Smokers spend — and lose — the most from their habit in New York, and the least in Kentucky, according to a new study by WalletHub, the personal finance Web site.
Smoking costs the average Tennessean $1,197,782 over a lifetime, according to the study, which calculated the cost of a cigarette pack per day over several decades, health-care expenditures, income losses and other costs — brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.
For a New York smoker, the cost is $2,330,381, and over a lifetime the cost to a Kentucky smoker is $1,145,128.
The relative cost is reflected in the number of smokers.
Kentucky ranked number two in smokers, with 26.2% of adults smoking in 2016. West Virginia was number one, with 26.7. Tennessee ranked number four, with 24.2%. New York’s smoking rate was 14.4%.
According to WalletHub, a recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta found that smokers earn 20 percent less than nonsmokers, 8 percent of which is attributed to smoking and 12 percent to other factors.
The wage gap is attributed to absenteeism, workplace bias or lower productivity due to smoking-related health problems.
There are an estimated 36.5 million tobacco users in the United States.