Smokers spend enough on cigarettes over their adult lifetime to buy four brand new family cars, two round-the-world cruises or put down two house deposits, according to research.
Alternatively, they could afford 15 luxury Rolex Submariner watches or Hermes Birkin handbags, with cash left over.
The study of 2,000 adults who use nicotine – including cigarette smokers – found 67% admit they know they are throwing money down the pan, but three quarters have tried and failed to quit.
Of those who want to quit, 74% named money as their main motivation, just ahead of improving their health (72%).
Cigarettes are the main source of nicotine, with the average smoker spending £1,950 on cigarettes a year, adding up to a staggering £120,900 over an adult lifetime.
The current price of an average wedding in the UK is £18,400, which could be saved up for in around six years by quitting smoking.
Christian Woolfenden, managing director of Philip Morris Limited, which commissioned the study for Unsmoke UK and created an online calculator that shows the potential saving smokers could make said: “It’s surprising to see these figures laid out in front of you in this way.
“Most people would be delighted with a cash boost of more than £100,000 – but seeing it slip away bit by bit on cigarettes is avoidable by quitting.
“There are still over 6 million smokers in the UK but there are lots of resources to help.”
As part of the research, users of vapes, nicotine pouches, and heated tobacco were also polled, and it emerged those who use disposable vapes spend an average of £1,008 a year on the product – significantly less than the £1,950 smokers spend on cigarettes.
And during the average adult lifetime this would equate to a total of £62,496.
The average annual spend for nicotine pouch users is £1,414, with £87,668 their lifetime outlay.
While those who use heated tobacco tend spend up to £31.30 worth of the product each week – which would work out to be a total of £100,911 during their adult years – again, less than cigarettes.
One in four single Brits who smoke believe the habit is the reason they are still single
It also emerged those who have tried to quit nicotine in the past have attempted to do so an average of five times each – with one in 20 even trying 11 to 15 times.
Nearly half of smokers (47%) were not aware that as of March 15, prices for a pack of 20 cigarettes were due to increase.
But once made aware of the plan, 45% were more inclined to try and stop smoking once and for all.
Nearly three in 10 (29%) have been asked to stop smoking in the last 12 months by their partner.
While 22% have fielded requests from parents and children, another 20% were advised by a medical professional.
Christian Woolfenden added: “Quitting is always the best option, but for those who don’t quit, switching to smoke-free alternatives can deliver smokers huge savings, as well as dramatically reduce the levels of harmful chemicals they are exposed to.”
WHAT THE LIFETIME CIGARETTE SPEND OF ADULTS COULD BE USED FOR INSTEAD:
- Four brand new family cars
- Two house deposits
- Six weddings
- Two round-the-world crusises
- Three quarters of a Ferrari Portofino
- 15 Rolex Submariners
- 15 Hermes Birkin handbags
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