My oh my North Carolina, we spend a lot of hard-earned money on tobacco products. Smoking isn’t just bad for your health. It can also burn a hole in your wallet. According to the American Lung Association, tobacco use leads to nearly half a million deaths in the U.S. each year and is the leading cause of lung cancer.

Additionally, smokers are at an increased risk of developing severe symptoms from COVID-19. Tobacco smoking has harmful effects even on those who are around it. Since 1964, smoking-related illnesses have claimed over 20 million lives in the U.S., 2.5 million of which belonged to nonsmokers who developed diseases merely from secondhand smoke exposure.

Smoking, however, has huge economic and societal costs as well. In terms of both medical care and lost productivity, smoking costs the U.S. more than $300 billion a year. Depending on where they live, some people will have to pay more. WalletHub has compiled a report on these massive costs per state.

WalletHub assessed the true per-person costs of smoking in the District of Columbia and all 51 states. In addition to the lifetime and annual costs of a pack of cigarettes per day, they calculated health care expenditures, income losses, and other expenses incurred as a result of smoking. In North Carolina, we ranked number four out of the fifty states! The total cost per smoker is $1,755,849. Wow!

The Real Cost of Smoking by State

Overall Rank* State Total Cost per Smoker Out-of-Pocket Cost
(Rank)
Financial Opportunity Cost
(Rank)
Health-Care Cost per Smoker
(Rank)
Income Loss per Smoker
(Rank)
Other Costs per Smoker
(Rank)
1 Mississippi $1,696,496 $95,834
(9)
$1,068,432
(9)
$124,134
(9)
$395,643
(1)
$12,453
(32)
2 Missouri $1,702,848 $86,023
(1)
$959,049
(1)
$150,465
(28)
$496,014
(13)
$11,296
(23)
3 Alabama $1,729,122 $95,309
(8)
$1,062,572
(8)
$112,386
(2)
$446,982
(5)
$11,873
(27)
4 North Carolina $1,755,849 $93,206
(3)
$1,039,133
(3)
$117,466
(6)
$495,426
(12)
$10,618
(14)
5 Tennessee $1,760,744 $94,433
(5)
$1,052,806
(5)
$118,257
(7)
$484,453
(9)
$10,795
(18)
6 Kentucky $1,763,504 $98,112
(11)
$1,093,824
(11)
$110,280
(1)
$451,829
(7)
$9,459
(3)
7 South Carolina $1,775,882 $94,958
(7)
$1,058,666
(7)
$124,602
(10)
$485,801
(10)
$11,855
(26)
8 Georgia $1,790,190 $92,856
(2)
$1,035,226
(2)
$114,114
(4)
$535,507
(22)
$12,486
(33)
9 Louisiana $1,809,805 $102,142
(15)
$1,138,749
(15)
$113,254
(3)
$441,271
(4)
$14,389
(41)
10 Idaho $1,846,394 $98,287
(12)
$1,095,777
(12)
$115,368
(5)
$527,031
(20)
$9,929
(6)

Though North Carolina doesn’t have as high a rank as those living in Massachusetts, people are still spending way too much on tobacco products. Our next-door neighbors in South Carolina ranked at number seven. South Carolinians spend $1,775,882 on smoking in a lifetime. You can see more on this report here.

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Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige