Monday, April 25, 2011

The Cost of Smoking and a Nifty Calculator

You know how much your cigarettes cost you - you shell the money out every time you buy a pack. In NYC, they cost $11/pack. Yipes. In Connecticut, they are $10/pack.
Look at what else your cigarettes are doing to your bank account and check out the calculator at the bottom:
The cost of your health
Life Insurance: Generally, your premiums are 3 times more if you smoke than if you don't smoke. Health Insurance and Medication: Many more health insurance companies are starting to charge more for health insurance plans that cover smokers. Smokers go to the doctor more; they have more heart attacks; they have more medical problems than non smokers. If you are going to the doctor more, because of your smoking habit, add in the cost of your co-pays and your prescription medication. For more on smoking and life insurance costs:
Dental health: A yearly whitening costs $2-300. What about the mints and gum you buy to mask the smell of your breath?
The cost of your home, car and possessions
Home Insurance: Higher home owner's and car insurance premium payments.
Lower Value of Your Car, Home and Possessions: Many potential buyers are put off by the smell of tobacco in a home. It will be harder for you to sell your home. Same with your car. Used car sales people will knock off $1000 on your value of your car if you are trying to trade it in. (by the way, if your friends and family say they don't think your car/house smells, they are lying to save your feelings.)
Insurance on House and Car: Insurance companies know that smokers are more likely to start a fire in the house and more likely to cause a car accident.
Other costs
Getting a date: This is not a financial cost, but it's certainly a personal cost. Fewer people want to date a smoker and people find smokers unattractive. (Even smokers find smokers unattractive!)
Less Social Security: The average smoker dies at 66. So you would be paying in to Social Security or your pension, but you'll never have a chance to spend it.
Smokers Earn Less Money: Studies have found that smokers earn between 4% to 11% less money than their non smoking counterparts. Interesting.
Cleaning Costs: Cleaning your car or taking your "smoking coat" (the one you wear outside when you smoke in the winter) can add up to $100 a year.

The American Cancer Society Cigarette Cost Calculator:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Are You a "Social Smoker"? You Are Kidding Yourself

[I lifted the material in this blog entry from two publications, and Harvard Health Publications

"Occasional smoking," one or two cigarettes a week or 1/2 pack just when you drink with a certain group of friends, etc. can, and usually is, the beginning slide down a slippery slope. If you are an Occasional Smoker, please pay heed.
There is no safe level of smoking. I know you are saying that you are OK with it, but that is now. First you mooch, then you feel guilty about mooching, so you buy a pack, then you have the cigarettes, so why not smoke them? Then you buy another pack. Now you're a Smoker.
Dr. Rebecca Schane researched "light and intermittent smoking" and has much to say on the subject. There are many health risks associated with social and occasional smoking. These include "heart disease due to high blood pressure and cholesterol-clogged arteries, weakened aorta, premature death from cardiovascular disease, cancers (lung, esophageal, stomach, and pancreas), respiratory tract infections, delayed conception in women and poorer sperm function in men, slower recovery from injuries, cataracts, and poorer-related quality of life
"Additionally, social smokers are typically in social situations with other smokers, thus making them more vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke. Plus, social smokers are putting those around them at risk by smoking and thus producing secondhand smoke for those around them in their environment"
So if you consider yourself a Social or Occasional Smoker, quit NOW while it's easy.
How to do this?
1. Throw away any cigarettes you have.
2. Stay away from the smokers when you are drinking alcohol. Put your drink in your smoking hand and put something else in your other hand -- a glass of water or a straw.
3. No mooching.
4. Think about how your mouth and throat feel when you wake after an evening of smoking. Most people admit that they feel pretty disgusted in the morning after.
5. Realize that this really can be easy.
Over and out.