Massachusetts among most expensive states for smokers

WalletHub survey factored in cost of pack, lost income, and other factors

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Smokers know the pain of reaching into their wallet every few days to buy enough packs of cigarettes to get them through the week. But it’s even more of a burden for people here: Massachusetts is one of the top five most expensive states for smokers.

A new WalletHub study estimates that it costs a Massachusetts smoker close to $2 million over their lifetime. Researchers factored the cost of a pack per day, plus interest that would have been earned had that money been invested instead, health care costs based on the number of smokers per state, income lost by smokers compared to their non-smoking colleagues, and other fees such a homeowners insurance credit that non-smokers usually get.

Ron Rindels of Agawam says he doesn’t see how the average person can afford to smoke. “I think that’s awful. I think there could be a lot better things done with that kind of money than smoke,” he said. “I don’t know how they do it. Gotta have a real good job.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 18% of American adults smoke; that’s 42.1 million people.

The survey of the 50 states and District of Columbia found that smoking was most expensive in Alaska and cheapest in South Carolina.

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