The Cost of Smoking

We're still barely into 2007, so if you haven't made a list of New Year's resolutions, the year is still young! For many Americans, topping that list this year is quitting smoking. But resolving to kick the habit is not only good for your body, it's also great for your wallet. Ray Hennessey, Editor of SmartMoney.com, crunched the numbers and offers this advice.

Besides the cost of buying cigarettes themselves, you're probably spending more money on life insurance than a non-smoker. "On average, you're paying close to a thousand dollars more per year... if you have a half million dollar policy, which a lot of people have," says Hennessey. But, the moment you stop smoking, your premium will go down.

Life insurance isn't the only thing that may cost you more: your health insurance costs will go up too. Smokers pay, on average, close to five hundred dollars more each year than non-smokers. "That's understandable," says Hennessey. "Nobody wants to pay down the line - the risks of lung cancer, emphysema, diabetes, all the problems that are associated with smoking." Because smokers are at a higher risk for these and other diseases, health insurance companies charge them more to cover costs that may crop up later in life.

Smokers can lose money when it comes to their cars as well. Car resale values go down by almost two-thousand dollars if the car was owned by a smoker. "It's [money] you lose simply because of the smoke in the car, the wear and tear that comes from the cigarette burns," says Hennessey. "I tell a lot of people to lease a car rather than buy. You cannot lease a car if you're a smoker because those burns will kill you when you go to bring it back in and you can never get the smell out."

So when it comes to making your New Year's resolutions, this year, consider quitting smoking. It may be a good move health-wise, but it doesn't hurt financially either. For more information on the financial benefits of quitting smoking, click here.
  • Erin Petrun

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