Smoking does not just pose risks to one's health. Puffing cigarettes can also be a very costly habit, according to a report from WalletHub, which unveils the financial implications of smoking.
Although the health consequences of smoking have always been emphasized in the past, the financial cost of this habit has seldom been addressed.
WalletHub has, however, taken on the challenge and come up with a report that reveals the cost of smoking on a state by state basis. The personal finance website said that in light of the Tobacco-Free Awareness Week and in order to urge millions of smokers in the U.S to drop the habit, it gauged the financial cost of smoking for each of the 50 states in the U.S and the District of Columbia by computing the potential monetary losses brought about by smoking and the exposure to secondhand smoke.
The costs include healthcare expenses, income losses, and the cumulative cost of a pack of cigarette per day for a lifespan of several decades.
The report has revealed, among others, that the cost of the habit is most expensive for smokers who live in Alaska, where they spend $2,032,916 on their smoking habits for a lifetime spanning an average of 69 years.
Alaska is followed by Connecticut, where smoking tobacco costs $1,992,690, and New York at $1,982,856. The cost of smoking is lowest in South Carolina, where the total cost per smoker is $1,097,690, followed by West Virginia at $1,105,977 and Kentucky at $1,115,619.
WalletHub spokeswoman Jill Gonzalez said that some people may not be inspired to quit smoking because of the health risks, but the financial burden of the unhealthy habit may at least raise some awareness.
"I and most people really just think of the cost of cigarettes and taxes on the packs, but if you think about the healthcare costs, which can totally be avoided, healthcare insurance premiums and in the workplace, bias against smokers that can ... add up," Gonzalez said.
Figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 42.1 million Americans who are at least 18 years old smoke and this costs a total of $301 billion annually and continues to increase.
The total cost includes $67.5 billion in workplace productivity losses, $116.4 billion in direct health care costs and $117.1 billion in premature deaths that are associated with smoking.