What you could buy for the price of a pack of cigarettes 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.
60 years: 2017 Rolls-Royce Phantom
59 years: 2017 Ford GT
58 years: Luxury home in Costa Rica
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.
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.
55 years: helicopter
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.
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.
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 53’ Carver motor yacht for $316,000.
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 $300,000.2018 All rights reserved.