Four Pack A Day Smoker Spends 6 Million Dollars

This is freakin' nuts.  Four pack a day madness in middle America.
2 packs per day for the patient
2 packs per day for the husband.

That's four packs a day madness.  That's enough to take out a 30 year mortgage with a loan of $120,000 at 5% and enough left over to pay for the taxes and home owners insurance.

How much money are they losing to potential investment? Let's assume for the sake of argument that the long term rate of return for your money placed in the stock market is about 10% (the S&P returned an average close to 10%/year) over the last 40 years. Subtract from that the long term CPI average yearly increase of 3%. So let's assume that your post inflation money is gaining 7% per year. How much money will you spend over your career as a professional smoker?

Let's say that the price of a pack of cigarettes only rises 5% a year ( a conservative estimate). How much money could you save up by not spending a four packs a day habit of $8,760 on cigarettes and instead investing it with a post inflation return on average of 7%?

After 10 years? $153, 716
After 20 years? $521,304
After 30 years? $1,277,508
After 40 years? $2,806,917
After 50 years? $5,815,495

This is post inflation dollars (pre tax).

Imagine, if you started smoking, you and your wife, two packs per day, starting at age 25. By 75 years old, had you invested that cigarette money, and made just 7% per year, after inflation, you could have almost 6 million dollars in the bank you could have spent on your family.  Instead you smoked four packs a day.

My, how foolish we are as a nation. Looking for ways to pay for the health care of its citizenry, when the answers are staring us in the face.Perhaps it's time for to quit smoking.

See my other record clinical findings.

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7 Outbursts:

  1. Prevention is the key, of course.

    Somewhere along the way, though, selected industries prefer otherwise. They like our patients/citizens sedentary, obese, puffing, drunk, angry and in-debt.

    Along the same line:
    Recent studies suggest that computers on-campus DON'T improve K-12 math and reading/writing learning, even though the PC industry insisted that it would. As a result of that, schools need to set aside millions of dollars in annual budgets just to maintain and upgrade the PCs on campus while the more important yet less glamorous priorities get budget cuts. Jolly good; industry's next pitch: smartphones on campus.

    It's as much an art of social engineering as it's consumer psychology at work, from tobacco to Power Drink.

  2. ...and this is why they "can't afford" their medications or fresh vegetables or membership to the local "Y".

    Pattie, RN

  3. Your figures seem high...most dedication smokers buy by the carton, with the occasional higher priced single carton purchases thrown in...You could play the same game with other habits, movies, Opera, Red Sox Season Tickets...I smoke 2-3 quality Cigars a week ($5-6/apiece) beats what I'd pay to talk to a Psychiatrist...

  4. I think the taxes on cigarettes that cause their price to go up like this are terrible. It's an immoral situation in which those at the lowest end of society with the least resources to help them quit have to bear a huge financial burden in the context of addiction.

    Cigarettes should be cheap or banned. Legal and taxed to cost is wrong.

  5. They spend more per week than we do for food for a family of 4. How do people pay for them, even if they do get them by the carton?

  6. Tobacco companies lawyers/lobbyists should stop making ridiculous claims that smoking is no more harmful than eating chocolate. Citizens/patients should be warned, discouraged and helped. There isn't much more we can do. It's a good era to be a pulmonologist, oncologist or thoracic surgeon.

  7. I say keep raising taxes on cigs until no one can afford them except the rich, then they will start smoking just because they CAN. Once the rich start needing chemo treatments and blood pressure medication due to smoking, I guarantee you we'll get better healthcare.


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