Australian smokers spend $14 billion a year on their cigarettes, but the financial costs of smoking extend far beyond a $30 pack a day.
Australia’s 2.8 million daily smokers are paying more than twice as much for life insurance as their non-smoker counterparts, according to new research from Finder.
Already spending an average $5,237 a year on cigarettes, these Aussies are spending an average $80.07 a month on life insurance, compared to $38.80 for non-smokers.
And smoking half a pack a day will cost smokers just over $100 a week (based on a 20-pack of Winfield Blues which are currently selling for $28.70).
“Smoking half a pack a day will cost you $436 a month and $40 a month more in life insurance premiums. That’s over $5,700 per year you could be saving if you gave up the smokes,” Finder editor-in-chief Angus Kidman said.
“Insurance companies generally don’t differentiate between an occasional smoker and a pack-a-day smoker,” he added.
How do insurers stack up?
While some insurers charge smokers a staggering 134 per cent more, others charge 84 per cent more.
What should you do
Insurers generally require their members give up the cigarettes for at least one year before they classify them as a non-smoker.
But as smoking is one the leading preventable causes of death in Australia, claiming nearly 19,000 Australian lives a year, the health benefits outweigh the financial.
Smokers can lean on their health insurance to help them quit.
Some providers will include approved quit-smoking programs in their extras policies. These can include Allen Carr’s Easyway, UIT Foundation and Smokenders.
There’s also a chance you can claim back for nicotine replacement therapies like patches, fum and inhalers. Alternatively, you could claim for services like hypnotherapy.
And you can claim a Medicare rebate for visits with practitioners who specialise in tobacco treatment, along with registered psychologists.
Make your money work with Yahoo Finance’s daily newsletter. Sign up here and stay on top of the latest money, news and tech news.