Stoptober: quit smoking and save £135k

Tell a life insurance company you smoke and it will conclude you are likely to die sooner than if you didn’t – and it will charge you more for life insurance as a result.

Cigarette in an ash tray on a table

As well as the health impacts of smoking and their impact on the cost of life cover, the actual cost of smoking across a lifetime makes for startling reading.

October heralds the arrival of Stoptober, a month-long anti-smoking campaign. And from 1 October new legislation bans smoking in cars in England and Wales if someone in the car is under 18.

Up in smoke

To ride the tide of negativity about smoking, we crunched some numbers and found that anyone smoking 20 cigarettes a day is spending just shy of £3,000 a year.

That means a 30-year old who stops this month and who lives for another 45 years would therefore avoid wasting around £135,000 on fags in their lifetime – and that’s at today’s prices.

In addition to impacting your day-to-day cashflow, lighting up can affect your finances in the long-term, namely the premium you’ll pay for critical illness and life insurance.

We looked at two examples of how a prolonged smoking can affect the type of cover you’ll need in later life.

30 year old man with critical illness and life insurance:

A 30 year old man with £150,000 worth of critical illness and life insurance could save £2,970 over the 25 year term, or £9.90 per month, if they made the decision to go smoke free.

30 year old man with single life cover:

A 30 year old man with £150,000 worth of single life cover could save £1,689 over the 25 year term, or £5.63 per month, by quitting.

Kevin Pratt, insurance spokesman at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Joining the Stoptober mass-quit can result in rapid and significant health improvements, while not paying for cigarettes will mean extra cash saved too.

“With further savings to be made on the cost of life and critical illness cover by being a non-smoker it can really make a difference to your wallet. 

“For all those starting their journey towards a smoke-free life this Stoptober, it is important to know insurers will insist smokers have kicked the habit for a full year in order to be classed as a ‘non-smoker’ and benefit from reduced life insurance premiums.

“You’ll also need to be free of nicotine as well, not just tobacco, so you’ll also need to have ditched the patches and the gum and any vaping device that delivers nicotine into your body.”

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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