What is the cost Smoking?

As we approach national No Smoking Day on the 11th March – we ask just what is the cost of smoking?

The cost of smoking to the UK Government is approximately £12.6 billion a year, made up of £1.4 billion spent on social care for smoking related care needs, £2.5 billion spent on NHS services and £8.6 billion of lost productivity in businesses*.  But what is smoking costing you personally?

The cost of smoking on your health

Half of all life-long smokers die early, losing on average 10 years of their life. Smoking related deaths made up 16% of all deaths across the UK in 2016 and smoking is the largest cause of preventable death in England.  Smoking has an effect on most organs, here is how:

  • Brain: Smoking increases the risk of having a stroke by at least 50%
  • Heart: Smoking can double the risk of having a heart attack
  • Bones: Smoking can cause bones to become week and brittle which increases the risk of osteoporosis in women
  • Lungs: Smoking causes 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of deaths from COPD
  • Circulation: Smoking increases blood pressure and heart rate
  • Fertility: Smoking can cause a lack of sexual appetite and impotency in men, and can make it harder for females to conceive
  • Mouth and throat: Smoking can increase the risk of cancer in lips, tongue, throat, voice box and gullet
  • Stomach: Smoking increases the chance of getting stomach cancer or ulcers
  • Skin: Smoking prematurely ages skin by between 10 and 20 years

The cost of smoking on your bank account

On average, smokers smoke 10 cigarettes a day; with a packet of cigarettes costing £10.80 that’s a spend of £37.80 per week, or £1971 per year. For that you could buy:

  • The average cost of a holiday abroad, including hotel, flights and entertainment is approximately £815 for 9 nights. That’s two holidays with additional spending money.
  • The average food shop in 2019 for a family was £60.60 per week, that’s just over 32 weeks of shopping.
  • A large Americano at Costa costs £2.40, you could get a coffee every day for £16.80, less that the £37.80 for the smoking habit
  • The average price of a litre of fuel in the UK is now around £1.24 for petrol and £1.30 for diesel; that means you can fill a small car with petrol for £49.60 and with diesel for £52
  • The average monthly cost of owning a cat or a rabbit is £94, that’s 2.5 weeks of no smoking

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