We all know that smoking is bad for our health, but there are plenty of other reasons to join the those attempting to kick the habit this ‘Stoptober’.
‘Stoptober’ is an NHS campaign to encourage smokers to stop smoking for 28 days in October. The reasoning behind the campaign is that if you are able stop smoking for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to stay smoke-free for good. You can download the free NHS Quit Smoking app to help you get started. The app allows you to track your progress, see how much you’re saving, and to get daily support.
Here, we look at some of the reasons why giving up smoking will not only make you healthier, but wealthier too…
Cut the cost of insurance cover
Giving up smoking can dramatically reduce the cost of your life insurance premiums. Life insurance is designed to pay out on death, so many people have cover to make sure their mortgage is paid off or that dependants would be financially secure in the event they were no longer around to support them.
As smokers are much more likely to die early than non-smokers, their premiums are much higher, as there is a greater chance of a claim being made. For example, according to Legal & General a 30 year old non-smoker would pay £9.31 a month for £150,000 of life insurance over a 25-year term compared to £14.68 a month for a smoker.
Bear in mind, however, that you can’t just give up and then apply for cheaper life cover as a non-smoker straight away. You will need to have stopped smoking for at least 12 months before any insurer will consider you a non-smoker, and you can’t have used any nicotine substitutes such as vapes during this time either.
As well as benefiting from lower life insurance premiums, non-smokers also pay much less for critical illness cover too. So, for example, if you wanted combined critical illness and life cover, you’d pay £6,207 less as a non-smoker over 25 years if you took out a policy with Scottish Provident at the age of 30, compared to if you were a smoker.
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You’ll have more money in your pocket
It’s not just lower insurance premiums which non-smokers benefit from – you’ll also end up with lots more cash in your wallet if you aren’t forking out for cigarettes every day.
For example, if you currently spend £14.10 on a packet of 20 cigarettes and stop, you could put the money from just one packet towards a couple of cinema tickets. Over a week, if you normally bought three packets, the savings would add up to £42.30, while if you stopped for a month you’d save £169. Stop for a year and you’re looking at a £5,132 saving – enough for a family holiday of a lifetime or a second-hand car.
Of course, there are plenty of other things you can do with this money – you could put it towards a property deposit, or use it to overpay your mortgage or clear other debts, or perhaps use it as a savings nest egg.
The ONLY financial benefit of smoking…
There is one area where smokers end up better off financially than non-smokers, and that’s if they decide to use some or all of their pension fund to buy an annuity, or income for life, when they retire. As smokers have a reduced life expectancy, they can get a higher pension income than someone who is in the peak of health.
However, don’t see this as a reason not to quit. After all, you might benefit from a higher income, but the chances are you might not be able to enjoy it due to poor health caused by smoking.