Alabama smokers busting the bank over lifetime of lighting up
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Zoe Blair
Think before you light up your next cigarette because it could cost you enough to buy a couple of boats.
Smokers in Alabama face a potential $2 million cost throughout their life on average in relation to their smoking habits, according to a recent study conducted by WalletHub. The study considered the lifetime and annual cost of a cigarette pack per day, health care expenditures, potential income losses and other costs associated with smoking and secondhand smoke.
Though this is a scary number, it isn’t necessarily accurate, said University of Alabama Center for the Sudy of Tobacco and Society Director Dr. Alan Blum.
“We have to ask what number they were using for the price of a pack of cigarettes,” Blum said. “The price has changed dramatically since some of these people started smoking in 1980. If they were using numbers from today, then that isn’t fair because (the cost of cigarettes) is the highest price it has ever been.”
If the study used numbers from 1980 then the annual cost of smoking a pack a day would come in at $332.15. At the time, a pack was 91 cents. Nowadays, a single pack of cigarettes costs about $6 in Alabama, resulting in an annual cost of $2,190.
While the $2 million figure might be inaccurate, Blum said the health risks of smoking can’t be understated.
“The main thing you want to emphasize is the cost to your health because it is a much greater risk for those who smoke,” Blum said. “There is no such thing as a low-poison cigarette, and when I tell people that in my office, they often realize that the concept sounds a little silly.”