According to information on-line, the cost of cigarettes increased an average of 4.1% a year from 2000 through 2017, and the average cost was $6.16 a pack in 2017.

So, suppose you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. Using the average cost per pack of $6.16, the total cost per year would be $2,248. If you cut your smoking to half a pack a day, you would save about $1,124 a year.

To calculate how much the $1,124 in savings, invested at a very modest 2% a year, would be worth in 10 years you would do the following with the following with the Choosing Wealth™ Calculator:

1. Enter 1,124, your first annual investment amount, then select
2. Enter 4.1, the increase in cigarette cost, then select
3. Enter 10, the number of years in your investment plan, then select
4. Enter 2, the annual rate of return you assume, then select
5. Select

The value displayed, $14,748, is the projected value of 10 years of cigarette savings based on the specified assumptions.

The Cost of Smoking Cigarettes

We’re not telling you what your lifestyle should be, but $1,124 the first year, increased by 4.1% per year for 10 years, earning 2% each year equals $14,748 in wealth accumulation.

The “Non-Smoker Wealth” chart shows the potential wealth from investing this savings at different rates and for different years.


Years Assumed Investment Returns
2% 4% 6%
10 $14,748 $16,067 $17,529
20 $40,020 $47,797 $57,590
30 $81,726 $106,640 $142,288

And that’s not even counting how much more costly health insurance premiums can be for smokers. A final Department of Health and Human Services rule found here allows for rates to be as high as 50% above those of non-smokers. An insurance website suggests smokers will pay on average 15-20% higher health insurance premiums. That means if the monthly premium was $350 for a non-smoker, it could be $420 a month for a smoker, a difference if $70 a month or $840 a year. Assuming health insurance costs increase 5% a year, the “Non-Smoker Insurance Wealth” chart below shows how much the savings could be worth at different rates over different years.


Years Assumed Investment Returns
2% 4% 6%
10 $11,477 $12,487 $13,604
20 $32,686 $38,823 $46,522
30 $70,296 $90,598 $119,410



Between the cost of cigarettes and higher health insurance premiums (and/or life insurance costs; and surely higher medical costs), how much of a personally and financially healthy and wealthy future lifestyle are you sacrificing?

Using this illustration, doesn’t taking 30 years of assumed investment returns at a modest 4% and having almost $200,000 sound better?