Just quit smoking. C’mon, we know you want to.
Nearly 40% of people in a recent NPR poll said they made quitting their New Year’s resolution over other bad habits like overeating.
And there’s no way the price of this dirty habit’s going anywhere but up in the near future.
Last year, the three largest tobacco peddlers in the country raised the wholesale price on cigarettes – not once, but twice –and states across the map are already piling huge taxes on top of that.
The priciest packs in the nation by far are sold in New York City, where pack-a-day smokers can drop a whopping $3,800 per year ($11/pack) to light up. That’s more than twice the national average of $4.80, according to the latest CDC estimates.
Brooklyn resident Camille DeMere says she’s seen packs in the city for as much as $13 and has quit buying them altogether. “It is crazy expensive and there’s no point in buying a pack of cigarettes here when the exact same ones are $3 or $4 a pack in the South,” she says.
That’s the reaction anti-smoking activists have been hoping for. In fact, price is one the biggest reasons we’ve seen a 61% drop in the number of teen smokers in the country over the last few years.
That could be great news for the economy, as the CDC estimates our collective smoking habit costs the country close to $200 billion in direct medical costs and lost productivity each year. That’s right on par with our binge drinking problem.
Smoking is the number one cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. and employers are really beginning to take note. Companies that slap smokers with healthcare higher premiums are set to rise by a record 40 per cent this year, according to a recent Thompson Reuters-NPR poll.
20-two per cent more companies also said they’re going to start giving incentives for healthy behaviours, according to a recently released study by Towers Watson/National Business Group. And more than 80 per cent of companies surveyed actually have programs in place to help employees kick their habit.
Thinking of quitting? Meet your new best friend: the CDC’s page on “How To Quit.”
Looking to get even healthier? See 15 ways to lose weight without blowing your budget >
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