New York smokers spend the most in the US

Science
A wall of tobacco products behind the counter

Aug. 28, 2017 — cigarettes displayed on a store shelf in New York. With a new law enacted in December 2019, anyone under 21 can no longer legally buy cigarettes, cigars or any other tobacco products in the U.S. It also applies to electronic cigarettes and vaping products that heat a liquid containing nicotine. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

ALBANY (NEWS10) — New York state tops the list of states with the highest out-of-pocket smoking cost per smoker—nearly $200,000 in a lifetime, $70,000 above the national average—according to personal finance website WalletHub.

Per smoker, New York has the highest out-of-pocket cost ($194,899) and the third-highest healthcare cost ($262,289). Income loss and “other” associated costs per smoker, totaling almost $30,000, also placed the Empire State very highly in the rankings compared to other states.

New Yorkers also have the greatest opportunity cost at $1.7, a figure representing how much would have been made if smoking expenses had instead been invested in the stock market.

All told, each New Yorker who smokes spends almost $2.5 million on cigarettes, health care, and lost income throughout their lives. This breaks down to almost $50,000 per year per person. The out-of-pocket cost per New York smoker is more than twice as high as in Missouri, where smokers have the lowest out-of-pocket costs.

Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, and Rhode Island round out the top five states in terms of highest smoking costs. North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi, and South Carolina are the five cheapest states for smokers.

The economic and societal costs of smoking total a growing $300 billion annually for 34.2 million tobacco users. Tobacco use accounts for half a million deaths in the U.S. each year. Secondhand smoke accounts for as much as 10% of those losses.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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