Impact of smoking on financial health

Livewell: Health Insurance & Wellness Blogs | Max Bupa


06 February 2020

According to a report by the World Health Organization and the National Cancer Institute, smoking costs global economies more than $1 trillion per year and kills about 6 million people!



The most ignored aspect of smoking, however, has to do with our financial health. It may seem like you aren’t spending much when buying a couple of cigarettes at a time. To get a clearer idea, consider the following situation –if a cigarette of any of the popular Indian brands costs Rs.15 and a person is accustomed to smoking a pack of ten in a day, the total amounts to Rs.150 per day, Rs.4500 per month, and Rs.54,000 per year.

If you decided to invest Rs.54,000 in a fixed deposit account at the rate of 7% for 10 years, you will be able to accumulate a sum of Rs. 1,08,521, given that the principal amount remains the same (which needn’t be the case). On the other hand, if you continue to buy cigarettes that are experiencing a steady price rise of 10% every year, you will end up spending an amount north of Rs.50 lakhs in 30 years!

Diseases like cardiovascular disease, tuberculosis, cancer and respiratory diseases burns a huge hole in your pocket. According to Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Government of India, these diseases cost Rs. 84,382.37 for men and Rs. 17,051.89 for women approximately.

Another way of thinking about how smoking is hurting your pocket is to think about higher premiums charged by insurance companies. Insurance companies don't like smokers simply because they are at a higher risk of succumbing to a disease. A smoker is charged 10-15% higher than a non-smoker for term life insurance. Lying about smoking is not an option because if the insurer finds out about the insured's smoking habit, claim settlement will be denied. This may leave the individual's family staring at a financial crisis. Furthermore, medical costs see almost a 15% annual inflation. This means that a smoker will have to spend almost Rs.25 lakhs over a period of 30 years.

The most important thing to remember is that life is too precious to be sacrificed at the altar of a fleeting whim. Resolve to quit smoking and realize its health and financial benefits for yourself!



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