The benefits of e-cigarettes have been widely debated. The potential health advantages over traditional tobacco cigarettes is especially polarizing, with avid vapers on one side and some public health organizations on the other. And although the health and safety debate may not get settled any time soon, there are other aspects of comparing electronic cigarettes to their “analogue” counterparts. The most notable is cost.
The first thing to realize is that a true cost comparison is not as simple as it may seem. Many factors can influence the actual financial burden of vaping or of smoking cigarettes. Here are a few things to consider when calculating costs:
• How much you smoked and how much you vape. This is not necessarily the same. Many smokers who moved to e-cigs find they either use it less or more than tobacco. Many users also change their habits when they switch to e-cigs. For instance, they may vape for an hour and then not for 4 hours. It would be unusual for a smoker to have 8 cigarettes in a row, then none for 4 hours.
• The model of e-cigarette. Is it a reusable model or a disposable? The initial cost is one factor, but also whether or not the user will be using cartridges or e-liquid can have a profound affect on total cost.
So let’s make some assumptions. A smoker in Indiana used to smoke a pack a day. They switched to a reusable e-cigarette and plan on using e-liquid to refill. They use the e-cig about as much as they smoked, based on puff count. Let’s also assume that the e-cigarette they purchased lasts one year. That is generally a safe assumption, although the odd part may need replacing. So what is the cost difference?
Smoking: The average cost of a pack of cigarettes in Indiana is $5.50. The total cost per year is $2007.50.
Vaping: The average cost of a kit is about $50 for 2 entire units. The average cost of a 15ml bottle of e-liquid is $8. One bottle is approximately equivalent to 15 packs of cigarettes. So you would need 24 bottles. The total cost for the year would be $242. There are a few other charges, such as shipping, the power to recharge the e-cigarette, and the potential that you would need to by a replacement atomzier, say, but even if we add an extra $100 per year to the cost, it is still obvious that vaping is vastly cheaper than smoking. It should be noted that using pre-filled cartridges does increase the cost, but it seems unlikely it will ever reach the cost of smoking, even with the looming possibility of taxation.
*This post is sponsored by 21stcenturysmoke.com