A very dear friend and colleague of mine a few years ago decided she needed a raise. No, she didn't go to the boss and ask for her annual wages to be increased. She stopped smoking and to be quite honest, I haven't seen her happier, healthier, or more financially sound in my quarter of a century of knowing her.

We all know about the health risks associated with smoking. If you're a smoker you can probably recite them to me blindfolded while firing up a Camel with no filter. What you might not be aware of is the incredible cost associated with the habit. Okay, I'm sure you know that cigarettes ain't cheap, but did you realize that over the course of a lifetime you'll spend about $1.8 million dollars on your habit?

I am pretty sure you could afford a nice four-wheeler, a deer camp, a new truck, and maybe a vacation on that kind of money. The group Wallet Hub recently analyzed smokers in Louisiana and their spending habits. The group's study found that over the course of a lifetime, a lifetime for these purposes is age 21 to 69, a smoker in Louisiana will spend almost $1.8 million bucks just on smoking and smoking-related issues.

Some of the Wallet Hub findings were reported by the Louisiana Radio Network. LRN took the time to breakdown the costs, as compiled in the Wallet Hub survey,  so you can really see where your money is going.

  • Out-of-cost per smoker $102,142 (Rank: 15th)
  • Financial-Opportunity Cost per Smoker $1,138,749 (Rank 15th)
  • Health-Care Cost per Smoker $113,254 (Rank 3rd)
  • Income Loss per Smoker $441,271 (Rank 4th)
  • Other Costs per Smoker $14,389 (Rank 41st)
  • Total Cost Over Lifetime per Smoker $1,809,805
  • Total Cost per Year per Smoker $37,704

Yeah, that last number is the killer, not literally but since we're talking about smoking it could be. There are a lot of people in Louisiana whose annual income is less than $37,704 dollars and that's what some people are spending on smokes. Geez Louise or should I say Geeziana Louisiana, y'all we can do better here.

I get it, smoking may be the most difficult habit there is to break in all of humankind but, as my friend has proven, it can be done and in the end, it's worth it in more ways than money can buy.

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