Study: Florida smoker will pay millions over their lifetime on habit

by | Jan 13, 2021

With smokers having an elevated risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19 and the economic and societal costs of smoking totaling more than $300 billion per year, WalletHub released a report on Monday on The Real Cost of Smoking by State.

In the report, the personal-finance website calculated the potential monetary losses — including the lifetime and annual costs of a cigarette pack per day, health care expenditures, income losses and other costs —posed by the dangerous habit to the country’s roughly 34.2 million tobacco users, looking at the true per-person cost of smoking in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

The study found a smoker in the Sunshine State will pay around $2,007,409 over the course of their lifetime.

“Smoking doesn’t just ruin your health. It can also burn a nasty hole through your wallet,” WalletHub said in the release.

While Florida didn’t land at the bottom of the barrel, the company found that the state ranked 17th on the list. Some of the metrics measured that led to Florida’s ranking included total cost per smoker, out-of-pocket cost, and financial opportunity cost.

In Florida, the most expensive part of smoking is the financial opportunity cost, which accounts for roughly $1,212,973 over the course of a smoker’s lifetime. Income losses amount to over $511,000, and the health care expenditures total a little more than $157,000.

To determine that financial opportunity cost, WalletHub calculated the amount of return a person would have earned by instead investing that money in the stock market over the same period. The website used the historical average market return rate for the S&P 500 minus the inflation rate during the same time period to reflect the return in present-value terms.

The total estimated cost per year for a smoker in Florida is $41,821, according to WalletHub’s calculations.

A full breakdown of how Florida landed on the list can be seen below.

The Financial Cost of Smoking in Florida (1=Lowest, 25=Avg.):

  • Out-of-Pocket Cost per Smoker – $108,799 (Rank: 20th)
  • Financial-Opportunity Cost per Smoker – $1,212,973 (Rank: 20th)
  • Health-Care Cost per Smoker – $157,247 (Rank: 30th)
  • Income Loss per Smoker – $511,721 (Rank: 17th)
  • Other Costs per Smoker – $16,669 (Rank: 50th)
  • Total Cost Over Lifetime per Smoker: $2,007,409
  • Total Cost per Year per Smoker: $41,821

To view the full report, click here.


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