BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts residents are paying a prettier penny than almost every other state in the country when it comes to the annual cost of smoking, according to a new study from personal finance website WalletHub.
WalletHub released a report on Jan. 11 ranking the per-person cost of smoking in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia over the course of a full year. The report includes factors such as out-of-pocket costs, healthcare costs, income loss, and other expenditures brought on by smoking.
Massachusetts ranked 48th in the country with a per-person cost of $80,749 a year spent on smoking. Only New York ($81,381), Connecticut ($81,995), and the District of Columbia ($85,326) had higher costs.
"I spend maybe $300, $400 every six months," Ben, a smoker from Brighton, told WBZ NewsRadio. "It’s killing my pocket. It’s burning a hole right through my pocket."
"There’s some people that buy three packs a day," said Cheryl, a convenience store worker in Boston. "It adds up every day."
Missouri ranked 1st on the list with an average annual cost of $46,254, followed by Mississippi ($46,975), Georgia ($47,465), North Carolina ($48,193), and Alabama ($48,439) to round out the top five.
WalletHub also calculated the average cost of smoking over the course of a lifetime. According to the report, Massachusetts residents who begin smoking at 21--the age you can legally purchase tobacco in the state--and have a lifespan of 48 more years spend an average of $3,875,930.
WBZ's Jim MacKay (@JimMacKayOnAir) reports.