The Cost of Smoking


The Cost of Smoking

Richard Hollerman

Years ago, I wrote a pamphlet entitled, “Smoking: The Amazing Financial Factor!”  In this booklet (also available on our website,, I pointed out the astonishing costs of smoking over a lifetime.  For example, if one spends $5.00 (or whatever a pack of cigarettes may cost at a given time) a day for one year, the total would be $1,825!  ($5.00 times 365 = $1,825.).  If the smoker continues his filthy habit for 50 years (from age 15 to 65), the total would be $91,250!  ($1,825 times 50 = $91,250.)  If this amount were invested for the 50 years, the total could reach $200,000 to $500,000!  If one smokes two packs a day, the total could be $400,000 to $1 million dollars spent on a filthy, foolish, and health-destroying addiction. 

As Christians, we are “stewards” of God.  This term means, “house manager,” and it refers to the fact that we must carefully and responsibly care for that money and those possessions that God places in our hands to use for His glory.  Scripture says, “It is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 4:2).  When one wastes $91,250, or $200,000 or $500,000 or more through foolishly using tobacco, he seriously and grievously violates the stewardship that God has given.  We are responsible for every dollar that God gives to us!  Waste of money is a serious sin against God!

Now a report has been released by the U.S. House of Representatives as they approved legislation that will give the Food and Drug Administration authority regarding tobacco products.  Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that smokers cost America $96 billion per year in direct healthcare costs!  In addition to this, there would be $97 billion a year in lost productivity (see “Nonsmokers Cost Society, Too,” Fort Worth Star Telegram, April 8, 2009).  The statement by the White House was that tobacco use “accounts for over a $100 billion annually in financial costs to the economy.”

The newspaper also pointed out that “smokers die some 10 years earlier than nonsmokers,” according to the CDC.  Interestingly, the article mentioned another ironic finding: that although smokers do cost themselves and taxpayers huge amounts of money, they also die much younger than the average American, therefore smokers do not use as much of the social security and retirement funds!

We’ve often pointed out the numerous sins committed by the smoker.  A smoker sins against himself and his body.  A smoker sins against his spouse, his children, his siblings, and his parents.  A smoker sins against his neighbors and friends.  The new report points out that the smoker also sins against the government, which really means every tax-payer, since many of the health care costs of smoker is funded by taxes.  But more than all of this, the smoker sins against God (Psalm 51:4).  This is the basic sin that we all need to keep in mind.

We’ll not detail here the many reasons why smoking is a sin against God and others, nor will be discuss the reasons why people smoke and the methods that can be used to have victory over this addition.  We have discussed these matters elsewhere.  The point we would leave with you is this: If you smoke, you are not only guilty of harming your body and many other sins, but you are costing yourself, your family and society at large, huge amounts of money to support a filthy, foolish, and harmful habit.

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