Tobacco Free Campus - July 1, 2012

Financial Benefits of Quitting Use of Tobacco Products

Often overshadowed by the health benefits, the financial/economic benefits of quitting smoking can be significant. Price per pack is highest in New York State, hitting $14.50 in some locations in New York City. Removing this daily expense adds up quickly in savings. One must also consider the more indirect personal financial benefits of quitting smoking that result from lower healthcare costs, increased productivity from fewer lost workdays, better overall health, and fewer premature deaths.

Cigarettes are taxed on federal, state and local (NYC) levels. New York State has the highest taxes on cigarettes in the U.S., reflecting the health-related economic losses that result from tobacco use. Although annual tax revenue from cigarette sales is considerable, savings from decreased annual expenditures/losses directly attributable to tobacco use for healthcare, workplace productivity losses, and premature death would outweigh losses in tax revenue. The average retail price of a pack of cigarettes in New York is $7.89. However, after factoring in these expenditures and losses, the real price of a pack of cigarettes to society and to the state's economy is $36.24 per pack.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Economic Facts About U.S. Tobacco Production and Use. Accessed at:
  2. American Lung Association: Smoking Cessation: the Economic Benefits. Accessed at:
  3. Potential Costs and Benefits of Smoking Cessation for New York. Jill S. Rumberger, PhD, David Kline, Christopher S. Hollenbeak, PhD. Pennsylvania State University, April 30, 2010. Accessed at:
  4. US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Medline Plus, Complete list of references for quitting smoking. Accessed at:
  5. Quit to Save. Accessed at:
  6. The Total Lifetime Health Cost Savings of Smoking Cessation To Society. Susanne R. Rasmussen, Eva Prescott, Thorkild I. A. Sørensen and Jes Søgaard. European Journal of Public Health, Volume 15, Issue 6, (December 2005) pp. 601-606. Accessed at:
  7. NYC Quits, Quit Calculator:
  8. Cigarette Purchasing Patterns Among New Yorkers: New York State Department of Health, March 2006. Implications for Health, Price, and Revenue. Accessed at:

Last modified: Feb 27, 2012

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