The Cost of Smoking Versus Vaping

The Cost of Smoking Versus Vaping

Posted by Big J on Aug 2nd 2018

The cost of smoking versus vaping has been a heated debate since vaping began. We can go back to the early 2000's where the first e-cigarettes, commonly referred to as cigalikes, cost about $200 bucks and pretty much sucked. The problem is that there are a lot of smokers still stuck in the mindset that an e-cigarette will cost them hundreds of dollars. This couldn't be any further from the truth. Let's go ahead and get past this myth once and for all shall we?

The Cost of Smoking

There is no way to come up with exact figures on the cost of smoking due to the different types, qualities, and prices of cigarettes from place to place. So what I will do is try and break down the numbers into averages to give you a general idea. First off let's start off with a pack of traditional "premium" cigarettes like Marlboro, Camel, or Newport. An average price for a pack of these cigarettes is $8 bucks. Now let's break that down for a casual smoker, a half a pack a day smoker, and a pack a day smoker.

Casual Smoker (approx 1-7 cigarettes a day): The casual smoker is going to be the cheapest out of the bunch with a pack of cigarettes lasting anywhere from 2 1/2 days to 20 days. Let's assume on the higher side, say 5 to 7 cigarettes a day, for the next equation:

30 days divided by 2.5 days (approx how long a pack will last) equals 12 packs of cigarettes for the month

$8 bucks per pack multiplied by 12 packs equals $96 bucks a month spent on cigarettes for a casual smoker

Let's add in an extra pack a week for losses and incidentals so that's an extra $36 bucks

So as a rough estimate a casual smoker will spend approx $132 bucks a month on cigarettes

Half a Pack Smoker (approx 10-16 cigarettes a day): The half a pack a day smoker is usually the smoker who is in the process of quitting. A pack of cigarettes will last anywhere from a day and a half to 2 days. Again let's assume on the higher side, 15 cigarettes a day, and calculate that equation:

30 days divided by 1.5 days (approx lifespan of a pack) equals 20 packs of cigarettes for the month

$8 bucks per pack multiplied by 20 packs equals $160 bucks a month spent on cigarettes for the half a pack smoker

Let's add in the "incidental" 4 pack total of $36

So if you are a half a pack a day smoker you will spend approx $196 bucks a month on cigarettes

Pack a Day Smoker (at least 20 cigarettes a day): This is the normal smoker. Most people who smoke smoke at least a pack a day of cigarettes if not a little more. To keep the math simple we'll stick with 20 cigarettes, or precisely 1 pack, per day.

30 days divided by 1 day (hence the pack a day) equals 30 packs of cigarettes a month

Again $8 bucks per pack multiplied by 30 packs equals $240 bucks a month spent on cigarettes at a pack a day

Don't forget to add in the additional $36 buck "oopsie" fund 

So a pack a day smoker will spend approx $276 bucks a month on cigarettes

To sum that up, a smoker will spend anywhere from $132-$276 bucks a month on cigarettes.

The Cost of Vaping


In case you thought I was bias, the cost of vaping isn't going to be an exact equation either. There are multiple types of "starter devices" on the market and a wide array of pricing on the available e-liquids. Bottle size of the e-liquid must also be taken into account as well. Last but not least we will also have to include coil prices. So for this section I will again use an average for a device, the coils to go with it, and juice prices. In the following equation we will assume that a starter kit will cost $25 bucks, a 15ml bottle of juice will be $10 bucks, and a 5 pack of coils will cost $15 bucks. So, let's do some math.

The Casual Vaper (formerly known as the casual smoker): The casual smoker will become a casual vaper so let's put a few things into context. The only denominators that really change in this equation are the number of coils used per month and the amount of liquid used per month. A casual vaper will be defined as someone who uses 2 coils a month and 45ml of juice. This is on the high side but it won't matter, trust me. So let's lay it out.

$25 initial investment for a device. This will only factor into the FIRST MONTH as the device should last you a while

At $15 bucks for a 5 pack of coils that's $3 bucks a coil. Using 2 a month totals $6 bucks

At $10 bucks per 15ml bottle and 3 bottles used per moth you get $30 bucks a month spent on juice

I'll even add in a $10 "I lost my bottle/burnt my coil" stipend

So $25 bucks for the device plus $6 bucks for coils plus $30 bucks for juice and $10 bucks for "oopsies" totals out to $71 bucks a month for the FIRST MONTH

The second month will only cost you $46 bucks because you won't have to buy another device

The Half a Pack Vaper (formerly known as the half a pack smoker): We'll continue using the pricing from before but we will now add an extra 2 bottles of juice and an extra coil to the equation. Again, this is on the high side but there's a point to be made here.

$25 bucks for the device

3 coils for the month at $3 bucks per coil brings you to $9 bucks

5 15ml bottles of juice at $10 per bottle will equal $50 bucks in juice

Add in the $10 "oopsie fund"

$25 bucks for the device plus $9 bucks for coils plus $50 bucks for juice and $10 bucks for incidentals is $94 bucks for the FIRST MONTH

The second month will only cost you $69 bucks

The Pack a Day Vaper (formerly known as the pack a day smoker): Again, same pricing as before but let's add the whole 5 pack of coils and 2 more bottles of juice for a total of 7 bottles. There's no way you're going through this much but hey, go big or go home. Here we go with math again.

$25 bucks for the device

5 coils at $15 bucks for the pack

7 bottles of juice at $10 bucks a pop so $70 bucks for juice

$10 oopsie fund

I'm not even gonna write it out, you should have it figured out by now. $120 bucks for the, say it with me now, FIRST MONTH only. After that, $95 bucks a month. Let's put all this side by side and then call it a day shall we?

Smokers                                                                               Vapers

Casual = $132 bucks a month                                             Casual = $71 down to $46 bucks in 2nd month

Half Pack = $196 bucks a month                                         Half Pack = $94 down to $61 bucks in 2nd month

Pack a Day = $276 bucks a month                                      Pack a Day = $120 bucks down to $95 bucks in 2nd month