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Image Courtesy of Peter Gerdes

Sara Bellum

You’ve already heard plenty about what smoking can do to your looks and your life. But have you ever stopped to really think about how much money gets burned up with each pack of cigarettes?

The average price for a pack of cigarettes (PDF, 57.91 KB) nationwide is around $5.50—more or less depending on the State you live in. The spending calculator lets you enter the number of packs smoked per week as well as the price per pack. Then, it calculates the monthly and yearly cost.

Let’s say you smoke one pack a week at the average price of $5.50 per pack—that’s $22 a month and $264 a year. If you smoke two packs a week, the numbers double—$44 a month and more than $500 a year! I’m sure you can think of better things to do with $500....

According to NIDA research, nicotine in cigarettes is addictive, and most people smoke tobacco regularly because they are addicted to nicotine. Once people get addicted, they need more and more of the drug to get the same effect. That means smoking leads to more smoking, which leads to more money for the cigarette companies and less for you—not to mention the hit on your health.

When you quit, treat yourself to a reward, and pay for it with the money you used to spend on cigarettes. To talk to someone about quitting, call the national toll-free number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


i just cant believe how people treat their body i mean like do you wanna die?

lol yah

When I saw what smoking could really do to your life I knew that I was gonna quit. But at 1st I didnt know how. So than I found this website, and with the help of my friends and also family and most of all you guys help, I now save lots of money. I also have a better chance in life. Thank you so much!

nice but if some one were to keep smoking what risks would at the table would you have some type of sicknes

Cigarette and other tobacco use leads to addiction. As tolerance develops, the body needs higher or more frequent doses to produce the same initial effects. Tobacco harms every organ in the body and has been conclusively linked to leukemia, cataracts, and pneumonia, and accounts for about one-third of all cancer deaths. For more information, visit

Hello, very helpful information. I do not think so many of the costs incurred to cigarettes, and I will think twice to buy cigarettes anymore [commercial link removed, per guidelines]

Cigarettes are awful. they had me addicted for 15 years before i switched to electronic cigarettes.

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Aren't those bad too?

Most people start smoking when they are in their teens - and then get addicted for the rest of their lives which are then affected really badly in many ways. Its good to know that some young people are clever enough to recognise the nasty trick that is being played on them and ditch the habit before the worst effects happen!

Cigarettes are bad

do you wannnna [expletive deleted] die? I didnnt think so! So thenn STOP smoking

My son was taught that smoking was totally acceptable while in rehab treatment. GO FIGURE? Why allow one addiction when doing so well fighting the other addictions? I don't get it.

@suetuff Agreed. NIDA researchers are working on testing therapies and medications to help people quit tobacco as well as other drugs simultaneously. Some studies show good results for people with more than type of substance use problem, legal or illegal. In addition, many treatment facilities are moving to a no-smoking policy.

Harmful effects of smoking:
1.nicotine and carbon monoxide when mixed increases the heart rate and blood pressure. This can be a cause of both heart attacks and stroke.
2.Tar coats the lungs a little like a fireplace gets coated with soot when used for a period of time. a pack a day smoker breathes in about a cup of tar each year. Lung cancer is caused by the tar in cigarette tobacco smoke.
3. Carbon Monoxide takes oxygen away from the muscles, brain and body tissue. After a period of time the airways swell up letting less air into the lungs.

For years the medical and scientific communities have been telling us just how horribly addicting nicotine is. Yet there is very strong evidence to the contrary. In fact, logic dictates that it is not possible for nicotine to be the real culprit in smoking addiction, since it can be completely removed from they body in 72 hours, yet the urge to smoke can remain for years.

There's no doubt that nicotine is a nasty and dangerous substance, but it's addictive qualities are very definitely disputable.
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I genuinely enjoy looking at on this site, it has great articles. [commercial link removed, per guidelines]

smoking is a popular thng today but does that mean its a good thing to do no as it says in the artical if you smoke one pack a week the total comes out to be $22 a month and $264 a year and you might be thinking wow that's a lot of smoking and money but it gets worse people that smoke 2 packs a week pay $44 a month and $500 a year. all of that money is being thrown away and so is your life. so DON'T START TODAY!!!!!!

Have you ever stopped to really think about how much money gets burned up with each pack of cigarettes? Smoking is terrible and can cause many deathly sicknesses. No one wants to end up suffering from cancer. People are wasting more and more of their money on cigarettes. At the average price of $5.50 per pack, that’s $22 a month and $264 a year, smokers don't care about the price if they could afford a pack or not, they are addicted from all the nicotine. It's not worth the risks. I would think twice about smoking because you could waste your life.

I did the math a few years ago; my mother is a smoker, so to prove a point, I weighed on a scale how many grams a pack of her cigarettes. I then took the price, and compared it to the prices per gram of various precious metals on the market. Turns out her cigarettes were literally worth their weight in silver! Of course, my state has very high cigarette taxes so the price is well above average, and this comparison is no longer true since silver is much more expensive now, but the fact that cigarettes are even comparable in price to that metal is pretty astounding.

Instead of having a few ounces of silver at the end of the year to show for the spending, it all goes up in smoke instead.

what happens to your body do you get sick

Yes, kgmaster1, smoking can make you very sick.  Tobacco use can cause cancer, pneumonia, bronchitis, and emphysema.  In fact, tobacco use use in linked to 90% of all lung cancer cases.