Analysts Say Georgia Smokers Blow Through Thousands of Dollars Every Year
Tobacco use accounts for nearly half a million deaths in the U.S. each year. According to the CDC, nearly 40 million Americans smoke.
There are also economic and societal costs to smoking. According to the personal finance website WalletHub, Americans spend more than $300 billion on medical care and lost productivity. Analysts studied the real cost of smoking by state and they discovered smokers aren’t just lighting up; they’re also burning through cash. Jill Gonzalez says that's true even in Georgia, which ranked second only to Kentucky as the least expensive state to take a smoke break.
“That’s a good thing for smoker, but it might not be a good thing in general because we see that Georgia still has pretty high smoking rates,” according to Gonzalez. “So even though we said it relatively cheaper, it’s still not cheap by any means. Just per year, Georgians waste about $23,000 if they’re smokers.”
Gonzalez says they considered several factors in determining that figure.
“It’s one thing to think about how much you’re saving if you’re just not spending it on smoking, it’s another to think about what you could be doing with that money that you save. In our case we looked at investing and how much money you’d make over a year and over a lifetime. We also took into account health care costs per smoker which is around $3,000 alone in Georgia, just through higher premiums.”
The list doesn’t stop there, the total lifetime costs for a Georgia smoker was estimated at $1,156,444.
“Income loss, things like missed opportunities, not going up for promotions, getting lower raises because of smoke breaks, etc. or loss on hourly pay, and other costs including tax credits that you might even know about.”
New York was the most expensive state for smokers.
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