to low cost natural methods to quit.

To read more about various quitting costs check out Moss’ article here. For more information on resources for quitting, visit smokefree.gov by clicking here.