In our days, smoking, active or passive, kills 6 million people a year, including 600,000 non-smokers, because governments do little to lead men to stop smoking, or to protect others, says WHO (World Health Organization). Maybe cost-of-smoking estimates may alarm some smokers to quit smoking. But, is this cost-of-smoking enough?
A smoky future
The epidemic of smoking-related diseases and deaths caused by cigarettes has just begun but statistics are grim. It is supposed that by the year of 2030, 8 million people will die each year from smoking.
UN urged more governments to sign and implement the treaty of smoking control, warning that if the trend continues, this vice could cause up to 1 billion deaths in the 21st century, which would represent a dramatic increase from the 100 million deaths caused by smoking, registered in the last century.
So far, 172 countries and the European Union signed the Convention on Tobacco Control, established in 2005, which required the states to take serious steps to reduce the percentage of smokers and to protect the non-smokers from the smokers’ cigarettes smoke.
Smoking cigarettes shorten your life
Half of tobacco-related deaths occur between 35 and 69 years of age. Smoking causes about 30% of cancer deaths. 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and 70% in women are due to smoking.
Fetal tobacco syndrome, infertility, impotence, frail immunity, cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, arteriosclerosis, heart attack, decay, headaches and bad breath are only some of the diseases and issues that can be caused by smoking.
Some articles on some websites and blogs are stating that if a smoker quits smoking now he would be a millionaire when old.
One particular calculation on this regard has been done by WalletHub, which is known as a website on which you can find many financial tips.
According to them, if saving the costs of a cigarettes pack per day and other additional costs that resides from smoking, a smoker could stock up to $2 million when old.
Sounds exaggerated, doesn’t it?
Maybe that’s because it is really exaggerated. In fact, the calculation is much more simpler than WalletHub’s one.
A pack of cigarettes costs between 50 cents and 15 bucks, depending on country.
Let’s resume to the US. In US, the most expensive cigarettes pack can be bought in NY, with $15, while the cheapest packs are in South. On average, an US cigarettes pack costs around $6.
$6 x 365 (1 year) = $2,190 per year.
Let’s say that a regular smoker decides to quit smoking at the age of 30. According to the US life expectancy of 78 years, that means that this former smoker will be able to save in his next 48 years of life up to:
$2,190 x 48 = $105,120
But, this calculation is not accurate, too. A person is usually starting to smoke in youth, around 18-19 years of age, which means that until the age of 30 that person has been a smoker for 11-12 years, a fact that can lead to some health problems, so the life expectancy can be even lower than the average.
Let’s forget about life expectancy! Why such a big difference between a simple calculation and the WalletHub’s calculation. From where they pulled out those $2 million?
I guess that the WalletHub article’s authors thought that someone who quits smoking will definitely feel the need to do something else with the cigarettes money, something that is meaningful. They made the calculation thinking that the cigarettes money could be invested with a 7% return. Is not breaking news that an investment is not always safe, and the investor can lose all the money.
WalletHub’s article looks meant to trigger an alarm in any smoker’s mind and to inoculate the idea of using cigarettes money for investments, reformulating the well-known ‘latte factor’.
The ‘latte factor’ is a theory according to which any person who quits buying a latte every morning can become a millionaire in the future. This theory is considered an utopia by financial experts.
Many ‘latte factors’-like theories can be formulated taking day-to-day habits of people.
‘Quit driving to work, and use a bicycle instead. You can save the gas money and you’ll be a millionaire in the future… And a much healthier person, by the way.’..
Well, the last part is true!
‘Cut off eating launch at work. Eat an apple, instead! You’ll save you’re launch money, and you’ll be a millionaire when old.’
And so on…
Back to smoking. Psychologists are of a different opinion. They say that a person who quits from a bad and unhealthy habit, such as smoking is, will never think to save and invest the money they would use for that habit. In most cases, they will spent those money on useless things, or, in worst cases, they will form another bad and unhealthy habit, such as eating fast food, playing casino, drinking, or spending money on the former habit’s alternatives.
In case of smoking, there are hundreds of thousand of people who quit regular smoking just to spend almost the same sums of cash on smoking alternatives, such as vaping (electronic cigarettes), which is not healthier, by the way.
How to quit smoking?
To quit smoking is much harder than trying to change another habit you might have. It’s hard, but you can do it! You can quit directly or gradually reducing the number of cigarettes. There is a plan, a strategy available to everyone, and you should visit your doctor to seek help and directions in order to reach your goal.
You can double or even triple the chances of success using the medication in parallel.
Methods that can help you quitting smoking are:
- taking part in programs and anti-smoking associations
- constant communication with your doctor
- psychological therapy
You can quit smoking and you can get back to it several times until you’ll finally succeed. The majority of smokers have more attempts before they manage to escape forever from the habit. It is important not to stop but to keep trying.
But why is it so hard to quit smoking?
For most, it is very difficult to quit because of the nicotine addiction. It is believed by some specialists that the nicotine addiction is as powerful as it is the heroin addiction.
Quitting smoking can give insomnia, irritability, depression, moods that are only making the whole process to become very difficult. Besides these physical symptoms, psychological and emotional reactions may occur.
Once you have decided to quit smoking, you have to try to handle these different annoying situations, stress, and emotion with your own iron will, without lighting up another cigarette.
Conclusion on cost-of-smoking estimates
Smoking is a habit that will never die, at least until governments will firmly consider tobacco and tobacco-related products as illegal, a fact that will not happen.
When it comes to the cost-of-smoking, a smoker who quits smoking will most likely detour the money he would usually spend on cigarettes packs on other useless things, or on new bad and unhealthy habits, therefore anyone who is stating that quitting smoking would turn a former smoker into a millionaire during lifetime is only trying to force people quit smoking.
Cost-of-Smoking estimates are deliberately exaggerated in order to trigger an alarm signal in the smoker’s mind to force him cutting off this unhealthy habit.