Are you spending enough on cigarettes over a lifetime to buy a beach house?
6 Real Costs of Your Smoking Habit
Smoking is not only addictive, it’s also crazy expensive. Just how expensive? That depends on the state where you buy your smokes, thanks to state cigarette taxes and surcharges.
According to a new study by personal finance site WalletHub, a pack-a-day smoker in North Carolina spends around $24,000 a year in total smoking-related costs, including out-of-pocket costs for cigarettes, lost financial opportunities, health care and loss of income. 
But here’s even worse news: North Carolina ranks the lowest annual cost to be a smoker of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The most expensive is New York, where total cost of smoking runs more than $48,000 a year.
Click or swipe to find out how your state ranks and how much of your money is going up in smoke.
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1. A lifetime of money spent on smoking could buy a luxury home
The estimated cost of smoking over a lifetime is just above $1.6 million per smoker, according to the WalletHub study. For its study methodology, WalletHub based calculations on an adult who starts smoking a pack a day at 18 and lives to be 69 (the average age at which a smoker dies).
That $1.6 million total includes out-of-pocket costs, missed returns on investments never made due to money spent on smoking, health care costs, income loss and untapped insurance discounts for nonsmokers.
2. Where you live matters – a lot
The WalletHub study ranked all 50 states and District of Columbia from lowest to highest in overall smoking costs, which included out-of-pocket costs, loss of income, smoking-related health care costs, missed financial opportunities and other costs.
The top five states for total annual costs to be a smoker, ranked highest to lowest, are New York ($48,197), Connecticut ($47,999), District of Columbia ($47,608), Massachusetts ($46,593) and Rhode Island ($44,856).
You can squeak by for less as a smoker in these lowest-cost states: North Carolina ($24,088); Georgia ($24,110); Missouri ($24,236); Mississippi ($24,337) and South Carolina ($24,508).
3. Average lifetime out-of-pocket costs exceed $124,000
The average out-of-pocket cost per smoker is $124,023 over a lifetime, according to the WalletHub report. WalletHub based study calculations on the average cost of a pack of cigarettes in each state, multiplying that figure by the total number of days (18,615) in 51 years.
Aside from the cost, here’s something to ponder next time you light up. Total cigarettes smoke over 51 years using that same number of days for a pack-a-day smoker: 372,300. That’s a lot of smoke seeping into your lungs. It’s also a ton of money blowing into the wind.
4. You’re missing out on investment returns due to smoking costs
The WalletHub report also tallied the cost of missed financial opportunities from having less money to invest due to money spent on smoking costs. The study calculated the amount of returns a person would have invested if the money wasn’t spent on cigarettes but invested instead in the stock market.
Here are some jaw-dropping lifetime missed financial opportunities costs by state: New York ($1.7 million); Connecticut ($1.6 million); District of Columbia ($1.6 million); Massachusetts ($1.5 million); Rhode Island ($1.5 million); Indiana ($897,556); Nebraska ($866,559); Arkansas ($967,740) and Colorado ($889,407).
5. A lifetime of smoking-related health care costs adds up
Over a lifetime, each smoker will incur an average of more than $170,000 in smoking-related health care costs, according to the WalletHub study. Connecticut smokers will pay the most ($290,896), which is 2.6 times higher than the amount smokers will cough up in Arkansas ($113,3920.
Health care issues related to smoking include heart disease, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), high blood pressure, stroke risk, cancer and many other conditions.
6. Income loss a big part of smoking cost
In its study, WalletHub also considered research finding that smoking can lead to loss of income from absenteeism, workplace bias or low productivity caused by smoking-related health problems. Each smoker will incur an average income loss of $253,013 over a lifetime, the report found.
Smokers in the District of Columbia suffer the highest amount of lifetime income loss ($347,628), nearly twice the amount lost by smokers in West Virginia ($179,916).
Published by Debt.com, LLC