But those who continue to smoke may eventually go broke if they can't kick the habit.
A pack of cigarettes costs, on average, $6 in the United States. It varies from state to state (New Yorkers can often pay more than $10 per pack, while smokers in Virginia pay around $4.60), but smokers all across America — especially younger ones — are thinking twice before lighting up.
If you smoke a pack per day for an entire year, you need to set aside roughly $2,200 per year simply to purchase cigarettes. That's a significant chunk of change, but that doesn't tell the entire story.
Obviously, smokers need health insurance, as this habit generally leads to poor health. Factor in the additional doctor's visits, the potential costs of prescription medication, and the higher co-pays, and that $2,200-per-year habit is now creeping into five-digit territory.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration posted a helpful tip sheet for those still struggling with the habit. Smokers who "know their triggers" and come up with craving-fighting habits are often successful in quitting for good. So if you're still feeling the urge to light up, take a second to think about all that is at stake here. You're not just lighting the end of a cigarette. You're lighting the ends of multiple $100 bills.
• 4 Tips to Stay Tobacco Free (FDA.gov, July 11)
• The SmokeFree.gov Quit Guide, with cost-of-smoking calculator
• Smoking and Tobacco Use Fact Sheet (Centers for Disease Control)
• The Smokers' Surcharge (New York Times, Nov. 16, 2011)
• Cigarette Prices by State (Cigaretteprices.us, as of Jan. 4, 2012)