Smoking more costly in tough economic times

By: Samantha Andre Email
By: Samantha Andre Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, November 19, 2008

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga.---Kicking the habit of smoking is something many people want to do already, and in these tough financial times, there's all the more reason to stop.

David Stephens knows buying gas is a necessity, but there's one thing he pays for he doesn't want to: cigarettes.

"I have cut back, mainly because of my health concerns and then the prices. The economy is pretty tough right now," said Stephens.

Smoking can be a very costly habit. Someone who smokes a pack a day at about $4 a day would pay about $120 a month. In a year that person burned nearly $1500 with nothing to show for it.

"You could pay your insurance bill, your health insurance. Anywhere would be better than that," said Stephens.

The actual cost of cigarettes is not the only way smokers are affected. They can pay more for health and life insurance because of the habit and they can even get less money when selling off a car because of the smell or any damage.

People who don't smoke are affected, too. For one, they're paying into smoker's health insurance.

"Or they're slipping away from their work environment to have a smoke break. All of that is going to add up in terms of cost," said Dr. Janie Heath, and associate dean at the Medical College of Georgia.

And some places don't want second-hand smoke around either. MCG and Richmond County schools have banned smoking 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"To kids, just don't start," says Stephens. "Save your money and save your health."

Many organizations in our area will participate in the Great American Smokeout Thursday, including MCG, University Hospital, and ASU.

People can turn in their tobacco for good and get information about quitting.


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