Statistics estimate that 15% of adult New Zealanders smoke, or a total amount of around 550,000 people. These smokers in New Zealand have it tough in so many ways. Not only are they mired in an unhealthy and destructive habit, every year this habit takes more and more out of them financially. Since 2010, because of new tax laws passed in parliament, the price of cigarettes and tobacco has risen dramatically.
A pack of 20 cigarettes has risen from around $13 to between $22-27 in 2017 depending on the brand of choice. With 10% tax increases set in law at least until 2020, smokers can expect that they will soon be paying upwards of $30 per pack or $1.50 for each cigarette. A pack a day smoker will be out $200 per week, a cost likely higher than all their groceries for the week combined.
|In 2017, each of these set their owner back over $1 a piece.|
Unfortunately, that's not all a cigarette habit can cost. If you're a smoker and you have personal risk insurance in the form of life, trauma, TPD, income protection or health insurance, you're paying a lot more in premiums than non-smokers are. This is because as a smoker, you are more likely to develop serious health conditions and thus, you pose a much higher risk to the insurer. How much more will a smoker pay? In some cases it can be up to double the amount of a non smoker of the same age.
The good news is, that if a smoker manages to quit, their premiums can be revised and changed down to a non smokers level if the smoker manages to maintain it for a significant period of time. For instance, if you quit smoking 12 months ago and are paying smoker premiums on your insurance, you will be eligible to apply for changes and have your costs significantly reduced. A pack a day smoker who manages to quit could easily save between $12,000-$15,000 a year through not having to pay for smokes and the savings on their insurance. That is enough for a significant vacation, a brand new car or many many shopping sprees. Even those who only smoke a pack or two a week could save around $5000 a year by cutting it out.
With the cost of the habit now sure to increase further in the years to come, now could be the time to dial it back or endeavour to quit entirely. Your wallet would definitely thank you for it.