A lot warnings have been released about the health risks of smoking, and rightfully so. Yet even with the millions of dollars spent on advertising to warn the public about smoking, cigarette use is still up. It is also true that the cigarette companies can outmatch the advertising budget of government or any anti-smoking lobby group or foundation. The lung cancer warnings are not enough, so it seems.
For now, many smokers bravely confront the warnings by saying that smoking actually helps improve their health. They claim that smoking helps them deal with stress and anxiety at home and at the office. Smokers even say that the cigarette somehow serves as a muscle relaxant after a hard day’s work or as a “stimulant” that can be taken while doing an arduous task. Some people even swear that cigarettes can produce the same effect as a weight loss diet pill. How do you top that excuse? Yes, these reasons can be quite convincing but medical proof clearly shows that long-term tobacco use leads to a host of lung illnesses, and even death.
But there just might be another way to convince hard-core smokers to quit the stick. An article entitled “The High Cost of Smoking” written by Hillary Smith for www.msn.com provides an interesting perspective on financial reason for quitting smoking. In the article, the author gives an example of just how costly smoking is…in terms of dollars and cents. In a very convincing fashion, she writes:
“A pack of cigarette costs $ 4.49. A smoker who consumes a one pack of cigarette a day spends $31.43 a week for his habit, or $1, 635 per year. But if, for some reason, that one-pack-a-day smoker quits at age 40, he would be able to save at least $250,000 by the time he reaches 70, assuming he puts his money on a 401(K) that earns about 9% a year.”
Imagine losing a quarter of a million dollars just because of cigarettes. For some, that may be enough motivation to quit smoking. Financial issues do cause a lot of stress and anxiety — and may even be among the reasons that actually lead people to smoke. But there are other figures that support the claim that smoking has serious financial consequences. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has been trumpeting their research that says that at least $96.7 billion is spent on public and private health care due to federal and state taxes on smoking, or roughly $600 dollars a year per household. Other additional costs that are sure to add up to an average smoker’s stress and anxiety is the cost of medical bills that are sure to come after years of using tobacco. Many do not even take into consideration the amount of money to be spent on car cleaning and deodorizing treatments for “ashtrays in wheels.” Cars of smokers generally smell like the smoke-filled bars watering holes where alcohol and cigarettes are as much a fixture as the bar stool.
Stress and anxiety from work, family demands, and the daily struggles of life are often enough to make an average smoker or non-smoker reach for a dose of pain relievers and tranquilizers. So why add up to that distress by smoking our way into financial troubles — due to unnecessary spending on cigarettes?
The last question of a willing quitter might be, “How do I quit?” There are a number of ways to quit smoking. Joining a therapy group, getting prescription for anti-smoking medicines like Bupropion (commonly marketed as Zyban), or going for the “cold turkey” quitting method might do the trick. But deciding to quit and knowing that smoking is just a waste of money are two easy yet important initial steps to take.
To use an old clich· “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” So instead of wasting hard-earned cash on cigarettes that literally just goes up in smoke…we all should invest our money, and better yet, invest it to improve our health.