What Is the Real Cost of Smoking? I Know What It Was for Me.
What is the real cost of smoking? Now, I'm not talking about the toll this unfortunate habit takes on Americans' health. I'm talking about the sheer monetary impact it has on your wallet and the wallets of others. And the emotional toll it took on me.
Those WalletHub personal finance peeps have a new study out that adds up the financial impact on the smoker's wallet and everyone else's in a state-by-state comparison.
South Dakota landed at number 32 overall in this study and the basic statistics encompass averages over the lifetime of a smoker and are surprising at best!
The total cost per smoker in South Dakota is estimated at $1,452,902. It breaks down like this: cost of tobacco is $1,088,038; income lost per South Dakota smoker is $201,275; and health care costs due to smoking-related illness $154,315. That is a lot of dough!
Another interesting finding from this study:
". . .according to a recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, smokers earn 20 percent less than nonsmokers, 8 percent of which is attributed to smoking and 12 percent to other factors."
I also think about the personal cost and loss due to this powerfully addictive habit.
I will always remember the day my Dad woke up from a coma in McKennan Hospital during the last days of his life. He had suffered a stroke and heart attack brought on, no doubt, by a lifetime (since he was 12-years old) of smoking.
He had a tracheotomy tube so he could not speak, was paralyzed and also had tunnel vision due to the stroke. You had to get right into his face for him to see you.
I asked him if there was anything he wanted or needed and he urgently mouthed the word, "smoke." I reminded him that he was in the hospital and that he was a doctor who should know better.
He angrily mouthed the word, "So?"
Yes the financial price tag was stunning, but the emotional cost - devastating.