The total cost of smoking is the same as four new cars – how much could you save from quitting?
Smokers are spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on cigarettes in their adult lifetime – enough to buy four new family cars, two round-the-world cruises, or put down two house deposits, new research reveals.
Or, depending on your taste, you could put the cash towards 15 luxury Rolex Submariner watches or Hermes Birkin handbags, with change to spare.
Some 67% admit they know they are throwing money down the drain, but three quarters have tried and failed to quit, according to the study of 2,000 adults who use nicotine, including cigarettes.
Of those who do want to quit, 74% cited money as their main motivation, followed by improving their health (72%).
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Cigarettes are the main source of nicotine, with the average smoker spending £1,950 on them a year, adding up to as much as £120,900 over their adult lifetime.
With the current price of an average wedding in the UK costing £18,400, this could be saved up for in six years by quitting smoking.
Those who use disposable vapes spend an average of £1,008 a year on the product, admittedly less than the cost of cigarettes. During the average adult lifetime, this would equate to £62,496.
The average annual spend for nicotine pouch users is £1,414, with £87,668 their lifetime financial burden.
And those who use heated tobacco typically spend up to £31.30 on the product each week, coming to a total of £100,911 in their adult years.
Those who have tried to quit nicotine in the past have attempted to do so an average of five times, with one in 20 even trying 11-15 times.
In terms of cigarettes, nearly three in 10 (29%) have been asked to stop smoking in the last 12 months by their partner, 22% have faced requests from their parents and children, and another 20% were advised by a medical professional.
With finance the main incentive to stop quitting, how much could you save each year if you finally chucked out the cigarettes for good? And what about in 10 years? Use this online calculator from UnSmoke UK to find out.
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“It’s surprising to see these figures laid out in front of you in this way," says Christian Woolfenden, managing director of Philip Morris Limited, who commissioned the study.
"Most people would be delighted with a cash boost of more than £100,000 – but seeing it slip away bit by bit on cigarettes is avoidable by quitting.
"There are still over six million smokers in the UK but there are lots of resources to help."
How to stop smoking naturally
While switching to cigarette-free alternatives is a great way to save on costs and reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals, if you're able to, quitting altogether is the best option.
While a new government scheme announced earlier this month has set out to encourage smokers to swap cigarettes for vapes, charities have since warned the 'swap to stop' scheme is not sufficient enough.
"The effects of smoking can lead to a wide range of serious health issues and as a result, around 78,000 smoking-related deaths take place in the UK alone each year," says Navin Khosla, pharmacist at Now Patient.
With that in mind, health experts at the regulated digital health service have shared five tips to help people quit smoking naturally.
Read more: Vaping: What are the health implications of e-cigarettes?
1. Understand the positives of quitting smoking
If you would like to quit smoking but are struggling to motivate yourself to do so, then create a list of all the health and financial benefits that you will enjoy once you stop the habit. The benefits could include the amount of money you’ll save or how much healthier you’ll feel.
2. Tell loved ones you want to quit smoking
If you have decided to quit smoking, it’s important to not keep the news to yourself and instead, tell people close to you. The advantage of this is that you’ll feel motivated by the support you’ll be given and you’ll have people to talk to if you’re having strong cravings as talking can often help keep them at bay.
3. Don’t feel influenced by others around you
If you’re in a social situation where people around you are smoking, it can be easy to fall back into the habit, especially if you’re under the influence of alcohol. If this is the case and you feel tempted, occupy yourself as best as you can, whether it’s chewing gum or even removing yourself from the situation until the smoking has stopped.
4. Keep active and exercise regularly
Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to help people quit smoking as not only does it keep your mind occupied, but it will also make you feel fitter and healthier which will help towards reducing the urge to grab a cigarette. It is also important to focus on the other benefits of exercising regularly, such as helping towards weight loss and better mental health.
5. Make use of resources and support groups
At times, it can be hard to lean on people for support if they are non-smokers. During times when you feel like cravings are getting the better of you, it’s important to utilise online resources and support groups as you will be able to speak to people in similar situations to you.
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