This Is How Much It Costs to Be a Smoker in Massachusetts
Smokers pay more for their habit in Massachusetts than in almost any other state in the country, according to a new report from WalletHub.
Only New York outranked Massachusetts in terms of annual and lifetime costs associated with the unhealthy habit. According to the research, a lifetime of puffing—defined as smoking a pack per day for 51 years—would cost a Commonwealth resident an estimated $2,197,197 in total, or $43,082 per year.
Importantly, those estimates are not to say that an individual would shell out $2 million for cigarettes alone. The figures also account for approximate healthcare costs associated with the habit, additional insurance required of smokers, financial opportunity cost, and smoking-related income loss.
The latter two could vary significantly by person. Financial opportunity cost estimates are based on the theory that money spent on cigarettes could instead be invested in the stock market and generate additional income—but, obviously, there’s no guarantee that cigarette money would actually be invested, or that it would produce significant returns if invested. Income loss also assumes that smokers earn less than non-smokers, which has been supported by some studies but is not universally true.
While the estimates may not be perfect, they are eye-opening. The report says a pack-a-day smoker in Massachusetts spends roughly $3,400 on cigarettes each year, accumulating to just over $172,000 for a lifetime of smoking. Healthcare costs are estimated at almost $5,500 each year, and $280,000 in a lifetime.
Of course, it bears repeating that smoking takes a major toll on your body—and as these projections show, your financial well-being is no safer than your physical health.