The Real Cost of Smoking: a state-by-state report of smoking costs


FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2014, file photo, a man smokes a cigarette on Main Street in Westminster, Mass. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to sign a law on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, banning sales of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola), File

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – With the economic and societal costs of smoking totaling more than $300 billion a year and rising; the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on The Real Cost of Smoking by State as well as accompanying videos.

To encourage the estimated 34.2 million tobacco users in the U.S. to kick the dangerous habit, WalletHub 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 — brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

States with the Lowest Smoking Costs States with the Highest Smoking Costs
1. North Carolina 42. Washington
2. Georgia 43. Vermont
3. Missouri 44. Minnesota
4. Mississippi 45. Hawaii
5. South Carolina 46. Alaska
6. Tennessee 47. Rhode Island
7. Alabama 48. Massachusetts
8. North Dakota 49. District of Columbia
9. Wyoming 50. Connecticut
10. Idaho 51. New York

West Virginia has been ranked in the 15th spot, placing the state towards the lower end of the smoking cost chart. West Virginia has a total cost per smoker of $1,377,892.

Some key statistics to take away from the study include:

  • The estimated financial cost of smoking over a lifetime is just above $1.6 million per smoker.
  • The out-of-pocket cost per smoker is $124,023 during a lifetime. Smokers in New York will pay the highest cost, $194,899, which is 2.3 times higher than in Missouri, where smokers will pay the lowest cost at $86,001.
  • Each smoker will have an average of $253,013 in income loss during a lifetime. Smokers in the District of Columbia will lose the highest amount, $347,628, which is 1.9 times higher than in West Virginia, where smokers will lose the lowest amount at $179,916.
  • Each smoker will have an average of $170,991 in smoking-related health-care costs during a lifetime. Smokers in Connecticut will pay the highest amount, $290,896, which is 2.6 times higher than in Arkansas, where smokers will pay the lowest amount at $113,392.

To view the full report and facts about West Virginia’s smoking costs, click here.

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