North Carolina Has The Lowest Real Cost of Smoking In America at $1,228,493 Over a Lifetime

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With the economic and societal costs of smoking totaling more than $300 billion a year and rising, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on The Real Cost of Smoking by State.

To encourage the estimated 34.2 million tobacco users in the U.S. to kick the dangerous habit, WalletHub calculated the potential monetary losses — including the lifetime and annual costs of a cigarette pack per day, health care expenditures, income losses and other costs — brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

Due to North Carolina’s deep history as one of the nations top tobacco growers and rollers, our state ended up on top of the list with the lowest costs to smoke in the nation, but only marginally. Our ‘total lifetime cost’ of $1.2 million was just $400k shy of America’s $1.6 million average and just 3% lower than 5th ranked South Carolina with a $1,249,887 total cost.

The Lifetime Cost of Smoking by State

Overall Rank* State Total Cost per Smoker Out-of-Pocket Cost
(Rank)
Financial Opportunity Cost
(Rank)
Health-Care Cost per Smoker
(Rank)
Income Loss per Smoker
(Rank)
Other Costs per Smoker
(Rank)
1 North Carolina $1,228,493 $88,235
(3)
$773,539
(3)
$135,216
(11)
$219,728
(11)
$11,775
(22)
2 Georgia $1,229,607 $87,304
(2)
$765,379
(2)
$124,236
(3)
$239,724
(23)
$12,962
(31)
3 Missouri $1,236,058 $86,001
(1)
$753,956
(1)
$161,817
(29)
$222,270
(12)
$12,015
(24)
4 Mississippi $1,241,182 $93,447
(8)
$819,233
(8)
$132,854
(9)
$182,445
(2)
$13,202
(33)
5 South Carolina $1,249,887 $91,400
(5)
$801,282
(5)
$131,271
(8)
$213,408
(9)
$12,526
(29)
6 Tennessee $1,271,438 $94,378
(9)
$827,393
(9)
$124,689
(4)
$213,690
(10)
$11,287
(16)
7 Alabama $1,273,082 $95,123
(10)
$833,921
(10)
$127,893
(5)
$203,433
(6)
$12,713
(30)
8 North Dakota $1,279,273 $88,235
(3)
$773,539
(3)
$145,095
(17)
$260,455
(33)
$11,950
(23)
9 Wyoming $1,318,865 $92,517
(6)
$811,074
(6)
$152,675
(25)
$251,263
(31)
$11,337
(17)
10 Idaho $1,330,510 $98,473
(11)
$863,296
(11)
$131,220
(7)
$226,779
(15)
$10,742
(12)
11 Kentucky $1,339,471 $103,127
(15)
$904,094
(15)
$117,337
(2)
$205,008
(7)
$9,905
(3)
12 Louisiana $1,357,380 $104,058
(16)
$912,254
(16)
$129,920
(6)
$195,452
(5)
$15,696
(46)
13 Virginia $1,371,640 $92,703
(7)
$812,705
(7)
$157,907
(28)
$296,114
(41)
$12,211
(26)
14 Indiana $1,373,015 $102,383
(14)
$897,566
(14)
$135,560
(12)
$227,444
(17)
$10,062
(6)
15 West Virginia $1,377,892 $108,153
(18)
$948,156
(18)
$133,187
(10)
$179,916
(1)
$8,480
(1)
16 Nebraska $1,392,453 $98,846
(12)
$866,559
(12)
$169,959
(30)
$243,029
(25)
$14,060
(36)
17 Arkansas $1,395,040 $110,387
(21)
$967,740
(21)
$113,392
(1)
$192,013
(3)
$11,508
(19)
18 Oregon $1,444,252 $105,175
(17)
$922,045
(17)
$148,240
(20)
$258,778
(32)
$10,014
(5)
19 Colorado $1,448,009 $101,452
(13)
$889,407
(13)
$148,410
(21)
$293,568
(40)
$15,172
(42)
20 Kansas $1,464,187 $109,084
(20)
$956,316
(20)
$146,926
(19)
$237,529
(21)
$14,332
(39)
21 Montana $1,475,093 $112,062
(23)
$982,427
(23)
$143,285
(16)
$225,738
(13)
$11,580
(20)
22 Florida $1,497,352 $110,759
(22)
$971,003
(22)
$171,662
(32)
$226,285
(14)
$17,642
(50)
23 Ohio $1,505,649 $114,482
(26)
$1,003,642
(26)
$149,314
(23)
$228,933
(18)
$9,278
(2)
24 Iowa $1,523,347 $113,738
(24)
$997,115
(24)
$156,768
(27)
$244,616
(26)
$11,111
(14)
25 Oklahoma $1,531,415 $119,322
(30)
$1,046,073
(30)
$138,739
(14)
$211,850
(8)
$15,431
(45)
26 South Dakota $1,534,501 $117,833
(28)
$1,033,017
(28)
$142,861
(15)
$229,598
(19)
$11,192
(15)
27 Texas $1,541,203 $115,413
(27)
$1,011,802
(27)
$148,446
(22)
$247,366
(27)
$18,175
(51)
28 Nevada $1,547,209 $117,833
(28)
$1,033,017
(28)
$146,586
(18)
$239,276
(22)
$10,497
(10)
29 Michigan $1,576,246 $121,184
(31)
$1,062,392
(31)
$151,086
(24)
$231,324
(20)
$10,260
(8)
30 New Mexico $1,579,923 $123,231
(32)
$1,080,343
(32)
$171,721
(33)
$192,450
(4)
$12,178
(25)
31 New Hampshire $1,583,985 $108,898
(19)
$954,684
(19)
$202,975
(41)
$305,963
(44)
$11,465
(18)
32 Delaware $1,595,263 $114,110
(25)
$1,000,378
(25)
$205,984
(42)
$264,404
(35)
$10,386
(9)
33 Arizona $1,689,860 $131,422
(35)
$1,152,149
(35)
$152,866
(26)
$241,724
(24)
$11,700
(21)
34 Utah $1,690,878 $127,513
(34)
$1,117,878
(34)
$138,174
(13)
$291,369
(39)
$15,945
(48)
35 Maine $1,723,855 $131,980
(36)
$1,157,044
(36)
$198,005
(39)
$226,856
(16)
$9,969
(4)
36 Wisconsin $1,766,622 $136,262
(37)
$1,194,579
(37)
$177,581
(34)
$247,954
(28)
$10,246
(7)
37 Maryland $1,821,424 $126,582
(33)
$1,109,718
(33)
$231,448
(45)
$339,627
(50)
$14,048
(35)
38 Pennsylvania $1,904,049 $149,851
(40)
$1,313,711
(40)
$181,156
(36)
$248,492
(30)
$10,838
(13)
39 California $1,915,089 $143,149
(39)
$1,254,961
(39)
$194,833
(38)
$307,130
(45)
$15,015
(41)
40 New Jersey $1,937,862 $139,799
(38)
$1,225,586
(38)
$224,485
(44)
$333,499
(49)
$14,493
(40)
41 Illinois $2,002,106 $158,228
(42)
$1,387,148
(42)
$179,121
(35)
$265,322
(36)
$12,287
(28)
42 Washington $2,019,152 $153,946
(41)
$1,349,613
(41)
$200,078
(40)
$302,218
(42)
$13,297
(34)
43 Vermont $2,080,662 $161,578
(43)
$1,416,523
(43)
$242,311
(46)
$247,991
(29)
$12,260
(27)
44 Minnesota $2,117,058 $166,418
(46)
$1,458,953
(46)
$190,731
(37)
$286,885
(38)
$14,070
(37)
45 Hawaii $2,125,541 $165,301
(44)
$1,449,162
(44)
$170,668
(31)
$327,265
(48)
$13,146
(32)
46 Alaska $2,142,540 $165,487
(45)
$1,450,793
(45)
$212,291
(43)
$303,332
(43)
$10,637
(11)
47 Rhode Island $2,287,659 $179,821
(47)
$1,576,453
(47)
$253,644
(48)
$262,507
(34)
$15,235
(43)
48 Massachusetts $2,376,219 $180,193
(48)
$1,579,717
(48)
$274,790
(50)
$325,727
(47)
$15,792
(47)
49 District of Columbia $2,427,997 $186,150
(49)
$1,631,939
(49)
$247,954
(47)
$347,628
(51)
$14,326
(38)
50 Connecticut $2,447,965 $187,267
(50)
$1,641,730
(50)
$290,896
(51)
$311,500
(46)
$16,572
(49)
51 New York $2,458,044 $194,899
(51)
$1,708,640
(51)
$262,289
(49)
$276,804
(37)
$15,413
(44)

Key Stats

  • The estimated average financial cost of smoking over a lifetime is just above $1.6 million per smoker.
  • The out-of-pocket cost per smoker is $124,023 over a lifetime. Smokers in New York will pay the highest cost, $194,899, which is 2.3 times higher than in Missouri, where smokers will pay the lowest cost at $86,001.
  • Each smoker will incur an average of $253,013 in income loss over a lifetime. Smokers in the District of Columbia will lose the highest amount, $347,628, which is 1.9 times higher than in West Virginia, where smokers will lose the lowest amount at $179,916.
  • Each smoker will incur an average of $170,991 in smoking-related health-care costs over a lifetime. Smokers in Connecticut will pay the highest amount, $290,896, which is 2.6 times higher than in Arkansas, where smokers will pay the lowest amount at $113,392.

To view the full report and your state or the District’s rank, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/the-financial-cost-of-smoking-by-state/9520/

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