Many studies have been published indicating that vaping e-cigarettes could be a less harmful alternative to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes, but the reduced cost of ecigs and e-liquid also make vaping the smart choice. A Boston Globe Business report points out that, particularly when taking into account rising taxes and prices on tobacco cigarettes, ecigarettes provide a much more cost effective solution. Current savings vary depending on several factors: 1. State e-cigarette tax laws. 2. The brand of eliquid, and 3. The style of e-cig used. Unfortunately, with the growing popularity of e-cigs, this reality could change. There is a looming possibility that government bodies will impose new taxes on e-juice and electronic cigarette products as tax revenue from existing tobacco products declines.
It is also worth pointing out that there is the potential for a long-term cost savings caused by the reduction of adverse health effects related to cigarette smoking. Even if a vaper continues to smoke on occasion, there is the possibility of positive health benefits related to the reduction of the amount of cancer causing chemicals inhaled as they replace some of their cigarettes with puffs from an e-cig. In addition, many studies have found that switching from traditional tobacco smoking to e-cigarettes has helped many people "kick the habit" completely. Some e-cigarette consumers taper down their nicotine content to the point where they are able to overcome the nicotine addiction and can continue to "get their vape on" with flavored e-liquids which come with no nicotine.
The bottom line is that electronic cigarettes can generally make an expensive addiction much cheaper - Let's Do The Math!
Smoking is expensive. A pack-a-day smoker can spend anywhere from $1,500 a year in a low-tax state, all the way to about $5,000 in New York City, where a pack can run $13. On average across the country, the total cost comes to about $2,250 a year.
The first consideration for someone looking to switch is whether to use disposable models or a refillable electronic cigarette device. The refillable models promise more long-term savings in exchange for a bigger up-front investment.
Most disposable e-cigarette companies claim that their devices are equivalent to about 2 packs of cigarettes and cost $6 to $10 apiece, meaning that they would cost about $1,100 to $1,800 a year (using the one pack per day logic above for comparison), for savings of several hundred dollars a year.
The savings are bigger for rechargeable e-cigarettes with disposable cartridges. For an initial investment between $10 and $35 and cartridges that cost $2.50 apiece, smokers in an average state would save almost $1,800 a year.
There’s also a more advanced option for the dedicated vaper: a tank system that is filled with vials of flavored nicotine mixture. They cost more up-front, from $35 up to about $200, but $8 worth of liquid can last about 10 days. That promises savings of up to $1,900 a year for the average smoker.
The numbers for an individual smoker can vary significantly depending on their preferred cigarette brand, where they live, the e-cigarette brand they choose and how much liquid nicotine or cartridges they buy at a time.
The article gives the following testimonial from a former cigarette smoker who made the switch to electronic cigarettes:
"Cigarettes were getting horribly expensive ...I’ve thrown endless thousands of dollars away," said 52-year-old Jim Craig, of Salt Lake City, who switched to an e-cigarette last year after smoking since he was 18. Craig, who was spending upwards of $200 per month on cigarettes, said he now spends about $45 a month with his e-cigarette after an initial investment of $200 for a rechargeable battery and refillable tank. He’s decided to stash $100 per month in a savings account. "What we’re going to do with that money down the road, I don’t know," he said. "I may save it for retirement ...or we might decide to take a vacation or something like that."
In closing, there are many factors still in play regarding the e-cigarette industry. While in most states consumers generally pay only sales tax on ecig products, some states like Minnesota and North Carolina have placed additional taxes on e-cigs and e-liquid. Additionally, proposed restrictions from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may push costs higher as electronic cigarette manufacturers scramble to comply. But as reported in the article, heavy competition among e-cigarette sellers could push prices lower as well, especially as the big tobacco makers try to get into the business.