The financial website Wallet Hub released a report on Wednesday that delineated the lifelong economic consequences of smoking.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez began with the long view about smoking.

“Smoking doesn't just ruin your health, it burns a nasty hole through your wallet,” said Gonzalez. “Tobacco use accounts for nearly half a million deaths in the US each year. It's the leading cause of lung cancer in smokers this year. Specifically, you may even have an increased risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19 if you smoke.”

Gonzalez broke down the financial cost of smoking to the average Montanan.

“In some states, it's simply more expensive to be a smoker than others,” she said. “We looked at all 50 states here, so number one would be the cheapest, but still pretty expensive and 50 would be the most expensive and Montana ranks 18th. So if you're looking at lifetime costs, you're looking at of an out of pocket costs of over $113,000 for the average smoker in Montana.”

Over a lifetime, Gonzalez said that smokers suffer a great deal financially.

“Right now smokers make about 20% less than non smokers, due to everything from smoke breaks to missing days and absenteeism because of health related costs that come with smoking,” she said. “So the income loss in Montana per smoker is just under $500,000 over your lifetime. The health care cost per smoker adds another about $150,000.”

Smokers in Massachusetts will pay the highest amount, $289,789, which is 2.6 times higher than in Kentucky, where smokers will pay the lowest amount at $110,280.


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