Truckers, Quit Smoking to Save Your Money and Improve Health

Quit smoking to save money and improve your health.Smoke cigarettes and drive professionally? We encourage you to quit smoking for multiple reasons.

Perhaps you’ve never thought of it this way before, but there are both immediate and delayed costs associated with the practice.

In addition to the price plus tax that you pay for the product, there are financial, health and other consequences as well.

Immediate or Up-Front Costs of Smoking

Display of cigarette prices by the pack and by the carton at a truck stop as of October 31, 2009.First, let’s examine the up-front costs.

The photo at left shows the cigarette prices by the pack and by the carton at a truck stop as of October 31, 2009.

Vicki designed the interactive Smoking Costs Calculator below (courtesy of Zoho Sheets) to help you see how much a smoking habit costs over time.

Smoking Costs Calculator

It certainly is enlightening to see the costs of cigarettes over time, isn’t it?

Is this enough to convince you to quit smoking?

Increased Health Insurance Cost

Second, there is the increased cost of health insurance.

According to one health insurance broker, there is an automatic rate-up of about 25% for smokers to obtain health insurance (assuming no other complicating factors).

Vicki designed the following Smokers Insurance Rate-Ups Calculator so that you may see for yourself what various rate-ups can cost you.

Smokers Insurance Rate-Ups

It certainly is sobering to see the increased health insurance costs associated with tobacco use, isn’t it?

Is this enough to convince you to quit smoking?

If your trucking company pays part of your health insurance premium, they can charge you more.

Increased Health Difficulties and Cost

Folks who smoke have

  • an increased risk of sleep apnea,(1)
  • an increased risk of sickness,
  • an increased cost of treating sickness, and
  • an increased amount of time off work.(2)

According to, Dr. Petter Lundborg, an economist at the Free University of Amsterdam, studied civilians and “found smokers averaged 34 sick days annually, compared to 25 sick days a year for former smokers and 20 for nonsmokers.”(3)

What could you do with 8 or 9 more productive days each year?

Those are days when you could be rolling down the road making money!

Smoking affects your family members and can cause them to be more sick than they ordinarily would be.

If you are the sole caretaker of your child, you may have to take time off work to take him or her to the doctor.

Cost of Treating Disease

Medical doctor greets a male patient.While not all smokers get lung cancer and some non-smokers do, there is an increased risk of contracting lung cancer from smoking.

One online resource listed a number of studies showing that the medical bill cost of treating lung cancer averaged between $35,000 and $41,000.(4)

In Canada as of December 1995, the average per-person cost of treating lung cancer was a high of $29,860.(5)

Ouch! That’s a lot of money! Is the potential loss of this kind of money enough to convince you to quit smoking?

Were you aware that dangerous glass fibers in cigarettes worsen lung damage for smokers?

Job-Related Difficulties

Among the problems that smokers may have are:

  • Potential difficulty in getting hired,
  • Potential threat of being fired,(6)
  • Not being assigned to haul flammable materials or hazmat, and
  • Money lost from re-sale of smoked-in trucks.

Costs of Reversing Effects of Tobacco Use

Other delayed costs may come from trying to reverse tobacco’s effects when

  • Cleaning clothing and
  • Brightening tobacco-stained teeth.

Investing Differently

Broken cigarette, signifying someone who wants to quit smoking.The way you spend your money reveals your priorities.

So far, we have covered the direct out of pocket costs, that is, the immediate and delayed costs associated with tobacco use.

What if you could have invested that same money in an interest-bearing account?

How much could you accumulate over time?

Or into what other kinds of investments could you have placed that money (such as your retirement, a college education, setting up a new business, or other endeavors)?

Let’s make an estimate based on a real situation.

Mike’s dad smoked 3 packs of cigarettes per day for an estimated 20 years.

That’s an average of 90 packs per month.

Vicki is going to select some numbers and plug them into a “Future Value of Savings Calculator” just as an exercise to show you how the cost of the cigarettes alone over time can really add up.

  • $1.50 per pack for the first 5 years
    ($1.50/pack * 90 packs) = $135/month
    Initial balance: $0.00;
    60 months at 2% interest (annual compounding):
  • $2.00 per pack for the second 5 years
    ($2.00/pack * 90 packs) = $180/month
    Initial balance $8,431;
    60 months at 2% interest (annual compounding):
  • $2.50 per pack for the third 5 years
    ($2.50/pack * 90 packs) = $225/month
    Initial balance $20,549;
    60 months at 2% interest (annual compounding):
  • $3.00 per pack for the fourth 5 years
    ($3.00/pack * 90 packs) = $270/month
    Initial balance $36,739;
    60 months at 2% interest (annual compounding):

Wow, that’s a lot of money!

Imagine what the total would be if the interest rate was even higher!

Is this enough to convince you to quit smoking?

Of course, these numbers are purely theoretical, but you get the point. Feel free to select numbers that match your actual usage.

As for Mike’s dad, Mike says that he “invested in his lungs,” a practice we definitely do not recommend.

The Size of the Problem for Professional Truck Drivers

Cigarette smoking professional truck driver; picture taken from passenger side of truck.Cigarette smoking professional truck driver; picture taken from driver side of truck.According to a 2007 article, half of professional truck drivers smoke.(7)

These two photos show two professional truck drivers smoking in their trucks.

Resources to Help You Quit Smoking

At one time, we had a whole list of “the usual suspects” on this page to help you quit smoking and overcome any potential cancer that may have come from smoking.

However, the more we have researched the subject, the more we are convinced that there are natural and low-cost alternatives that work better.

So, we’re referring you to these compilations of articles on instead:

Another reason to stop smoking is because if your workplace authorizes biometric screening on samples of blood, saliva, urine or hair for the presence of cotinine or other drugs, you want to be prepared.

In June 2013, published this article: “20 questions about smoking that will make you quit.”

Is It Ever Too Late To Quit?

One resource said,

– “Research has found it’s never too late to quit as people between 50 and 74 demonstrate improved health benefits each year after quitting”

– “When you quit smoking your body repairs the damage done by the toxic chemicals in the cigarettes, reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancers each year you remain smoke free”(8)

truck drivers money saving tip iconMoney saving tip: Every pack or carton of cigarettes you buy and smoke costs you money both up-front and again down the road through other expenses or increased expenses.

(There are also problems associated with other kinds of tobacco use, not just smoking.)

We encourage you to quit smoking not just for the health benefits, but also for the benefits of direct, indirect and future savings.

Return from Truckers, Quit Smoking to Save Your Money and Improve Health to our Health and Wellness page or our Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips home page



2. (no longer online)