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Smoking is harmful. For your health and your wallet

PicodiOctober 19, 2021

According to statistics published in a medical magazine The Lancet, the numbers of active smokers in 2019 increased to 1.14 billion (1,140,000,000) people. The World Health Organisation calls it the tobacco epidemic that kills 8 million people every year.

Picodi.com analysts decided to focus on the financial aspect of smoking: we checked how the prices of cigarettes differ in over a hundred countries around the world and how much an average smoker spends on cigarettes a year.

How much a pack of cigarettes costs around the world

Of the countries included in this study, smokers in Australia pay the most for cigarettes. A pack of 20 cigarettes costs nearly 22 euros. This high price is a result of the Australian government’s policy to reduce smoking. The excise tax in this country has increased by 12.5% in the years 2013–2020.

New Zealand (€21 per packet), Ireland (€14) and Canada (€10) are also among the countries with the most expensive cigarettes.

The United Kingdom ranked fourth with an average price of £11.39 (€13.31) per packet.

At the other end is Nigeria (€0.82 per packet) and Kazakhstan (€1). Cigarettes are also cheap in Belarus (€1.36), Turkey (€1.79) and Ukraine (€1.90).

Money down the drain

According to the researchers, the annual number of cigarettes smoked reaches 7.41 trillion (7,410,000,000,000), which equates to 18 cigarettes a day for each active smoker.

How much money do smokers spend each year, and what percentage of their income is consumed by this addiction? The amount of tobacco consumed varies from country to country, but for the purposes of this graph, we have assumed that the average smoker buys 365 packets per year.

How much money smokers spend on cigarettes yearly

In the UK, a smoker who consumes one pack a day will spend £4,155 (€4,858) a year on cigarettes. This is equivalent to 18% of the country’s average annual income. Smoking is a similar cost in Ireland (16%).

Smoking in Jamaica (38%), the Dominican Republic (41%) and Uganda (44%) consumes a larger proportion of income.

Methodology

Cigarette prices are from numbeo.com, where they are collected by hundreds of thousands of Internet users from around the world. We converted the local currencies using the average Google Finance rate for September 2021. Statistics on the number of active smokers and the number of cigarettes smoked come from the global study by the Lancet:

  • https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)01169-7/fulltext

Public use

The infographics and statistical data presented in the report can be used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes, indicating the author of the studies (Picodi.com) with a link to this subpage. If you have any questions, please contact us: research@picodi.com.