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5 ways smoking is costing you more money than the cigarettes themselves

Posted June 9

Cigarettes are a very expensive habit, but the effects of smoking will cost you even more over time. Here are five other ways that smoking is costing you more than just the cigarettes. (Deseret Photo)

For years, we have known the adverse impact that smoking can have on the body. Studies have shown the harmful effects years of smoking has on someone's overall health, but what about the effects of smoking on a person's bank account?

The cost of cigarettes is continuing to rise every year, but that's not the only way it costs smokers. There are several ways that many smokers don't realize cigarettes are costing them. In fact, some consumers may be stunned to hear exactly how much their smoke breaks could be hurting their bank account.

Life insurance

Life insurance is one of the most significant ways that cigarettes are costing you. For the average person, being a smoker can increase your monthly life insurance premiums from 100 percent to 300 percent according to Jeff Root of Root Life Insurance Services. Regardless of what kind of condition the applicant is in, "if they smoke, their rates are going to automatically be double that of a nonsmoker," says Chris Long owner of Longevity Insurance Brokers in Denver, CO. When compared to a nonsmoker, a smoker will pay around $50,000 more than a non-smoker in monthly premiums for a 20-year term life insurance policy, according to Liran Hirschkorn of ChooseTerm.com.

Health insurance

Similar to life insurance, smoking can drastically impact your health insurance rates, which translates to more money out of your pocket every month. This is because smokers tend to be in less than ideal health and frequently need more doctors' visits and more medications. While it depends on how long you've been smoking, a smoker can expect to see monthly premiums 20 percent higher than a nonsmoker, depending on the carrier.

Car value

Do you always look for the cheapest price on gasoline, but smoke on your daily commute to and from work? You might as well be pouring a little gasoline on the ground every time you fill up.

Have you ever tried to get the smoke smell out of a car? It's almost impossible. According to a study done at San Diego State University, having that smoke smell means that when you try and resell your car, you could be losing $1,000 or more because of the smell. Not only will smoking decrease the value, but it will also make it much harder to sell.

Aside from the resell value of the car, there are also the costs of cleaning that increase with smoking. Renting cleaning equipment or having the car cleaned professionally can add up to about an additional $100, depending on the company.

Dental care

Aside from the cost of bleaching yellow teeth back to white, smoking cigarettes causes higher dental care costs every year. According to a study completed by the Department of Work Systems and Health, the Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences and the University of Occupational and Environmental Health, smoking causes oral health costs to increase by around 14 percent versus people who don't smoke. These costs were not only in routine dental care but also in potential periodontal disease and through tooth loss.

Homeowners insurance

Homeowners insurance is based on the amount of risk the applicant poses to the insurance company. Any factors that increase the risk of something happening to the house will increase the monthly premiums for home insurance. For any smoker that is looking at purchasing a home insurance policy, your rates are going to be higher. Why? Because smoking cigarettes increase the chance of having a house fire.

According to CoverHound.com the average house insurance premiums are around 10-20% higher for smokers than homeowners that stay away from cigarettes.

The good news is that quitting smoking pays very quick dividends. Not only do you get to stop paying for cigarettes, but after one year of being smoke free you qualify for nonsmoker rates on life and health insurance policies, your teeth will be whiter and your house and car will smell much better.

Paul Moyer is the founder of SavingFreak.com and a personal finance coach: e-mail: paul@savingfreak.com twitter: @savingfreak

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