money & Banking

Courtney Allan

The $14 billion habit Aussies can’t give up: “Scarily large numbers”

The $14 billion habit Aussies can’t give up: “Scarily large numbers”

Research has revealed that Aussies are spending a collective $14 billion on their smoking habits.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed that 13.8 per cent of smokers consider themselves to be daily smokers, smoking half a packet of smokes a day.

Despite rates being on the decline over the last two years, this doesn’t mean that smokers are spending less on their habits.

Finder.com.au has found that 2.8 million regular smokers spend more than $100 a week on cigarettes. Individually, this will cost them $5,237 a year.

According to health insurance expert Angus Kidman, these are “scarily large numbers”.

“But it’s a conservative estimate too.

“We calculated the figures based on almost 14 per cent of Aussies smoking half a packet daily on average and then looked at the cost of a packet of 20 of one the cheaper brands of cigarettes, at the lower end of the price scale.”

The Northern Territory has the highest rate of daily smokers, with around one in five smoking daily.

However, the ACT has the highest number of people who have never smoked in their lives, with almost 60 per cent saying that they haven’t touched cigarettes.

“Nobody thinks smoking is good for them,” Mr Kidman said.

“We have seen an overall decline in the levels of smoking, but we are spending a huge amount of money because the price of cigarettes has accelerated rapidly.

“It’s a handy way for governments to pick up more tax and help fund quit smoking and health programs. There’s not much sympathy in the broader community for the taxation on smokes.”

If you think you can get away with lying on your insurance forms, you’d be wrong. Despite you thinking that your smoking habit isn’t that bad, it’s all the same to insurance companies.

“You can’t really lie because they will find out. If you die and it’s discovered that you were a smoker but said you weren’t, the policy could be voided and your family won’t get a payout,” Mr Kidman said.

Have you noticed an increase or decrease in smoking? Let us know in the comments.