Don’t allow hard-earned cash to go up in smoke


THE difference between what a smoker and a non-smoker can expect to pay for life assurance premiums is staggering.

I was carrying out an analysis between the two recently, and based upon a sum assured of €200,000 for life and serious illness, I found that a 35-year-old couple who both smoke will pay 85% more each month than a non-smoking couple, and for the same level of cover, 45-year-old smokers will pay 119% more than non-smokers of the same age. So aside from the obvious health benefits of not smoking, there are also clear financial benefits as well.

From a life assurance company's perspective, when they are deciding to give people life cover or not, they care about how long a person will live, which influences what premium they will charge them.

Since a smoker is more prone to illnesses affecting the heart and respiratory system, it reduces the lifespan of the smoker, and life insurance data shows that on average, smokers die sooner than non-smokers, hence the difference in premiums.

According to the website,, the average age a smoker will live to is just 68.7 and every cigarette they smoke takes 13.8 minutes off their life.

Apart from the health benefits, if you needed a financial one to give up smoking, think about how much of your income is going up in smoke every week. One study has claimed that on average, 15% of a smoking couple’s monthly income is going towards servicing their habit.

At today’s prices, if you smoke one packet of cigarettes per day for the next 10 years, you will spend about €38,000. Just think about what you could do with that money for yourself and your family if you didn’t smoke.


Full article can be found at source: Don't allow hard-earned cash to go up in smoke - Liam Croke - Making Cents - Limerick Leader