They risk disease. Endure being exiled from restaurants and bars. Maybe hitting smokers even harder in the wallets will get some to stop.
New York City bumped its cigarette tax up by $1.50 on June 3, making it the highest in the nation. State and city taxes alone equal a whopping $4.25, for a single pack of Marlboro Lights (MO). Now that a pack can cost $10, or more, smoking is not only putting a strain on lungs, it can kill a bank account, too. A younger New Yorker who blows through a pack a day, will spend more than $3,000 now, a steep price for someone who probably also needs to save for retirement.
"Quitting now will not only improve your health, but it will save money you can use for yourself or your family," states City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. "Whether it's your kids' college fund, a summer vacation, or whatever else you want."
Kick the habit now and stash the extra $3,000 a year into a 401(k) and you can breathe easier about retiring, while reaping compounding rewards. Three thousands dollars invested into a 401(k) every year starting at age 24 could compound to $1,161,174 by the time the healthy quitter turns 65. (And, that number will likely increase as the cost of cigarettes continues to rise. )
If you want to learn how much kicking the habit could save you, check out TheStreet.com's calculator.
Of course, smokers who don’t break their habit might not even have to worry about financing a long retirement. The average life expectancy of a smoker is 68.