Smoking affects your financial health.
The cost of smoking includes more than the price of cigarettes. Smoking can seriously affect your financial health, as well as your physical well being and the health of your family and friends. If you are a smoker, chances are you already know all of the health risks associated with your habit. If those are not enough to get you to quit, take a look at the dollars and cents. The money you save in the short and long term may convince you to kick the habit.
At $4 to $5 a pack, cigarette smoking is one of your most expensive vices. Add in the cost of lighters, breath mints, teeth whitening, candles and air fresheners and the cost keeps increasing. The annual cost of a one-pack per day habit, just for cigarettes alone, is over $1,400. Every time you light up your money is going up in smoke, about $0.25 worth.
In addition to the well known cancer risks, danger of premature birth and low birth weight babies, premature aging, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a smoking habit will cause dental problems. Smokers are prone to gum disease, oral infections, bone loss and tooth decay. Gum disease can lead to a serious heart condition. All of these conditions require medical attention and they all cost money. Smokers are also more likely to develop respiratory problems when they get sick with a cold or flu, which means more money out of pocket for doctor's visits and prescriptions.
Deep-seated cigarette smoke in the home and your car will affect their resale value. Removing the smell of smoke is not an easy task, and non-smokers will often opt for a home or car that has not been smoked in. You could be hurting your job prospects, as well. In 2005, Scotts Miracle-Gro company announced it would begin firing employees who refused to quit smoking in October, 2006. Weyco, a Michigan based health-care company also fires employees who test positive for tobacco use. Companies are refusing to hire smokers, and terminate smoking employees as a means to control costs. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one smoking employee will cost a company $3,400 in health-care costs and lost productivity every year.
According to Ángel López Nicolás, a researcher at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena in Spain, the true cost of smoking increases to $150 a pack for men and $105 for women when all factors, including a shortened life expectancy, are considered. Men who smoke puff away 7.13 years off their life expectancy and women, 4.5 years.
Long-term financial benefits of quitting smoking include increased opportunity for savings and lower insurance rates. Life and auto insurance premiums are lower for non-smokers because they are a lower risk. The difference can add up to hundreds of dollars over a period of just a few years. If you were to deposit the $120 every month, what you pay to smoke, into an account earning only two percent for 10 years, you will save $16,088.20. Invest that money into a retirement account earning an average of 9 percent and your savings will grow to $24, 033.66.
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