A CIGARETTE COSTS 11 MINUTES OF YOUR LIFE
A recent study found that the ‘average’ cost of smoking a single cigarette to be 11 minutes of life, but the costs of smoking don’t stop there. A personal finance website found that the average smoking habit costs $1.1 million in the United States when taking into account the cost of tobacco, health care costs, income loss from smoking related illness and credits from insurance schemes (1).
Scientists have calculated that each cigarette cuts on average 11 minutes off the life of a male smoker. Looking at the average number of cigarettes a person can smoke, this is around 5772 cigarettes per year. That means the average smoker reduces their life expectancy by around 63,492 minutes every year - that's over 1,058 hours or 44 days!
We could go on - the calculation works out that every 8.3 years you smoke, you lose one year of life, smoking 5772 cigarettes per year. Scary, huh?
The calculation, published in the British Medical Journal, is based on the difference in life expectancy between male smokers and non-smokers and an estimate of the total number of cigarettes a regular male smoker might consume in a lifetime. (2)
The researchers, from the University of Bristol, took their figures on life expectancy from a major study of the impact of smoking carried out by leading cancer expert Professor Sir Richard Doll.
They calculated that smokers were likely to die 6.5 years earlier than non-smokers.
They also worked out that if a man smokes the average number of cigarettes a year (5,772) from the average starting age of 17 until his death at 71 he will consume a total of 311,688 cigarettes.
Based on these figures, each cigarette cost 11 minutes of life - and think of the financial cost too!
WHAT IS THE FINANCIAL COST OF SMOKING?
The price of cigarettes is on the rise in the UK and there is no end to these increases in sight! The UK Government's Smokefree 2030 plan aims to reduce smoking to levels of 5% for the UK population by 2030 and increasing the tax on cigarettes has always been part of the plan to make buying cigarettes undesirable.
Even smoking the cheapest packet of 20 cigarettes per days will cost you £9.40 here in the UK, working out to a yearly spend of £3,431.
Using the average of almost 16 cigarettes per day, that would mean every 8.3 years of smoking costs you 6.5 years of life and almost £22.5k - and that's the cheapest cigarettes out there! Imagine what you could do with all that money!
HOW ACCURATE IS THE CALCULATION FOR THE COST OF A CIGARETTE?
The researchers admit that their calculation is crude as it relies on averages, assumes the health effects of smoking are evenly spread throughout a smoker's lifetime and they are using that the number of cigarettes smoked throughout a lifetime is constant.
"However, it shows the high cost of smoking in a way that everyone can understand," they write.
"The first day of the year is traditionally a time when many smokers try to stop. The fact that each cigarette they smoke reduces their life by 11 minutes may spur them on."
Clive Bates, director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said on average a 20-a-day smoker is losing one day of life for every week of smoking (3). He said: "As if that's not bad enough, smokers are likely to die a more painful death and spend longer being ill while they are alive."
That is the worst part of smoking is the effects creep up on you, after all when those nicotine cravings start, 11 minutes doesn't seem so much to give up to get that hit. The second statistic, that you are giving up a day a week to smoke is much more worrying. Let's assume that is was one of the weekend days' you would be losing and not Monday.... So the question then is are you willing to give up every Saturday just to smoke cigarettes?
WHAT IS THE QUALITY OF LIFE COST OF SMOKING?
Even if you happen to think 11 minutes of life is a fair trade for every cigarette you smoke, it's not a straightforward swap. Smoking impacts many bodily functions, from the cardiovascular system that delivers oxygen around the body, to the health of your teeth and gums.
We're getting at the fact that smoking not only takes years off your life, but reduces your ability to enjoy life to the fullest as the years go by. From developing lung conditions like COPD (4), reducing bone density and increasing the likelihood of diabetes, smoking is likely to make your twilight years unenjoyable, to say the least!
The impact on the immune system is another nail in the coffin for smoking. As we age, our immune systems aren't as good at fighting off infections which means the elderly are far more susceptible to illness that the rest of us are unlikely to worry about (5).
A common illness like flu can present a real threat with a weakened immune system. As smoking alone activates the immune response, it's fair to say that smokers are under chronic stress from smoking (6). Smoking reduces the number of white blood cells (our immune cells) so adding an illness on top of this will present a serious threat. In an elderly person, this could be life-threatening.
A CIGARETTE COSTS 11 MINUTES OF YOUR LIFE - CONCLUSION
How many people, do you wonder, look back at their youth and regret taking up smoking? How many regret not quitting cigarettes sooner? I suspect that most smokers look back and wish they'd never taken up smoking, and those spending their final years with one or more smoking-related illnesses are probably the biggest advocates for quitting smoking!
The reality is, no one knows what the future holds, but if you want your future to be filled with hope and opportunities that you are healthy enough to take, then: what are you waiting for? Get your metaphorical Saturday back and make the switch to SMOKO today!
And if you are serious about kicking the habit - why not try a SMOKO E-Cigarette Starter Kit?
*2023 Update - You can now try the SMOKO E-Cigarette for FREE when you purchase one box of E-Cigarette refills!
(4) Smoking and COPD
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Written by Jonny Shaw
Jonny Shaw – Is a former smoker of 7 years before becoming a client of SMOKO E-Cigarettes. He started working with SMOKO 10 years ago after successfully quitting with our cigalike and now heads up our Customer Service. Jonny helps countless people every day to find the right solutions to quit smoking cigarettes using our range of vape and electronic cigarette products.