Warning: If you smoke this will be depressing! I recommend you read ahead and then make a valiant attempt to quit!

I was having a conversation with a co-worker the other day when my mind was blown!

Why was my mind blown you ask?

Well first of all, I discovered a pack of cigarettes costs roughly $14 dollars a pack.

BOOOM! Whaaaat!? That’s crazy!


Now being the curious individual that I am, I felt it was necessary to dig into his personal life. So I began interrogation;

“Hey man, you seem to smoke quite often. How much do you smoke?” His response was around a pack a day, give or take. He was pretty certain the average was pretty damn close to 1 pack a day.

“Okay woah woah hold it there buddy. You mean to tell me that every day you have to fork over 14 bucks towards a shit habit that’s depleting your health, and obviously a significant amount of your income?” The reddening of his face had reaffirmed my answer.

I could have just let it be there. Once my mind get’s going however, there’s no stopping. SO there I was. Across from this gentlemen, staring ever so slightly off into nowhere; Whichever direction my head was angled while I pondered over some math.

Now the product of 14 and 31 is $434.00.


Then gazing back up at a cloud while I went over some more math in my head (some will say I’m slow, but it’s how I concentrate!).

“Your spending $5,110 a year just to suck on some tar sticks! That’s unreal! You do know that it’s only going to increase right? With inflation and not to mention what if you start sucking back more of those things? What if the government decides to tax tobacco products even more! What about life insurance!? LIFE INSURANCE!? The premium on life insurance is going to be through the roof for you! What are you doing man! WHY!?”

Let’s get some numbers involved shall we?


Here’s the PDF of this spreadsheet if you need a closer look:

Smoking Spreadsheet

Basically what this illustrates is the cost of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day vs. investing the same amount with a return of 6%. Over the 40 years, starting at the age of 23 (age of the gentleman I was conversing with), assuming inflation per year of 2% on the price of cigs, it will cost $319,937.22 to smoke a pack a day. If he were to quit today however, and start investing the same amount (assuming a return of 6%) he would end the 40 year period with $1,171,429.20. Yup, over a milli in his name. Not to mention much better health!

I think we can all agree: It’s pretty expensive to kill yourself slowly.

“But Jason, we’re all going to die some day!” Ya? That’s a poor attitude. I actually have heard this more than once and I cringe when I do. That’s the best way you justify your habit? Your willingness to spend money assisting yourself into the grave instead of saving, investing, or experiencing things in life that don’t decrease your life expectancy all because “we’re all going to die someday.”

Get it together and take a look at the grand scheme of things. Your life will be so much better without that shitty habit. That money could benefit you a lot more instead of being used to destroy your body.

Anyways, I could rant about cigarettes forever. If you couldn’t tell, I absolutely hate them. My mom is a smoker and it bothers me knowing people are making money damaging her wellness. So maybe that’s why I’m so bitter about it.

But I want to offer help!

I have an idea.

A great idea I think!

But what is it?

Well consider this. Think of something you really want. Maybe you want something material, a new bike, an iPad, or an expensive suit. Maybe you’ve wanted to travel somewhere, or have been putting off visiting family overseas. Whatever has a large enough price tag that constricts you from handing over your hard-earned dollars, picture that. Hold it in your mind. Imagine having it, and feel all of the feelings you would feel by having it.

Now take smoking. Imagine yourself not being dependent on nicotine. Imagine quitting and never having to rely on the god awful habit. How good would that feel?

Here’s what I propose.

Take that iPad or vacation. Price it out, now how much will it cost?

Now calculate how much you spend on smoking. If you quit today, how long would it take for you to reach that goal and get your reward?

For example; I’m going to assume this guy I was talking with wants a new iPad Air. At the time of writing, a 64 GB iPad Air is available from Apple’s site (Canada) for $719. After tax here in Alberta it will be $754.95.

Now if he quit tomorrow and started saving, let’s see how long it will take.

754.95÷14=53.93 or 54 days.

It won’t even take 2 months to reach the prize from quitting.

54 days, A new iPad traded for the price of smoking.

Try this out. Think of something you’ve really wanted. Print out pictures of it, make it a background on your phone, whatever. Look at it every single day. Figure out how long it will take based on how much you spend smoking. Once you have it figured out, set a date that you’ll curb the habit. That’s when you’ll start saving for your “I quit smoking” prize.

Let me know if this works.





3 Responses to Quit Smoking: You Could Be a Millionaire

  1. That’s a good tip to print out pictures of what you want and to avoid smoking to achieve it. Will link to this post in a future roundup…

  2. Paige says:

    This reminds me of a story I heard recently, where a non-smoker worked out how much money their smoking friend was wasting each year. They calculated that their friend could have bought a Ferrari with all the money they’d spent on the cigarettes.

    That said, the “punchline” was when the friend then asked their non-smoking friend where *their* Ferrari was then?

    Lol! I guess while you’re right, money is only one factor in giving up smoking. Each of us has out own “tipping point” and finding your unique motivation is key to finally quitting for good.

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