An estimated 36.5 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and while the habit causes its share of health damage, smoking can also drill a deep hole in your wallet.
According to a new study by personal finance website WalletHub, Georgia has the third lowest “true per-person cost of smoking” of all 50 states and Washington, D.C., but the number might still surprise you.
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According to the study, Georgia’s lifetime cost per smoker is $1,155,351 and its annual cost is $22,654, ranking it right behind Kentucky and North Carolina.
To come up with the ranking, analysts calculated each state’s potential monetary losses due to smoking, including the cost of a cigarette pack per day over many decades, income losses, health care spending and more — all assuming a smoking adult began smoking at age 18 and has one pack of cigarettes a day.
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Data were collected from various sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Insurance Information Institute.
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According to WalletHub, the state with the highest “true per-person cost of smoking” is New York with a lifetime cost of $2,313,025 and annual cost of $45,353.
Here are the top 5 states for the lowest cost per smoker and highest cost per smoker, according to WalletHub:
2. North Carolina
1. New York
4. Rhode Island
More on the study and its methodology here.