Smoking doesn’t just ruin your health. It can also burn a nasty hole through your wallet. Tobacco use accounts for nearly half a million deaths in the U.S. each year and is the leading cause of lung cancer, according to the American Lung Association. Even those around tobacco smokers aren’t safe from its harmful effects. Since 1964, smoking-related illnesses have claimed 20 million lives in the U.S., 2.5 million of which belonged to nonsmokers who developed diseases merely from secondhand-smoke exposure.
However, the economic and societal costs of smoking are just as huge. Every year, Americans spend more than $300 billion, which includes both medical care and lost productivity. Unfortunately, some people will have to pay more depending on the state in which they live.
To encourage the estimated 36.5 million tobacco users in the U.S. to kick the dangerous habit, WalletHub looked into the true per-person cost of smoking in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. We calculated the potential monetary losses — including both the lifetime and annual cost of a cigarette pack per day, health care expenditures, income losses and other costs — brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. Read on for the complete ranking and analysis, insight from a panel of experts and a full description of our methodology.