Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How to Stop Smoking on a Budget

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How to Stop Smoking on a Budget

by Linda Natali

"Quitting smoking is easy. I've done it a thousand times," quipped Mark Twain, and statistics show he's not alone. Studies indicate that at any given time, one-third of the 45 million adult smokers in the United States want to quit. If you're a menthol smoker, now may be the time to give them up for good as the FDA is meeting in mid-July to consider banning the ultimate candy flavored cigs.

Despite the desire, it takes most smokers eight to 11 tries to quit for good, according to the American Legacy Foundation, an anti-smoking, nonprofit group financed by tobacco litigation settlement money.

Smoking does more than affect your health; it takes a toll on your wallet as well. A pack of cigarettes now costs more than $5 on average--with some states tacking on additional taxes that raise the price even more. In New York City, local taxes have pushed the cost of a pack to about $10.

So even if you end up ponying up some cash initially to help you stop smoking, in the long run you will save on average $3,000 a year just because you're not buying cigarettes anymore. Not to mention all the money you will save on health care costs. Even if you don't smoke yourself, cigarettes may affect your finances: Between 1997 and 2001, smoking was responsible for $167 billion in annual health care costs and lost productivity in the United States alone.

Quitting smoking is better for everyone's budget after it's all said and done, but as we all know it isn't an easy undertaking, particularly when money's tight. Here are some steps that can help you achieve your goal to become a non-smoker and put more coin back in your pocket.

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