The latest estimates reveal around 12.1% of the adult population in England smoke cigarettes or tobacco related products.
Smoking and life expectancy
On average, smoking reduces your life expectancy by 10 years. After you reach 40, each additional year you smoke reduces your life expectancy by another three months.
Although smoking increases your risk of many serious illnesses, most of the deaths caused by smoking are due to three main conditions. These are lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular (heart and circulation) disease.
Let’s break that down a little;
Smoking and cancer
Cigarette smoke contains more than 5,000 chemical compounds and of these, over 60 are known to cause cancer. Smoking is by far the greatest avoidable risk for developing many types of cancer, and it causes one in four cancer deaths. And hand-rolled cigarettes are just as harmful as ready-made cigarettes.
If you smoke, you increase your risk of getting at least 15 different types of cancer, including:
- throat and mouth cancer
- lung cancer
- stomach cancer
- pancreatic cancer
- kidney cancer
- cervical cancer
Smoking and your heart and circulation
Smoking can cause serious problems with your heart and blood circulation. It damages your blood vessels, puts up your blood pressure and heart rate and makes your blood more likely to clot. If you smoke, you increase your risk of getting heart disease and having a heart attack. You’re also more likely to have a stroke and develop peripheral arterial disease (where the arteries to your legs become narrowed, so restricting blood flow).
There is no safe level of smoking. Even one cigarette a day greatly increases your risk of getting problems with your heart or circulation. Here are some examples of the risks.
If you smoke 20 or more cigarettes a day, your risk of having a stroke can be up to six times that of a non-smoker. The more you smoke, the more likely you are to have a stroke.
If you’re under 50 and smoke, you may be five times more likely to have a heart attack than a non-smoker.
Smoking and your lungs and breathing
If you’re regularly breathing in smoke, your airways and lungs will get damaged. The smoke irritates and inflames your airways. It can become harder for you to get air in to and out of your lungs and you can develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Most people who get COPD are long-term smokers.
The damage to your airways from smoking makes you more at risk of getting an infection like pneumonia. And if you have asthma, smoking may make your symptoms more severe, or last longer.
If you smoke, you may feel that your breathing is OK, but your lungs may be damaged even before you have any symptoms.
Smoking and your appearance
As well as being harmful, smoking can affect your appearance. Many smokers say that the effect on their appearance was one of the things that made them decide to quit smoking.
Smoking, wrinkles and ageing
Smoking affects the structure of your skin, making you more likely to get wrinkles. Smokers in their 40s may have as many wrinkles as non-smokers in their 60s. These may be especially noticeable around your eyes and mouth. Your skin may become pale and grey, and you may develop what’s known as a ‘smoker’s face’.
The full facts can be found at https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/lungs-breathing/effects-of-smoking
So what are the financial benefits of switching smoking to vaping?
The average price of a branded 600 puff disposable vape varies from £4.00 to £6.00
A 600 puff device has laid claim to the equivalent of between 20 and 30 cigarettes so for this example I’m going to say the average cost of a branded disposable vape is £5.00 and the 600 puff device of 2% nicotine is equivalent to a packet of 20 cigarettes.
So let’s have a look at a few comparisons
Working on the assumption that someone is smoking 20 cigarettes a day, at a cost of £13.00 a packet.
£13 x 7 = £91.00 per week versus £5 x 7 = £35 per week – Total saving = £56.00 per week
£13 x 30 = £390.00 per month versus £5 x 30 = £150 per month – Total saving = £240.00 per month
£13 x 356 = £4628.00 per year £5.00 x 356 = £1780 per year – Total saving = £2848.00 per year
Overall saving over 10 years would be a whopping £28,450.00
So what about hand rolling tobacco?
A 50 gram pouch of rolling tobacco costs an average of approximately £30.00 and will make between 44 and 66 cigarettes depending on how thick they are rolled. For this example I will use something towards the higher end and say 60 cigarettes and work on the same assumption of smoking 20 per day.
£10 x 7 = £70.00 per week versus £5 x 7 = £35 per week – Total saving = £35.00 per week
£10 x 30 = £300.00 per month versus £5 x 30 = £150 per month – Total saving = £150.00 per month
£10 x 356 = £3560.00 per year £5.00 x 356 = £1780 per year – Total saving = £1780 per year
Overall saving over 10 years would be a whopping £17,800
As you can see I have based this on relatively conservative examples but I would encourage you to look at your own costs and benefits to arrive at your own conclusions.
Whether it’s a new car, a holiday, something to leave your children/grandchildren or to meet the demand of the ever increasing cost of living, the benefits are stark!
I have not even taken into account multi-buy discounts from online vape stores. Even better is if you use disposable vapes temporarily on the way to quitting completely the benefits and savings are all yours!