According to the Center for Disease Control, about 42 million, or 18 percent of Americans smoke cigarettes. More men than women smoke cigarettes. According to the CDC cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U. S, accounting for 480,000 preventable deaths each year. According to the CDC 16 million Americans suffer from diseases caused by smoking. Still, cigarette ads appear everywhere encouraging people to light up. Beside the known health issues what does it cost in dollars to smoke cigarettes?
According to one online survey a pack of cigarettes can cost anywhere from around $4.00 a pack to $7.98 a pack. This same survey showed that the average smoker smoked 19 cigarettes a day and spent roughly $1788 per year on cigarettes. The average Texas smoker smoked around 21 cigarettes a day, or around a pack a day. If a “bargain” pack cost $4.25 this means that the average Texas smoker is spending around $30 a week blowing smoke. This comes to $1547 a year. Over a lifetime, assuming a person started smoking at the age of 19 and smoked until they were 55, this would be 36 years of smoking at $1547 per year or around $55,692 spent on smoking. The average Texas smoker will spend more money smoking that they will have in their retirement account. So, if the average Texas smoker would put aside $30 a week for 36 years that person would have $55,692 of cash to use for whatever.
So what does the average Texas smoker get for spending $55,692 to “blow smoke?” The CDC says this about smoking cigarettes: “Smoking affects every organ of your body causing assorted cancers and other chronic diseases. Smoking causes stroke and coronary heart disease—the leading causes of death in the United States. Even people who smoke fewer than five cigarettes a day can have early signs of cardiovascular disease. Smoking damages blood vessels and can make them thicken and grow narrower. This makes your heart beat faster and your blood pressure go up. Clots can also form. A heart attack occurs when a clot blocks the blood flow to your heart. When this happens, your heart cannot get enough oxygen. This damages the heart muscle, and part of the heart muscle can die. A stroke occurs when a clot blocks the blood flow to part of your brain or when a blood vessel in or around your brain bursts. Blockages caused by smoking can also reduce blood flow to your legs and skin.
What else do smokers get for paying $55,692 over 36 years? At the top of the list is lumg disease. According to the CDC lung diseases caused by smoking include COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Cigarette smoking causes most cases of lung cancer. Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body, including bladder, blood (acute myeloid leukemia), cervix, colon and rectum, esophagus, kidney and ureter, larynx, liver, oropharynx, (includes part of the throat, tongue, soft palate and tonsils), pancreas, stomach, trachea, bronchus and lung. But there is more.
According to the CDC smoking can make it harder for a woman to become pregnant and can affect her baby’s health before and after birth. Smoking increases risks for preterm (early) delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome , ectopic pregnancy, orofacial clefts in infants. But there’s more. According to the CDC smoking can also affect men’s sperm, which can reduce fertility and also increase risks for birth defects and miscarriage (loss of the pregnancy.) Smoking also affects bone health. Women past childbearing years who smoke have lower bone density (weaker bones) than women who never smoked and are at greater risk for broken bones. Smoking affects the health of your teeth and gums and can cause tooth loss. Smoking can increase your risk for cataracts (clouding of the eye’s lens that makes it hard for you to see) and age-related macular degeneration (damage to a small spot near the center of the retina, the part of the eye needed for central vision). Smoking is a cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus and can make it harder to control. The risk of developing diabetes is 30–40% higher for active smokers than nonsmokers. Smoking causes general adverse effects on the body. It can cause inflammation and adverse effects on immune function. Smoking is a cause of rheumatoid arthritis.
Quit smoking! Save your money!
Copyright 2014 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.