(And 5 Additional Financial Benefits of Quitting)
Smoking does not only take a toll on your health but also on your wallet, economists suggest.
Julie Hotchkiss and Melinda Pitts from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta studied the income rates of smokers and non-smokers and found that the former only earn 80 percent of what the latter earn. Surprisingly however, people who used to smoke but quit more than a year earlier exceed the income of those who never used tobacco by 7 percent.
The economists also found that the earnings of weekend social smoker and a pack-a-day puffer suffer a similar wage gap. They also found that smokers aren’t less productive than their non-smoking co-workers. Nonetheless, even if they finish their work on time, their income still suffers.
Hotchkiss and Pitts think that about 60 percent of the wage gap between smokers and non-smokers is due to demographic differences (smokers tend to be less educated than their non-smoking counterparts). The remaining 40 percent is attributed to what the researchers call “unmeasured factors”.
About these yet to be identified factors, the researchers emphasized an employer’s tolerance for smoking in the workplace. They also theorize that there could be personality traits that differentiate current smokers, former smokers and nonsmokers.
“It is simply the fact that someone smokes that matters in the labor market, not the level of intensity,” the researchers wrote. “Even one cigarette per day is enough to trigger the smoking wage gap.”
Financial Benefits of Quitting
Smoking is a very expensive habit, especially now that the government has implemented strict tax laws on tobacco products. Currently, the average retail price of a pack of cigarette in the United States is 5-6 dollars. In New York City, one packet costs around 12 dollars already.
What makes things worse is that smokers are actually spending for something that increases their risk of death. And because smoking is a major health risk, people who smoke are required to pay higher premium rates by insurance companies as compared to non-smokers.
By quitting smoking today, you are not just doing your health a favor,
Economist studied the income rates of smokers and non-smokers and found that the former only earn 80 percent of what the latter earn. Surprisingly however, people who used to smoke but quit more than a year earlier exceed the income of those who never used tobacco by 7 percent.
but your pocket as well! Here are some of the financial benefits of quitting:
1) You’ll have extra cash to treat yourself. Just one day of not smoking could save you money to buy a movie ticket or a few magazines to pamper yourself after a hard day at work.
2) Your savings will increase. One week of not smoking and you could have enough money to buy a new pair of shoes, a trip to the salon, or a DVD box set.
3) You can shop for cheaper health insurance plans. By simply being a non-smoker, you can expect to find cheaper health plans. That can save you lots of money.
4) You’ll have plenty more for your home improvement. After a year of quitting, you will be able to buy a new kitchen or a set of beautiful bedroom furniture.
5) You can save a lot on your health needs. And the health needs of your family as well. Non-smokers have a lower risk of cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases than smokers.
If you are a smoker who always worry about money, it’s time to quit today.