The 7 Most Expensive States for Smokers

We all know smoking is bad for your health. A new survey looks at the total economic damage of smoking to the individual smoker. The results are striking.

Physicians know as well as anyone the physical toll of smoking. Public health officials, meanwhile, have a good pulse on the societal costs of the habit, which can range from the health effects to smokers and those near them to the economic costs from missed work time. A new study, however, looks specifically at how much smoking costs smokers themselves. The results are striking.

Wallethub.com found smokers who smoke for 51 years will pay a price of more than $1 million over their lifetimes, and up to $2.4 million in the costliest state. Those figures factor in a number of variables. First is the price of buying all those cigarettes, which varies greatly by state depending on the taxes levied on cigarette purchases. The study chose 51 years as its time frame because smoking is illegal for those under age 18, and the average smoker dies at age 69. In addition to calculating the cost of those cigarettes, the study also looked at how much that money would have grown if it had been in the stock market all those years.

The survey also looked at healthcare costs per smoker and lost income per smoker. The latter is based on data which show smoking can lead to lower productivity and higher absenteeism due to increased health problems. Finally, the survey looked at other ancillary costs, such as higher insurance premiums, that smokers face.

What follows are the seven states with the highest smoking costs. In each capsule, we listed the average annual cost to a smoker in that state (rather than the cumulative costs over a lifetime). Also listed are the healthcare costs per smoker and the lost income costs. At the end of the piece is an interactive map from WalletHub.

Total Annual Costs: $38,705

Annual Out-of-Pocket Costs: $2,852

Annual Healthcare Costs Per Smoker: $3,766

Annual Lost Income Per Smoker: $4,866

Total Annual Costs: $40,951

Annual Out-of-Pocket Costs: $26,970

Annual Healthcare Costs Per Smoker: $4,698

Annual Lost Income Per Smoker: $4,514

Total Annual Costs: $41,924

Annual Out-of-Pocket Costs: $2,997

Annual Healthcare Costs Per Smoker: $4,734

Annual Lost Income Per Smoker: $5,592

Total Annual Costs: $42,878

Annual Out-of-Pocket Costs: $3,226

Annual Healthcare Costs Per Smoker: $3,435

Annual Lost Income Per Smoker: $5,456

Total Annual Costs: $43,993

Annual Out-of-Pocket Costs: $3,249

Annual Healthcare Costs Per Smoker: $4,074

Annual Lost Income Per Smoker: $5,746

Total Annual Costs: $44,491

Annual Out-of-Pocket Costs: $3,205

Annual Healthcare Costs Per Smoker: $5,283

Annual Lost Income Per Smoker: $5,428

Total Annual Costs: $48,093

Annual Out-of-Pocket Costs: $3,674

Annual Healthcare Costs Per Smoker: $5,283

Annual Lost Income Per Smoker: $4,695

Is your state not on the list? Check out this interactive map for more, or read the full report over at WalletHub.com.

Source: WalletHub

In the above map, states with the highest costs for smokers are listed in gray. The cheapest states for smokers are in dark blue.