There was a time when smoking was seen as a harmless pastime. But today, health experts and the general public understand the risks smoking poses. Conditions such as emphysema and lung cancer mean vaping has become a welcome alternative for people that enjoy their nicotine hit. When it comes to vaping vs smoking, which costs more?
The Cultural Impact of Smoking
The Native Americans once used tobacco as a way of communicating with spirits, a cure for toothache and a painkiller. But it became a recreational pastime when European settlers stumbled upon it.
During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, smoking became popular among royalty, with Queen Elizabeth I being among the first nobles introduced to tobacco. The tradition at the time was to smoke the leaf in a pipe, but as time moved forwards, so did tobacco.
By 1880, cigarettes were everywhere, mostly due to the invention of the rolling machine. Purchasing tobacco was no longer something only the upper classes could do, and urban youths especially embraced the practice of smoking cigarettes.
The Golden Age of Hollywood also helped to increase cigarette sales, as many movies featured actors such as Spencer Tracy and Marlene Dietrich smoking.
Golden Age of Smoking
By the 1950s, smoking was the ‘norm’, and the frequency of tobacco consumption is depicted in shows such as Mad Men. Despite proof that smoking causes lung cancer, people continued to buy cigarettes, and it was common practice for people to smoke in the workplace.
Throughout the ensuing decades, people continued to smoke, and in 1997 the average price for a pack of 20 cigarettes was £2.94. But with smoking causing so many health conditions, it would only be a matter of time before tobacco would be at the centre of controversy.
California and Ireland’s Stand
While the number of smokers slowly decreased, it wasn’t until governments began to take a stand that the positive changes occurred. California introduced a series of smoking bans in 1995, but it was Ireland that made the most significant changes.
In 2004, Ireland banned smoking in the workplace, which decreased cigarette sales by 16% (NCBI). The world would follow, and the changes they made would define the decrease in smoking cigarettes and the rise of vaping.
Smoking vs Vaping: The Financial Implications
To understand whether smoking or vaping costs more, we need to examine the financial implications of each.
How Much Does Smoking Cost Today?
Every year the costs of smoking seem to rise, and countries are continuously introducing new bans to protect people from the impact of passive smoking. In 2019, Wales banned smoking outside, and tobacco companies have to increase their costs to stay in business.
While every brand has its own pricing system, we’ve looked at them to come up with an average. With help from The Sun, we can reveal that the average pack of cigarettes in 2020 costs £10.91.
Premium brands such as Silk Cut can cost over £13.05, while 20 Players cigarettes cost £9.02. Whether you’re a light or heavy smoker, the costs can add up.
If we take the average cost of a pack of cigarettes, we can work out how much smokers are likely to spend in a year.
5 cigarettes a Day = £995 a year
10 cigarettes a day = £1991 a year
20 cigarettes a day = £3982 a year
That amount compared to 20 years ago, shows why so many people are turning to alternative methods. But how much does vaping cost?
How Much Does Vaping Cost?
Surprisingly, the first e-cigarette was invented in 2003, by a Chinese pharmacist, Hon Lik. Today, it’s a convenient and healthier alternative to smoking. Let’s look at the numbers.
When you smoke regular tobacco, you either purchase a pack of premade cigarettes, or you buy loose-leaf brands. Vaping requires some essential equipment, so before we talk about whether it’s more cost-effective, let’s break down the costs.
The E-Cigarette Device
There are so many vape kits to choose from, and prices range from budget options to premium ones. For example, you can buy an excellent vape kit that comes with a charger for £19.99.
Most people start with a beginner kit and then upgrade. The main thing to remember is that once you purchase the device, it lasts for a long time.
Now for the essential part of vaping – the liquid. Also known as vape juice, e-liquids provide the nicotine and flavour i.e. menthol e liquid, so the type you choose often defines whether you have a good experience or not.” E-liquids provide the nicotine and flavour i.e. menthol e liquid, so the type you choose often defines whether you have a good experience or not.
There are plenty of flavours to choose from, but most smokers find that opting for a tobacco infused flavour is best. A 10ml bottle of liquid can last between five days to two weeks, depending on your usage.
High-liquids can cost as little as £4.50 for a bottle, and many vaping brands offer multi-buy deals, such as four e-liquids for £12.
On average, most people will spend around £150 a year on e-liquids.
Coils and Batteries
All kits come with a battery, but most people purchase a spare. Most vape batteries cost under £10, and they can make your equipment last a lot longer.
Coils are essential because they affect the taste of your e-liquid and create a burnt flavour when not changed regularly. We recommend changing your coil every two weeks, or more if you’re a heavy vaper.
A pack of coils costs around £7-10 depending on which you buy, which means moderate vapers will spend approximately £70 a year on coils.
What’s the Average Yearly Cost of Vaping?
Depending on how often you vape, you could spend between £250 – £350 a year on vaping, which is significantly lower than smoking.
It’s also important to remember that the health costs of vaping are lower, which makes it the better choice all round.
Hopefully, you have the information you require to make the best decision for your health and finances. When it comes to smoking vs vaping, e-cigarettes use continues to grow. With all the benefits it offers, people around the world will use e-cigarettes to replace traditional tobacco.