For Smokers, Can E-Cigarettes Save Money?


Some in the growing industry are touting the battery-powered nicotine sticks as a way for smokers to save money in the face of rising taxes and prices for tobacco cigarettes. But it may not stay that way for long as countries are increasingly looking to tax e-cigarettes as they tax other tobacco products.

DOING THE MATH: Smoking is expensive. A pack-a-day smoker in Australia can spend up to $18. On average across the country, the tab comes to about $6570 a year.

For rechargeable e-cigarettes with disposable cartridges. For an initial investment between $50 and $100 and cartridges that cost $3.00 apiece(1 per day), smokers would save a whopping $5475 a year.

A look at the costs of smokes and e-cigarettes shows the savings can vary a lot, depending on where you live in the world,taxes and the brand and style of e-cigarette used. But the bottom line is that e-cigarettes can generally make an expensive addiction cheaper.

A note on health: None of this takes into consideration the potential costs of any health effects from nicotine addiction, which can be huge. Clearly, the way to save the most money is to kick nicotine entirely. And taking up either habit for the first time isn’t going to be good for your wallet.

THE BASICS OF E-CIGARETTES: The devices heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale. Smokers like them because the vapor looks like smoke but doesn’t contain the thousands of chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes.

Scientists haven’t finished much research on e-cigarettes, and the studies that have been done on their safety or ability to help smokers quit have been inconclusive.

Some e-cigarette users, known as “vapers,” use e-cigarettes as a way to quit tobacco, or to cut down. Others want to be able to get their nicotine fix in places where regular cigarettes aren’t allowed.

But cost is increasingly becoming part of the equation as the average pack of cigarettes around the Australia tops $19.

The numbers for an individual smoker can vary significantly depending on their preferred cigarette brand, where they live, the e-cigarette brand they choose and how much liquid nicotine or cartridges they buy at a time.

WHAT VAPERS SAY: “Cigarettes were getting horribly expensive. … I’ve thrown endless thousands of dollars away,” said 52-year-old Jim Craig, of Salt Lake City, who switched to an e-cigarette last year after smoking since he was 18.


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