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True cost of smoking: What you could buy for the price of a pack a day

  • Roderick Eime // Flickr
    1/ Roderick Eime // Flickr

    True Cost of Smoking: What You Could Buy for the Price of a Pack a Day

    The days of cigarette smoke filled board rooms and Mad Men-esque lounges are behind us. And while it is clear that anti-smoking campaigns have been effective at halving the overall smoking rate from 40% in 1965 to 20% in 2006, 41% of cigarettes consumers today still smoke a pack a day.

    While smoking has been long known to cause serious health risks, a pack-a-day habit can also have an underrated financial impact for smokers. To help put this monetary burden in perspective, we analyzed 60 years of cigarette pack prices to determine how much wealth a pack-a-day smoker would accumulate if they instead invested those funds at 10% annual returns (roughly in line with the 90-year S&P 500 average gains).

    Read on to see the financial cost of smoking and the spectacular items and experiences you could buy if you saved instead, ranging from sports cars to space rides.

  • MB-one // Wikicommons
    2/ MB-one // Wikicommons

    60 Years: 2017 Rolls-Royce Phantom

    Total wealth accumulated: $477,454
    1955 average retail price per pack: $0.23
    1955 average annual consumption: 108.3 packs

    What you could buy: a brand-new 2017 Rolls-Royce Phantom for as low as $460,000 with enough left over for the most-expensive fidget spinner.

  • NearEMPTines// Wikicommons
    3/ NearEMPTines// Wikicommons

    59 Years: 2017 Ford GT

    Total wealth accumulated: $452,226
    1956 average retail price per pack: $0.23
    1956 average annual consumption: 108.3 packs

    What you could buy: one 2017 Ford GT Supercar for $450,000 and a maxed out Apple 15’ Macbook Pro.

  • Properties in Costa Rica
    4/ Properties in Costa Rica

    58 Years: Luxury home in Costa Rica

    Total wealth accumulated: $428,787
    1957 average retail price per pack: $0.24
    1957 average annual consumption: 112.4 packs

    What you could buy: a two-bedroom and 2.5-bathroom luxury home in Costa Rica overlooking Marino Ballena National Park and a Pre-Owned Rolex Men's Two-tone Watch.

  • Dickey's
    5/ Dickey's

    57 Years: Dickeys Barbecue Pit Franchise

    Total wealth accumulated: $406,927
    1958 average retail price per pack: $0.25
    1958 average annual consumption: 114.5 packs

    What you could buy: your own Dickeys Barbecue Pit franchise, ranked #1 in Fast Casual Top 100 Movers and Shakers 2016.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    6/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    56 Years: submarine boat hybrid

    Total wealth accumulated: $386,052
    1959 average retail price per pack: $0.26
    1959 average annual consumption: 119.7 packs

    What you could buy: The Amphibious Sub-Surface Watercraft with above and below surface cockpits for $300,000.

  • Laurent ERRERA // Wikicommons
    7/ Laurent ERRERA // Wikicommons

    55 Years: helicopter

    Total wealth accumulated: $366,620
    1960 average retail price per pack: $0.26
    1960 average annual consumption: 123.8 packs

    What you could buy: a 1985 Eurocopter AS 355F1 helicopter for $350,000 and a hand-carved luxury four-post bed.

  • Bucherer UK // Vimeo
    8/ Bucherer UK // Vimeo

    54 Years : LaFerrari superwatch

    Total wealth accumulated: $348,609
    1961 average retail price per pack: $0.26
    1961 average annual consumption: 127.6 packs

    What you could buy: the Hublot $300,000 MP-05 LaFerrari superwatch and enough change for a $48,000 container house.

  • Private Islands Inc.
    9/ Private Islands Inc.

    53 Years: two private islands

    Total wealth accumulated: $332,236
    1962 average retail price per pack: $0.27
    1962 average annual consumption: 127.5 packs

    What you could buy: Sarrat Island in Ontario, Canada with 1.5 acres for $189,178 and the 5-acre Echo Island Nova Scotia, Canada for $125,000, with just enough leftover for a genuine Italian leather 3-piece living room set for $13,263.

  • paulbr75 // pixabay
    10/ paulbr75 // pixabay

    52 Years: yacht

    Total wealth accumulated: $316,895
    1963 average retail price per pack: $0.27
    1963 average annual consumption: 128.3 packs

    What you could buy: 1999 53Carver motor yacht for $316,000.

  • Abhinaya Prabhu // Gizbot
    11/ Abhinaya Prabhu // Gizbot

    51 Years: Diamond smartphone

    Total wealth accumulated: $303,000
    1964 average retail price per pack: $0.28
    1964 average annual consumption: 124.3 packs

    What you could buy: ViPN’s diamond embedded smartphone for around $300,000.

  • Tim Collins // Wikicommons
    12/ Tim Collins // Wikicommons

    50 years: house

    Total wealth accumulated: $289,850
    1965 average retail price per pack: $0.28
    1965 average annual consumption: 126.8 packs

    What you could buy: a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house located an hour outside of San Antonio, Texas for $289,850.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    13/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    49 Years: compact electric car

    Total wealth accumulated: $277,767
    1966 average retail price per pack: $0.30
    1966 average annual consumption: 124.5 packs

    What you could buy: a Hammacher Schlemmer compact electric car with a top speed of 120 mph for $200,000 with enough left over for Bowers & Wilkins audiophile speakers for $60,000.

  • Jetpack Aviation
    14/ Jetpack Aviation

    48 Years: jetpack

    Total wealth accumulated: $266,082
    1967 average retail price per pack: $0.31
    1967 average annual consumption: 125.3 packs

    What you could buy: the Jetpack Aviation jetpack, set to go on sale in 2019 for $250,000, plus one night at the Palms Las Vegas Kingpin Suite with two private bowling lanes.

  • Wikicommons
    15/ Wikicommons

    47 Years: Flight into space

    Total wealth accumulated: $255,281
    1968 average retail price per pack: $0.32
    1968 average annual consumption: 122.3 packs

    What you could buy: a seat aboard the Virgin Galactic spaceship for $250,000 and a vintage 1980 MGB for $5,000.

  • Kmr1985 // Wikicommons
    16/ Kmr1985 // Wikicommons

    46 Years: amphibious car

    Total wealth accumulated: $244,883
    1969 average retail price per pack: $0.33
    1969 average annual consumption: 121.1 packs

    What you could buy: the world’s fastest amphibious car, featured on “Jay Leno's Garage” for $155,000, and this model raceway built into a 1969 Camaro for $85,000.

  • Oliver's Travels
    17/ Oliver's Travels

    45 Years: a night under the sea

    Total wealth accumulated: $235,284
    1970 average retail price per pack: $0.37
    1970 average annual consumption: 118.3 packs

    What you could buy: a night under the deep blue sea in Oliver’s Travels luxury submarine for $230,170 per night with enough left over for a Ninja 300 ABS motorcycle starting at $5,000.

  • Jennifer Graylock - Ford Motor Company // Wikicommons
    18/ Jennifer Graylock - Ford Motor Company // Wikicommons

    44 Years: batmobile

    Total wealth accumulated: $225,414
    1971 average retail price per pack: $0.39
    1971 average annual consumption: 121.9 packs

    What you could buy: an authentic replica of the 1966 Batmobile for $200,000 with enough left over for a Corvette style pool table for $25,000.

  • sarangib // Pixabay
    19/ sarangib // Pixabay

    43 Years: aerial advertising

    Total wealth accumulated: $216,005
    1972 average retail price per pack: $0.40
    1972 average annual consumption: 124.7 packs

    What you could buy: four weeks of an airplane or helicopter displaying a custom banner advertising your brand for $216,000.

  • Nate Mandos // Wikicommons
    20/ Nate Mandos // Wikicommons

    42 Years: Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Total wealth accumulated: $207,210
    1973 average retail price per pack: $0.40
    1973 average annual consumption: 126.3 packs

    What you could buy: book the well-known actor and former governor of California to speak at your event for around $200,000.

  • Jet Capsule
    21/ Jet Capsule

    41 Years: UFO house boat

    Total wealth accumulated: $199,154
    1974 average retail price per pack: $0.42
    1974 average annual consumption: 129.9 packs

    What you could buy: float the ocean with the UFO houseboat starting at $200,000.

  • Universal Hovercraft
    22/ Universal Hovercraft

    40 Years: flying hovercraft

    Total wealth accumulated: $191,559
    1975 average retail price per pack: $0.45
    1975 average annual consumption: 130.9 packs

    What you could buy: a flying hovercraft to conquer any terrain for $190,000.  

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    23/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    39 Years: racing simulator

    Total wealth accumulated: $184,208
    1976 average retail price per pack: $0.48
    1976 average annual consumption: 133.2 packs

    What you could buy: the world’s most realistic simulator used by Ford for around $185,000.

  • SkyRunner
    24/ SkyRunner

    38 Years: flying all terrain vehicle

    Total wealth accumulated: $177,014
    1977 average retail price per pack: $0.49
    1977 average annual consumption: 133.6 packs

    What you could buy: FAA-certified all-terrain vehicle for $140,000 and a 19th-century inspired musical wagon for $30,000.

  • PublicDomainPictures // pixabay
    25/ PublicDomainPictures // pixabay

    37 Years: the world's most expensive whiskey

    Total wealth accumulated: $170,297
    1978 average retail price per pack: $0.54
    1978 average annual consumption: 133.8 packs

    What you could buy: Dalmore '62 for $164,407 with enough left for the 65-inch Sony Z series TV for $6,699.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    26/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    36 Years: luxury vault

    Total wealth accumulated: $163,557
    1979 average retail price per pack: $0.57
    1979 average annual consumption: 132 packs

    What you could buy: a German engineered vault designed to keep your valuables safe with a built-in humidifier for $155,000 and a virtual adventure treadmill for $8,000.  

  • Victor Pileggi // Vimeo
    27/ Victor Pileggi // Vimeo

    35 Years: tactical vehicle

    Total wealth accumulated: $157,149
    1980 average retail price per pack: $0.60
    1980 average annual consumption: 132.6 packs

    What you could buy: a tactical urban vehicle with all-wheel drive and thermal vision starting at $146,000 with enough left over for an automatic donut machine for $10,900.

  • Pexels //pixabay
    28/ Pexels //pixabay

    34 Years: Dennis Hopper's record collection

    Total wealth accumulated: $150,994
    1981 average retail price per pack: $0.63
    1981 average annual consumption: 132.4 packs

    What you could buy: classic albums from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac, Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis and more from the personal collection of Dennis Hopper for $150,000.

  • Winnebago
    29/ Winnebago

    33 Years: not-your-grandfather’s Winnebago

    Total wealth accumulated: $145,120
    1982 average retail price per pack: $0.70
    1982 average annual consumption: 130.7 packs

    What you could buy: the all-new Winnebago specially designed for outdoor adventures starting at $134,799 and the Riddled Modern Designer Dining Table for $7,395.

  • Public Domain Pictures // Pexels
    30/ Public Domain Pictures // Pexels

    32 Years: gold

    Total wealth accumulated: $139,211
    1983 average retail price per pack: $0.82
    1983 average annual consumption: 128.8 packs

    What you could buy: a 100 oz Gold Bar for $134,806 by credit card and a life-sized inflatable foosball court for $4,595.

  • Kildare2 // Wikicommons
    31/ Kildare2 // Wikicommons

    31 Years: mini monster truck

    Total wealth accumulated: $132,899
    1984 average retail price per pack: $0.95
    1984 average annual consumption: 122.7 packs

    What you could buy: a mini monster truck with a four-cylinder Ford engine for $125,000 and all-in-one desk and chair sphere for $7,000.

  • Jakob Hi_rter // Wikicommons
    32/ Jakob Hi_rter // Wikicommons

    30 Years: the ultimate Tesla

    Total wealth accumulated: $126,265
    1985 average retail price per pack: $0.98
    1985 average annual consumption: 122 packs

    What you could buy: a maxed-out Model S P100D Tesla for $123,000 with enough for Fendi alligator handbag for $3,000.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    33/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    29 Years: designer piano

    Total wealth accumulated: $120,036
    1986 average retail price per pack: $1.05
    1986 average annual consumption: 119.5 packs

    What you could buy: an elegant and sleek digital piano that blurs the line between art and instrument for $105,000 with enough left over for a restored cold war era periscope binocular for $15,000.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    34/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    28 Years: swiss engineered turntable

    Total wealth accumulated: $113,985
    1987 average retail price per pack: $1.10
    1987 average annual consumption: 116.8 packs

    What you could buy: the Swiss-designed quad calibrated turntable with specialized settings for various genres of music for $94,000 and a Jaguar mini roadster for around $20,000.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    35/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    27 Years: orchestra machine

    Total wealth accumulated: $108,195
    1988 average retail price per pack: $1.22
    1988 average annual consumption: 112.9 packs

    What you could buy: your own personal orchestra compacted into a mechanical instrument for $95,000 with enough left over for the world’s largest Pac-man machine for $10,995.

  • J.M. Luijt // Wikicommons
    36/ J.M. Luijt // Wikicommons

    26 Years: replica T-rex skeleton

    Total wealth accumulated: $102,348
    1989 average retail price per pack: $1.28
    1989 average annual consumption: 106.4 packs

    What you could buy: this 40-foot replica skeleton based off of actual fossils for $100,000.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    37/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    25 Years: personal submarine

    Total wealth accumulated: $96,801
    1990 average retail price per pack: $1.44
    1990 average annual consumption: 104.4 packs

    What you could buy: a Killer Whale Submarine that’s piloted like an aircraft for $90,000 and enough left over for the Hydro Powered Jetovator for $6,500.

  • Viking Cruises // Wikicommons
    38/ Viking Cruises // Wikicommons

    24 Years: a decade of river cruises

    Total wealth accumulated: $91,103
    1991 average retail price per pack: $1.53
    1991 average annual consumption: 100.4 packs

    What you could buy: a 23-day luxury river cruise through Europe every year for a decade.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    39/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    23 Years: robotic puppet

    Total wealth accumulated: $85,591
    1992 average retail price per pack: $1.74
    1992 average annual consumption: 98.7 packs

    What you could buy: a robotic remote-controlled puppet that can emulate emotions for $65,000 and a seven-person tricycle for $20,000.

  • Tammy // Wikicommons
    40/ Tammy // Wikicommons

    22 Years: tiny house

    Total wealth accumulated: $79,921
    1993 average retail price per pack: $1.84
    1993 average annual consumption: 97.6 packs

    What you could buy: the traveler XL tiny house starting at $78,500 and a motorized ride-on cooler for $1,317.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    41/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    21 Years: a fire-breathing dragon

    Total wealth accumulated: $74,463
    1994 average retail price per pack: $1.69
    1994 average annual consumption: 96 packs

    What you could buy: a remote-controlled fire-breathing dragon that can reach speeds of 70 mph for $60,000 and a personal sauna for $14,500.

  • DarlArthurS // Wikicommons
    42/ DarlArthurS // Wikicommons

    20 Years: hot air balloon

    Total wealth accumulated: $69,890
    1995 average retail price per pack: $1.76
    1995 average annual consumption: 95.8 packs

    What you could buy: a 2016 Cameron Balloons Double with T Basket for around $69,000.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    43/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    19 Years: self-propelled car

    Total wealth accumulated: $65,573
    1996 average retail price per pack: $1.80
    1996 average annual consumption: 93.3 packs

    What you could buy: a human-powered car that generates energy from handled pulled by its passengers for $60,000 with enough left over for 16th-century replica suit of armor for $4,599.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    44/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    18 Years: The Hover Golf Cart

    Total wealth accumulated: $61,564
    1997 average retail price per pack: $1.85
    1997 average annual consumption: 94.5 packs

    What you could buy: avoid hazards on the course with The Golf Cart Hovercraft, featuring a 65-hp twin-cylinder Hirth engine for $58,000 with enough cash left for a 1960's Hans Olsen for Frem Rojle Dining Set for $3,200.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    45/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    17 Years: land to water ATV

    Total wealth accumulated: $57,801
    1998 average retail price per pack: $1.95
    1998 average annual consumption: 93.4 packs

    What you could buy: an amphibious ATV featuring a 140-hp BMW engine with a max speed of 45.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    46/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    16 Years: automated micro brewing system

    Total wealth accumulated: $54,204
    1999 average retail price per pack: $2.18
    1999 average annual consumption: 89.9 packs

    What you could buy: an automated professional microbrewery for $45,000 with enough left over for a MotoGP Deluxe Arcade Game for $8,799.

  • puroticorico // Wikicommons
    47/ puroticorico // Wikicommons

    15 Years: pub on wheels

    Total wealth accumulated: $50,556
    2000 average retail price per pack: $2.93
    2000 average annual consumption: 85.2 packs

    What you could buy: a pub on wheels powered by passengers pedaling for $50,000.

  • Manufacturer
    48/ Manufacturer

    14 Years: shipping container pool

    Total wealth accumulated: $46,095
    2001 average retail price per pack: $3.12
    2001 average annual consumption: 81.8 packs

    What you could buy: a custom-made pool made from a shipping container for $38,890 with enough left over for an augmented reality sandbox for $7,049.

  • The Castle Rental Network
    49/ The Castle Rental Network

    13 Years: a castle

    Total wealth accumulated: $41,764
    2002 average retail price per pack: $3.37
    2002 average annual consumption: 79.8 packs

    What you could buy: a month-long stay at a lakeside castle in England for around $40,000.

  • Alexandre Privot // Wikicommons
    50/ Alexandre Privot // Wikicommons

    12 Years: one year of unlimited Porsches

    Total wealth accumulated: $37,515
    2003 average retail price per pack: $3.72
    2003 average annual consumption: 78.7 packs

    What you could buy: swap between any Porsche like the Cayenne, 911, and Panamera for $3,000 a month and add on the Husqvarna cordless Electric Robotic Automower for $1,500.

  • Hammacher Schlemmer
    51/ Hammacher Schlemmer

    11 Years: tranquility pod

    Total wealth accumulated: $33,252
    2004 average retail price per pack: $3.72
    2004 average annual consumption: 76.2 packs

    What you could buy: a tranquility pod crafted from fiberglass with relaxing lighting for $30,000 with enough left over for a floating tent for $1,500.

  • Wikicommons
    52/ Wikicommons

    10 Years: One of the worlds biggest camera lens

    Total wealth accumulated: $29,383
    2005 average retail price per pack: $3.74
    2005 average annual consumption: 75 packs

    What you could buy: the Sigma 200-500mm Ultra-Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras for a grand total of $25,999 and a custom made Galaxy sphere made of gold and silver for $3,200.

  • Mohit S // Wikicommons
    53/ Mohit S // Wikicommons

    9 Years: land cruiser tank

    Total wealth accumulated: $25,842
    2006 average retail price per pack: $3.89
    2006 average annual consumption: 71 packs

    What you could buy: the L421 Badonkadonk Land Cruiser/Tank for $20,000 paired with an inflatable Irish pub for $5,000.

  • Manufacturer
    54/ Manufacturer

    8 Years: three-wheeler

    Total wealth accumulated: $22,496
    2007 average retail price per pack: $3.93
    2007 average annual consumption: 69.2 packs

    What you could buy: the Polaris Slingshot three-wheeler for $20,000.

  • Stan Shebs // Wikicommons
    55/ Stan Shebs // Wikicommons

    7 Years: 40-acres of land

    Total wealth accumulated: $19,424
    2008 average retail price per pack: $4.20
    2008 average annual consumption: 64.6 packs

    What you could buy: 40-acres of rollings hills in Pershing, Nevada for $19,000.

  • John Foster Art
    56/ John Foster Art

    6 Years: Super Bowl tickets

    Total wealth accumulated: $16,437
    2009 average retail price per pack: $4.35
    2009 average annual consumption: 62.1 packs

    What you could buy: four Super Bowl 52 tickets and an arcade coffee table for $3,819.

  • Manufacturer
    57/ Manufacturer

    5 Years: hand gesture control drone

    Total wealth accumulated: $13,623
    2010 average retail price per pack: $5.32
    2010 average annual consumption: 56 packs

    What you could buy: the world’s first drone to be controlled by hand and arm gestures for $13,000.

  • Manufacturer
    58/ Manufacturer

    4 Years: Zero Gravity Workstation

    Total wealth accumulated: $10,499
    2011 average retail price per pack: $5.55
    2011 average annual consumption: 54.5 packs

    What you could buy: take a load off with the ultimate reclining workstation for $9,995 and the fire-breathing dragon fire pit for $454.

  • Swisher Inc.
    59/ Swisher Inc.

    3 Years: safety shelter

    Total wealth accumulated: $7,530
    2012 average retail price per pack: $5.61
    2012 average annual consumption: 52.9 packs

    What you could buy: the Swisher SR84X144G ESP Safety Shelter with a capacity of up to 25 people for $7,299.

  • Manufacturer
    60/ Manufacturer

    2 Years: virtual wine management system

    Total wealth accumulated: $4,805
    2013 average retail price per pack: $5.65
    2013 average annual consumption: 51 packs

    What you could buy: store and manage your inventory with the Oenophile's Wine Cellar Management System for $4,000.

  • Manufacturer
    61/ Manufacturer

    1 Year: the perfect recliner

    1 Year: the perfect recliner

    Total wealth accumulated: $2,311
    2014 average retail price per pack: $5.76
    2014 average annual consumption: 48.8 packs

    What you could buy: relax in the Perfect Chair Manual Glider Recliner that is specially molded for the human body for $2,199.

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