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Smoking is Financially Chic?

If you smoke these days, social norms seem to have gone back to the old High School days, when only the Cool Kids smoked, now that smokers are treated as modern day lepers (and smoking is effectively outlawed in most places other than your own home, and even then there might be laws to control that as well (if you have kids there)).

I grew up in a home where my Dad smoked and I smoked for a short time (when I got the smokes for Free because I worked at Imperial Tobacco), so I am pretty sure my physiology is already altered by heavy smoke exposure (I am hoping my lungs hold out longer than my Dad), but let’s not dwell on the obvious direct health issues (did someone say Cancer?), no let’s talk about the Financial aspects and the social acceptance of Smoking.

How Much a Day?

Cigarette Butt
Butt Out Eh?

Smoking costs for a two pack a day smoker, around $16 a day (I am not certain on the price of a pack, and the economies of buying cartons (let us not speak of the illegal smokes trade)). For those of you espousing the Latte Savings plan to smokers, you might actually want to start here instead.

That is $16 every day of the year, no vacations, no off days, that is 365 * $16 which is about $5800 a year (after tax money). That is a staggering amount of money for the privilege of being a social pariah.

We all have bad habits, but one that costs you over $5000 a year, is a really bad habit (financially) not to try and control or quit.

I have spoken to acquaintances that smoke, and their attitude is quite interesting: if you argue with them about the Health Issues, the statement about it being their body and such comes up, however, if you ask them how they can afford it, they mostly just clam up and don’t say anything.

Black Lung Chic?

How does anyone afford to smoke? Maybe it is a new prestige thing, with smokers saying, Look I can Afford to smoke, I must be rich. If you are that rich, couldn’t you think of something better to do with your money? You put that money in any kind of savings vehicle and you’ll be able to retire very early (and more likely than not be able to retire (i.e. not be dead by then)).

Oh, and if you suck two Latte’s with that every day, you can pretty much make it over $10,000 a year you are blowing (just to add some salt to your financial wounds). That’s $100K a decade and one hell of a huge retirement fund.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Smoking just baffles me. We had no money growing up, but there was always money for cigarettes somehow.

    When I see kids smoking, I just want to scream. I lost my dad to emphysema and February, and if these people knew what a long, horrible death that can be, it may make them think twice. Or not, teens can be quite arrogant and thing nothing will happen to them.

  2. Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer

    I’m amazed at how many low-income people smoke. Just think what they could do to their living standard if they spent this money elsewhere.

  3. This is a very good argument. It can be extended to other things. For example, alcohol is a very expensive way to quench one’s thirst. So it bottled water. So is pop). All these things generally offer no nutritional benefits above regular water which comes free from the tap. Dare I wade into the whole coffee debate. To be sure, it’s not a big expense…unless you get your coffee daily at Tim Horton’s. That sure adds up over the years. And movies – going to the cinema is much more expensive than watching at home. And restaurant meals, much more expensive to have someone else stuff you full of more fat, more salt, more sugar than we would eating at home. Smoking might be the most obvious, but there are many other places we all spend out money to at best no real purpose and at worst creeping self-destruction.

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