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Is giving up smoking the new way to get rich quick?

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If you smoke, you're going to be well aware of the health benefits of quitting, but are you fully aware of just how much better off giving up smoking can make you?
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How much will you save on cigarettes

The average cost of a 20 pack of cigarettes is currently £11.99 according to the Office for National Statistics.

This means smoking 20 cigarettes a day costs you around £4,376.35 a year, while even more occasional smokers are spending £623.48 if they get through a pack a week.

If you think that's expensive, it's only set to rise further with increased duty on tobacco.

The NHS has a useful app that shows you just how much you're saving if you quit smoking, along with daily support and tips.

But it's not just the price of the actual cigarettes that eats into your income, with smokers paying more for a string of other products and services too.

Other ways you'll save by quitting

Aside from the actual savings you'll make by not buying cigarettes, stopping smoking will save you money in other ways too.

Cheaper insurance

When you don't smoke life insurance is cheaper; your premiums could drop by as much as 50% once you have been smoke-free for 12 months, for exactly the same amount of cover.

Once you're officially a non-smoker, everything from your home insurance to health insurance could be much cheaper - all because you'll be treated as a lower risk.

When you successfully quit, tell your providers to start enjoying the benefits of reduced premiums. When you'll be classed as a non-smoker will differ from insurer to insurer, but the sooner you tell them, the sooner you'll have the added incentive to stick with it.

Better health = less time off work

Once you quit smoking you should feel healthier and be less likely to take time off work. This will have a positive impact on your income, particularly if you are self-employed.

Quitting smoking before it causes you serious health problems that impact your earnings is another financial motivator to kick your habit.

What about the cost of quitting smoking?

If you're reluctant quit over because the products you need to help you stop smoking are pricey - especially if you aren't successful - this needn't be a worry.

Some quit smoking aids are available free of charge and for those that you pay for, it still works out a lot cheaper than paying for cigarettes each week.

We take a look at just how cheaply you can stop smoking.

Support for quitting smoking: Cost = Free

Help with quitting is available free from NHS Stop Smoking advisers.

Your GP can refer you for a one-to-one appointment or you can self-refer by phoning your local service directly.

Besides helpful tips and support to help you quit. These advisers can also help you get stop smoking medications and nicotine replacement therapy for a cheaper price.

If you're unable to get to a clinic, the NHS Stop Smoking app is available free to download. It sends you daily motivational messages, as well as providing tips and access to a wealth of useful information.

Additional free advice is also available online from sites such as NHS Quit Smoking where you can find your local stop smoking service directly.

Nicotine replacement therapy: Cost: Up to £9.35/week

Some find that this treatment helps them deal with the physical symptoms of stopping smoking. It's available to buy directly from pharmacies, but you can save money by obtaining a prescription for these from your GP or smoking cessation adviser.

If you get free prescriptions you won't need to pay for these products. If you do pay, the current charge is set at £9.35, paying this for a week's supply works out cheaper than buying direct from your local chemist.

Prescription medication: Cost: On a case by case basis

Zyban and Champix are prescription medications that can boost your chances of successfully kicking your smoking habit.

They're not suitable for everyone though and your doctor will decide whether you should try them as they do carry side-effects.

Like nicotine replacement therapy, both are available at no cost if you don't pay for your prescriptions, though you may otherwise need to pay for a course of this therapy.

Zyban is typically taken for 7 to 9 weeks and Champix for 12 weeks, though this is a small price to pay if you successfully quit.

E-cigarettes: Cost = at least half

Although not available on prescription, studies have found people who replace cigarettes with vaping devices are twice as likely to successfully quit, when accompanied with face to face support.

A new e-cig of vaping device can be picked up for £10, with replacement cartridges costing about £6 for three. Given each of these could effectively replace an entire pack of cigarettes, that's an 84% discount on traditional cigarettes.

If you find you like vaping, you can switch to a more expensive model that lets you put liquid in directly - saving you hugely on refills with 10ml of generic liquid costing £1.99 and having more juice in it than three cartridges.

Kick the habit

Now that you can see how much money you can save by giving up cigarettes and how little it costs to access smoking cessation support, what are you waiting for?

Speak to your GP to find out more about the stop smoking aids that are most suitable for you and start your quit attempt ASAP.

Compare health insurance policies so you can find one with premiums you can afford that comes with all of the benefits and cover options you need.

About James Andrews 

James is our senior personal finance editor and has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news. He has previously written for ReachPLC, was money editor of Mirror Online and Yahoo Finance UK, and has recently been quoted in City AM, Liverpool Echo and Daily Record as well as featured on national radio shows TalkRadio and the BBC

View James Andrews’ full biography here or visit the money.co.uk press centre for our latest news.

About Matt Fernell

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