Technology and society are constantly changing. Just in the last decade, Uber has stepped in to dominate the ride-sharing industry, high-powered smartphones have replaced flip phones, and streaming services like Hulu and Netflix have eclipsed cable television.
Perhaps no change is more noticeable than the rise of vaporizers and the decline of traditional tobacco products like cigarettes. Walk down any city street, and you’re likely to see someone having an e-cig smoke. Vaping’s popularity has spawned hundreds of flavors like gingerbread, bubblegum and various kinds of fruits.
Global online sales of e-cigarettes have surpassed $650 million, while overall e-cigarette sales in just the U.S. have surpassed $2.35 billion, according to Statista, an aggregator of data sources. Furthermore, one in every five Americans e-smoke at least once a day. But is it less expensive than cigarettes?
How Expensive is Vaping?
The traditional tobacco companies have dominated the industry for more than 100 years. In decades past, smoking was not only socially acceptable, it was almost expected. But as society has frowned on smoking’s health risks and with vaping on the rise, tobacco companies have been losing market share.
According to a LendEDU survey, the average price of a vaporizer or e-cigarette is $80.20 with some models costing as much as $200. After purchasing the device, users spend an average of more than $60 on the cartridges and flavors each month, making almost 10 purchases of vaping products at the cost of about $6.54 per cartridge. That means the average vaper spends about $720 a year on their habit.
Meanwhile, the price of cigarettes continues to climb, due mostly to state taxes levied on their purchase. While prices are different in each state, the average pack price ranges from $4.38 in Missouri to well over $10 in New York. With the average smoker using about one pack of cigarettes per day, the price of smoking can range from $131 to $300 per month, up to $3,650 per year. (We at Spinfuel VAPE find it unbelievable that the cheapest cigarettes in New Hampshire cost $59.99 a carton. A pack-a-day smoker spends $250 per month!)
Vapers That Were Ex-Smokers Claim to Be Saving Money
In LendEDU’s survey, more than 70 percent of respondents stated that they had saved money when asked on their habits after changing to vaping. About 19 percent said that their vaping habit was more expensive than the original tobacco one. In fact, the average amount of money saved was almost $120 per month. That’s almost $1,500 per year, a significant amount saved.
Vaping Expenses are Being Budgeted For
According to the survey, 65.6 percent of consumers who use vaping products are budgeting for their expenses each month instead of freely spending. The structure of a budget not only helps keep your spending on track and helps you plan for future purchases.
Some vaping enthusiasts save money by using reusable vaporizers. The reusable versions can be refilled simply by purchasing more of the nicotine substance that the vaporizer consumes, with twice-yearly purchases of a new filter or other parts if they malfunction. One-time use vaporizers, on the other hand, are discarded when their reservoir of nicotine is empty, which can be anywhere from a day to several weeks depending on how often it’s used and how much of the nicotine is consumed with each use.
The LendEDU survey found that over 82 percent of vapers are using the reusable devices, even though the initial investment is larger than with disposable or one-time use vaporizers. Over time, the reusable ones seem to be more cost-effective, not just when compared to traditional tobacco products, but against disposable products.
The Bottom Line
Vaping is a habit that costs money, but it can also be less expensive than a smoking habit. Avid vapors who budget ahead can ensure the costs of vaping fit into their finances.
As LendEDU’s survey revealed, vapers can save significant amounts, with respondents reporting an average savings of $118 in just a month after making the switch from tobacco. As the cost of traditional cigarette prices continues to climb this savings will likely be even greater.
In his role at LendEDU, Mike uses data, usually from surveys and publicly-available resources, to identify emerging personal finance trends and tell unique stories. Mike’s work, featured in major outlets like The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, provides consumers with a personal finance measuring stick and can help them make informed finance decisions.