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

If you smoke, you're going to be well aware of the health benefits of quitting, but are you fully aware of the difference that giving up smoking can make to your finances?

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How much will you save on cigarettes

The average cost of a 20 pack of cigarettes is currently £7.98, according to the charity Action on Smoking and Health.

This means smoking 20 cigarettes a day costs you around £2,900 a year.

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

The NHS has a useful tool that lets you calculate how much money you could save if you quit smoking. Just enter the number of cigarettes you smoke to see how much better off you would be each week, month and year.

Think about what else you could spend this extra money on. Then when you're tempted to reach for a cigarette, just focus on this instead and hopefully it'll help you resist.

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 private healthcare insurance to your car 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 Smokefree, Quit and ASH.

You can pick up a free NHS Quit Kit from your local pharmacy or order one online from the NHS website - these have tools to further increase your chances of successfully quitting.

Nicotine replacement therapy: Cost: Up to £8.05/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 £8.80, 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 = £10-£18 per pack

Although they are not officially recommended as a stop smoking aid, many smokers do find E-cigarettes a helpful way to quit, and the good news is that they can be cost-effective.

Although you will pay anything from £10 to £90 for a starter pack, and then £10 to £18 for a pack of four refill cartridges, with each cartridge equal to 25 cigarettes, it's easy to see how the savings soon mount up compared to the real thing.

Complementary therapies: Cost = Free (depending on location)

Hypnosis, and acupressure may be available free of charge through NHS Smoking Services, you may need to pay for these alternative therapies depending on where you live.

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.