Smokers have a long list of reasons to consider switching to electronic cigarettes. Most notably, ecigs are tobacco-free and they don’t actually release any smoke so there is an obvious benefit to eliminating thousands of carcinogenic compounds. Of course, there is also a major financial benefit to trading out your cigarettes for ecigs. In fact, experts suggest that it could save you thousands of dollars every year.
When you take a realistic look at the cost of smoking vs. the cost of vaping, the financial savings are substantial. While the exact cost varies according to state tobacco taxes and the brand you prefer, cigarettes are going to be more expensive than ecigs in every state. The price difference continues to grow as tobacco taxes increase each year. The national average price for a pack of cigarettes is now at $6.15, while 20 years ago it was only $1.76.
The high price of cigarettes can really add up even before you take into account higher premiums for health insurance and extra medical expenses related to smoking. In New York City, a pack of cigarettes will cost around $13, meaning that a pack-a-day smoker will spend $5000 each year. On average, US smokers spend $2250 per year on cigarettes.
When smokers switch to ecigs, the brand and design will make a difference in how much money they save. Disposable ecigs are more expensive than the rechargeable designs, but some smokers prefer them for the convenience. On the other hand, the rechargeable ecigs offer more flavor options and a huge cost savings in the long run, but you have to purchase a starter kit upfront which can cost anywhere from $10 to $200 depending on the kind you select.
For the best cost savings, smokers can choose the rechargeable ecigs and rather than using prefilled cartridges, select to fill the ecig at home with eliquid. Analysts suggest that $8 of eliquid will last a pack-a-day smoker for 10 days, compared to more than $60 for cigarettes. That means you could potentially save $52 every 10 days by switching to ecigs and it could be more if you live in New York City or another area with higher cigarette taxes.
Jim Craig, a 52-year-old smoker from Salt Lake City switched to ecigs because the financial burden of cigarettes had grown overwhelming. “Cigarettes were getting horribly expensive… I’ve thrown endless thousands of dollars away,” he said. Craig has been a smoker since he was 18 and estimates that he spent around $200 each month of cigarettes.
When he changed over to vaping last year, he saw a difference immediately and now he only spends around $45 each month on his ecig. He initially spent $200 for a starter kit, but it was well worth the money he has saved every since. In fact, he opened a savings account and has been adding $100 each month just from the money he saves by vaping. “What we’re going to do with that money down the road, I don’t know,” he said. “I may save it for retirement or we might decide to take a vacation or something like that.”
While ecigs can offer a great financial benefit, some worry that it won’t last forever. Currently most states only require basic sales tax on ecigs, but a few places are starting to enforce additional taxes. Minnesota and North Carolina have already started taxing e-cigs and e-liquid. When the FDA begins to enforce new regulations, it could potentially push more states to tax ecigs at higher rates.
Ultimately, now is the time to switch to vaping if you are a smoker that needs to save some money. By jumping into the world of ecigs now, you can get the best cost savings before potential taxes close the gap in the future.
Have you experienced any major financial benefits from switching to electronic cigarettes? How much money are you saving each year since you switched?