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Money Minute: The cost of smoking

Money Minute: The cost of smoking
Money Minute: The cost of smoking 01:13

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- We all know what smoking can cost you your health, but there's also a financial cost to lighting up. 

What does smoking have to do with money? A lot.

First, smoking one pack a day for 20 years is a direct loss of $60,000. Had that money been invested instead of lost in smoke, the smoker would have saved nearly $200,000.

But that's only part of it.

Smokers pay a price in the marketplace that goes well beyond higher insurance bills.

Smoking costs the United States about $200 billion a year in additional medical expenses and lost productivity at work through illness. That's why 21 states, including Pennsylvania, allow employers to refuse to hire smokers.

Despite all this, about 13 percent of American adults -- around 31 million people -- still smoke.

Smokers who quit today not only add at least ten years to their average life span, says the CDC, but they also save themselves a bundle of cash.

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