The financial cost of smoking

How the habit hits your wallet

If you are a smoker, you’ll be used to seeing the price of cigarettes rise year-on-year, but have you ever taken the time to work out what they are costing you in the long term?

Putting aside the costs to your health, even moderate smokers are now spending a substantial amount of money on their habit in the UK.

Based on an average UK price of £11.46 for a pack of 20 in 2021, somebody who smokes 10-a-day will be paying £2,091 per year. That’s the price of a nice holiday.

Somebody who smokes 20 a day will be spending £4,182 a year, which would buy a second-hand car.

And 40-a-day smokers will be forking out £8,364, money which could cover the cost of approximately 6,150 litres of petrol.

Focus on the reward

While the cost of smoking might seem justifiable on a day-to-day basis, it quickly becomes shocking when added up over the longer term.

Many people seeking to kick the habit use this as motivational fuel, saving the money to pay for specific treats such as a phone, a holiday, or a new kitchen.

Other hidden costs

Smoking-related illness or disability might also mean you lose income through missed work, and you're likely to pay more for insurance. Smokers are more likely to develop serious illnesses such as cancer or heart disease, so products which pay out on death or illness are a lot more expensive.

And smoking costs the whole country hundreds of millions of pounds for everything from healthcare to litter - so we all end up paying for it.

For more help and tips, go to NHS Better Health Quit Smoking.