Smoking and vaping are two of the most common methods of consuming tobacco and nicotine products. Smoking has been the traditional method for decades, but vaping has been on the rise since e-cigarettes were introduced in 2003. One of the main arguments for vaping is that it is cheaper than smoking. However, is this really the case in the UK?
The Cost of Smoking
Smoking is an expensive habit in the UK. According to a study by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the average cost of a pack of 20 cigarettes in the UK in 2020 was £10.81. A pack-a-day smoker would spend around £3,946 per year on cigarettes alone. This cost does not include other expenses such as lighters or ashtrays.
In addition, smoking has other financial drawbacks. Smokers often pay higher insurance premiums and medical expenses due to the health risks associated with smoking. They may also have to pay higher cleaning or repair costs for their homes and cars due to the smell and damage caused by smoking.
The Cost of Vaping
Vaping has been marketed as a cheaper alternative to smoking. While the initial cost of a vaping device and e-liquid can be expensive, it is a one-time purchase. According to a study by the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), the average cost of a starter kit is around £30, and the average cost of e-liquid is around £10 per 10ml bottle. A vaper who uses 5ml of e-liquid per day would spend around £1825.00 per year.
However, there are ongoing costs associated with vaping. Vaping devices require replacement coils and batteries, which can add up over time. In addition, some vapers prefer to upgrade their devices, which can also increase costs. The cost of vaping can also vary depending on how frequently a vaper uses their device and the quality of the e-liquid they use.
Comparing the Costs of Smoking and Vaping
When comparing the costs of smoking and vaping, it is important to consider both the short-term and long-term costs. In the short term, smoking is more expensive than vaping. A pack-a-day smoker would spend around £3,946 per year on cigarettes, while a vaper who uses 5ml of e-liquid per day would spend around £1825.00 per year on e-liquid. However, vaping does have ongoing costs, such as replacement coils and batteries, all of which can add up.
That said, in the long term, the costs of smoking can be much higher than the costs of vaping. Smokers often pay higher insurance premiums and medical expenses due to the health risks associated with smoking. In addition, smoking can lead to serious health problems such as lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke, which can be expensive to treat. Vaping has not been on the market long enough to fully understand the long-term health effects, but it is widely believed to be less harmful than smoking. In other words, there's the potential to avoid all the medical costs that are associated with smoking, although more research is required.
Overall, when comparing the costs of smoking and vaping, it is important to consider both the short-term and long-term costs. In the short term, vaping can equal or even outdo smoking in terms of costs, but in the long term, the costs of smoking can be much higher due to the associated health risks. Therefore, while vaping may not be the cheapest option in the short term, it could be a wise choice in the long run.
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