The cost of my first relapse (Have a calculator handy)

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

01 May 2003, 06:14 #11

WOW, what a thought provoking thread this has turned out to be for me! When I read my OWN quote in the "one puff files", I immediately thought of myself as the Queen of Relapse.
My first CT quit was 2-14-75 for SEVEN years but junkie thinking got me back on them for 5 years. On Great American Smokeout Day in 1987, I did the CT thing yet again. This time it lasted for TWELVE years. I never dreamt I was susceptible to the nicodemon at that juncture. Yup, you guessed it...I played the old "party smoker" game in 1998 and found myself hooked all over again.
Today, I calculated the cost of losing those 2 quits, for 5 years each time. Since I quickly got back to my 45cigs/day habit, my usage was 82,125 cigs during each smoking period, for a total of 164,250 smokes at a cost of $27,512. So, not only did I blow an awesome amount of $$, I blew what could have been a 28-year quit. And I finally know why...I am a nicotine addict, and I can never take another puff. Only time will tell if I've managed to avoid health issues, but at least my third quit is my last due to the suppoprt and education here at Freedom!
Your very grateful quit sis, JD
Judy has been nic free for: 3 Months 1 Week 6 Days 15 Hours 1 Minute and has NOT smoked 4753 smelly cigs, for a grand $$$ savings of $796.15 plus life of Freedom extended by: 2 Weeks 2 Days 12 Hours 5 Minutes.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

04 Dec 2003, 01:13 #12

I saw where we have another similar exercise going on today. The costs of a relapse as is the cost for ever taking up cigarettes are phenomenal. The worst part is how it ends up costing people their lives if they don't give themselves the opportunity to prove that they could have quit by simply sticking with a commitment to never take another puff! Joel

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

07 Dec 2003, 09:04 #13

I have multiple quits, one of which lasted almost 3 years (which was not my first) and because it was the longest and (I thought) at the time my last quit, I will calculate from there.

I started back smoking on May 25, 1999 and had 3 brief quits in between that and my final quit (each lasting 3-6 weeks, but I will NOT factor out those periods because it makes the computations easier). I quit on November 7, 2003. That is 18 days shy of 4 1/2 years or app 1625 days. I will figure my "final average" of 18 to be my average through this entire period because there were periods where I smoked none and periods where I smoked more than 18 so it should even out. That works out to 29,250! That is 1,462.5 packs! At an average of $2.25 per pack (when I started back I was smoking name brands and have steadily "stepped down the price ladder") that is $3,290.63 spent in just the last 4 1/2 years! At an average of 7 minutes to smoke each one, I wasted 3,412.5 hours of my life or 142 days (almost 5 months!).

How sobering this little exercise was! To recap:
time smoked: 4 1/2 years
cigs smoked 29,250
money spent: $3,290.63
time wasted: 142 days

yqb, David Four weeks, one day, 11 hours, 6 minutes and 29 seconds. 530 cigarettes not smoked, saving $39.77. Life saved: 1 day, 20 hours, 10 minutes.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

07 Dec 2003, 09:38 #14

Wow, David ~ those calculations were just too much for me! Just re-read the first post in this thread to be sure I get it right.

I'm just gonna give you guys the dates and let someone else do the math for me . . . . . . I'm afraid if I saw the figures pop up myself it would just be too much to bear!

My very first quit was November 1978 (25 years ago). I lost that quit sometime in 1981. Joel said not to deduct for any interim quits since they never would have happened had we not lost the first quit. For the ease of the mathemeticians we'll just say it was December of '81 ~ when you're talking 22 years what's a month or two?? Pack a day. Cost/Pack???? Can't even remember how much they cost back then. I lived in VA so I think the tax was lower than most places.

So ~ 22 years/pack a day/$$?? Anyone for doing the math for me??

Candi ~ I have been quit for 1 Month, 1 Week, 6 Days, 21 hours and 58 minutes (44 days). I have saved $163.48 by not smoking 1,257 cigarettes. I have added 6 Days, 2 hours and 39 minutes to my life.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

07 Dec 2003, 10:00 #15

Hi all,

I blew a six week quit in Dec. 1998. That was my first and longest quit. I've had interim quits, but we're not supposed to add them in. So, here goes my stats.

time smoked: 5 years
cigs smoked 36,400 or 1,820 packs
money spent: 5,460

Not to mention smoking through two pregnancies that I "cut" back my intake (in other words, constant withdrawal) for because I wasn't strong enough to never take another puff. Thank heavens I found this site.

KTQ 14days

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

08 Dec 2003, 08:34 #16

Well, no one took me up on doin' the math for me . . . . . curiosity got the better of me so I did it myself.

22 Years X 52 weeks/yr = 1144 weeks

1 carton/week = 1144 Cartons = 228,800 cigarettes

$20,000+ spent

1,601,600 minutes; 26,693 hours; 1,112 days; 158 weeks; 36.7 months; 3 years wasted smoking cigs.

I am grateful that during those 22 years since I lost my first quit I did put together around 10 years smoke free, so it's not as bad as it looks!! Just would have saved myself lots of grief, shame, deceit, wrinkles, and health concerns had I never smoked after my first quit 25 years ago.

Grateful that I have been quit for 1 Month, 2 Weeks, 20 hours and 53 minutes (45 days). I have saved $166.96 by not smoking 1,284 cigarettes. I have added 6 Days, 5 hours and 48 minutes to my life.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:44

08 Dec 2003, 14:03 #17

My name is Scott, due to my relapse in 1996 I smoked for 6 long years & 11 months, 21 days, 11 hours, 52 minutes and 44 seconds (2548 days).

I smoked 101,940 death sticks after quitting for one whole year. And spent $5,670.12.
I lost 353 days, 22 hours and 58 minutes of my life just from a 7 year relapse...... I wonder how much of my life I lost for the total 25 years I smoked? It is so sickening, i'm not even going to tally. What an eye opener....................Scott, Free & Healing forever & ever amen..................Never another puff ever.........t.g.f.f.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Apr 2004, 22:15 #18

Today the cost of cigarettes in Cook County, where I live and spend most of my time went up 82 cents per pack due to a new county tax starting today. The thinking is most businesses will round the price increase up an even dollar. The average cost now is about $5.00 per pack, making Cook County one of the highest costs in the country.

Being that we have an international audience I thought I would pose the question we have posed a few times here at Freedom in the past. How much were you spending on tobacco when you quit and what are your neighbors who still smoke spending on them now? Anyone spending the time and doing the math will realize that considering the cost of cigarettes on your pocket book and more importantly, on your health and your life is higher than you are willing to pay. The only way to guarantee that you will never have to pay to support such an expensive, dirty and deadly addiction again is to stick with your personal commitment to never take another puff!


Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 01:30

01 Apr 2004, 23:08 #19

I quit in Feburary 2003 for 4 days when my best friend called and told me that her father was dying from lung cancer. He died last August. I quit 24 days ago.

I live in Germany and roll my own cigarettes. I have averaged 25 a day at about a Euro a day for tobacco, filters, and papers($1.18). If I were to have smoked normal cigarettes I would have paid 3.94€ a day ($4.65).

That means losing my quit cost me: 345€ ($407.10)
If I smoked regular cigarettes it would have cost me: 1359.30€ ($1,604)

Jeesh. $407 would be enough for a nice trip to Italy. Definately next year!!!

Tera - Free and Healing for Twenty Four Days, 18 Hours and 6 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 2 Days and 3 Hours, by avoiding the use of 619 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me 24,78 €.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:08

01 Apr 2004, 23:57 #20

Hi Joel -

OK. I am up to this calculation now. I guess that it was 7 years prior to my final quit on 6/11/2002 that I had quit for 6 months. That one puff that I took almost 8 years ago cost me $9650.55ugh! and I smoked 64,337 sickorettes (give or take) yuch!

Thank God I found this great group of quitters! I am now very proud to say that I haven't taken a single puff in over 21 months, saved over $2600.00, and haven't smoked over 5,000 sickorettes. Yipppeee!


Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:08

02 Apr 2004, 00:03 #21

Oooops! I meant to say over 13,000 sickorettes not smoked in the last 21+ months. WOW! Sure does add up!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Apr 2004, 00:17 #22

Freedom's really making me work today! Bill's got us writing lymericks; Joel's got us doing math! See you all in gym class later!

So my first and longest quit was 8 months. I think it was 1984. I'm going to guestimate and pop mid-year 1984 into my quit meter. It is supposed to add 3% annually to adjust for price hikes. Drum roll, please... it calculates to about 19.5 years I would have been quit. I wouldn't have smoked over 100,000 cigarettes (yikes! that means I did!!!!), and would have saved around $30,000. That's Canadian dollars, but yowsers, I could have used that.

All righty. I still don't want to smoke any more. Never Take Another Puff. Nope. Thanks Joel. Eye opening as always!

~ Kay ~
100 Days! Woohoo!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

18 Jul 2004, 05:36 #23

Well, I had quit when I was pregnant for my son for about 4 months. If I hadn't of relapsed my stats would say:

I have chosen not to smoke for 3 Years 4 Weeks 1 Day 9 Hours 2 Minutes. Cigarettes not smoked: 11253. Money saved: C$4,642.18.

What they really say is:

Angie- 6 Months 3 Days 23 Hours 31 Minutes 15 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 1487. Money saved: C$595.14.

That's a difference of 9766 cigarettes, and 4047.04. Woah.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

18 Jul 2004, 06:33 #24

By the age of 27 I was smoking and chewing (among other things). I quit both for a period of six months. I am now 36yrs old and have chewed an average of one can of tobacco per day since.
36yrs - 27yrs = 9yrs
9yrs x 365days per year = 3,285
3,285 X $5.00 per can average = $16,425 wasted on nicotine.
If I add only the cost of the chewing for the other 8yrs (not the smoking) at an average of 3.00 per can the estimated grand total that my addiction has cost me is....
$25,185 and that estimate is very conservative. WOW I NEVER KNEW.
Do you think I could get the tobacco companies to give me a refund??
This information is definately something I am going to chew on for a while. It is a great weapon for me to use in the exercise of never taking another dose of nicotine. Thanks Joel and everyone who participates in Freedom and Whyquit.

Still Nic-Free and Luv'n it for 4 Weeks, 1 Day, 20 hours and 17 minutes. I quit chewing tobacco on 6/17/04, have saved $149.22 while expecting to be on earth 2 Days, 1 hour and 40 minutes longer

Joined: 12 Jan 2009, 23:25

13 Sep 2004, 20:07 #25


I smoked since i was 12 and a bit. First time I tried to quit, I was 17. I'm now 28.

so 11 years, aprox. a pack a day (conservative estimation) times 4 EUR.
thats (11*365)*4 = 16060 EURO

and in reality it's probably more...

that's one expensive borrowed sigarette :o

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

13 Sep 2004, 22:16 #26

History of my relapse:

Smoked 8 years, then quit July 8, 1981. Smoke free for six months, until January 1982 when found sample packs of cigarettes in cupboard. Smoked them, which led to buying a pack, then another, then back cartons,...

Next quit: 22 1/2 years later - same day - July 8, 2004.

Cost of my relapse, due to those "free" samples:

Smoking 22 years = 264 months + 6 months = 270 months

Average two cartons (20 packs in 2 cartons, 400 cig. per month) = 400 X 270 = 108,000.00 !!! cig.

Cost = don't know. They're $4/pack now. Let's just say $2.50 per pack = 20 packs X 270 months X $2.50 = $13,500.00 financial cost.

Emotional cost = embarrassment and shame that I went though telling people I had started again.

Psychological cost = tormented every year when my "quit date anniversay" of July 8 came around.

Physical cost = Reynauds syndrome, tendon problems due to decreased circulation, stress fracture in foot due to bone problems, chronic post nasal drip, ugly yellow fingernail, finger, and stained teeth, even my thermometer is stained from the smoking!!...probably a few extra face wrinkles...Thankful I quit in time before those ugly ones above your lip.

Until this year, when I successfully quit again on July 8, 2004!!

AnitaMCK - Free and Healing for Two Months, Five Days, 10 Hours and 58 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 11 Hours, by avoiding the use of 997 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $199.92.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:48

13 Sep 2004, 23:10 #27

Well let's see, my first quit was January of 1991 so that means I smoked for 13 years & 3 months. Which turns out to be, OH MY GOD, I had to go back & check my numbers and unfortunately they were correct. If I had stayed quit in 1991 I would of saved my body from the torture of 72,795 cigarettes which would of saved my wallet $10,919!!!! I'm shocked, even if I took into consideration the 5 year quits in between (which were not supposed to do but I can't help myself) I would end up with 45,345 cigs smoked & $6,801 up in smoke. I can't believe it, what a waste of money not to mention what it did to me physical & physiologically. I don't even want to think about the withdraw systems I had to go through each time I quit. Plus the weeks it took me to retrain my brain to "enjoy" smoking. Man, I don't EVER want to smoke again!

I'm hugging this quit even tighter! Free for 5 months 1 week & 1 day
Saving myself from smoking 2,385 cigs and adding $477 to my not smoking jar.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:21

14 Sep 2004, 01:23 #28

I'm sorry to report that my 1st attempt to quit smoking was in the summer of 1982. I lasted about 3 months. . ."Ran into a chum with a bottle of rum. . ." and you know the rest.

In any case, had I remained nicotine free since then I would not have smoked 200,750 Marlboro "reds in box." Allowing for price increases, those cigarettes cost me $30,112. A fine investment.

Now: had I bought shares of Microsoft with my smoke money over the same period, my portfolio would be increased by $867,000 (not including dividends paid in cash).

Think I'll call Charles Schwab. . .


I have been (FINALLY) nicotine free for 12 days. I have saved $86.17 by not smoking 313 cigarettes and have recovered 1 Day, 12 hours and 31 minutes of my life.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

14 Sep 2004, 01:28 #29

Here it goes...

Smoked 11 years. Quit 8 times (for about two or three weeks each time).
Total cigarettes smoked: 64,240
Total cost about $28,000 CAN

Wow... when I put it that way it does sound extreme!!! Didn't realize it was so many ...

Glad I did stop smoking

Agnes - Free and Healing for One Month, Five Days, 13 Hours and 45 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 2 Days and 5 Hours, by avoiding the use of 640 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $262.92.

Joined: 13 Jan 2009, 23:04

14 Sep 2004, 22:55 #30

Lets see...
My first quit was in February 1991 for 3 weeks... about 13 and a half years ago.
Thats about 4930 days.
I probably smoked 20 a day on average over that time...
Thats 98,600 cigarettes.
Average price of a pack of 20 over this period was probably £3.75 or so...
Thats almost £18,500 spent on cigarettes! (about $33,000 US).


Joined: 13 Jan 2009, 23:04

14 Sep 2004, 23:15 #31

I remember my first relapse very well. I was about 15 years old, already smoking a pack a day and having a fight with my mother made me decide to "quit again another time". Not only did I continue to smoke, I gradually smoked more and many more every year...

That cost me the fine amount of 53,781.27 euro's . (I found a site with the cigarette prices in the last three decades that proved me helpful). If cigarettes had cost back then what they cost today I would have spent more than 90,000 euro's. I'm not sure I want to think about that!

But shouldn't we think about the 15-year old that may relapse today for much the same of a non-reason and has to pay today's prices? I haven't quit for very long but I'm increasingly perplexed that it is allowed that so many of our youngsters are lured into addiction every day. I am walking around and start to notice just how many people smoke and wonder how that can be allowed, so many people being crippled and killed and not a voice raised? I am slowly realising how great the impact my smoking has been on my self-esteem and face in disbelief I have never been my true self since the age of 10. And it cost me *how much?* to be a junkie for the best part of my life?

Vonnebeest - Quit for 1 month and 13 days

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

24 Apr 2005, 01:17 #32

I wanted to quit when our first child was born, but failed, I never smoked in the house after that, but...

I could have been quit for 16 Years, 10 Months, 2 Weeks, 4 Days, 14 hours and 7 minutes (6,166 days). I could have saved $26,917.15 by not ingesting 110,998 nicotine delivery devices. I could have saved 1 Year, 2 Weeks, 6 Days, 9 hours and 50 minutes of my life. If My Quit Date had been: 6/4/1988 11:00 PM

Had I never taken that first puff some 32 Years ago, I could have saved $51,138.55 and not ingested 210,880 nicotine delivery devices (thats somewhere around 2,108,800 puffs, talk about conditioning).

I have been quit for 3 Weeks, 6 Days, 13 hours and 41 minutes (27 days). I have saved $120.33 by not ingesting 496 nicotine delivery devices. I have saved 1 Day, 17 hours and 20 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 3/26/2005 11:00 PM and
I am Free...

Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 20:58

13 Jun 2005, 00:31 #33

I lost a 2 year quit in 1997 and never tried again till this one in 2005. Could have saved close to $7K+ if I had not taken that one puff (actually started with chewing but I didnt realize it at that time). but thats past...i've already saved $500 in the last 4 months. Moid Smoke free for Four months, three days, 3 hours, 59 minutes and 29 seconds. 1477 cigarettes not smoked, saving $531.90. Life saved: 5 days, 3 hours, 5 minutes.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

13 Jun 2005, 01:12 #34

Could have saved close to $7K+ if I had not taken that one puff (actually started with chewing but I didnt realize it at that time). but thats past...i've already saved $500 in the last 4 months.

Hello Mohammed,

You very well may have saved far more than $500 this past four months. You may have just saved your life.


Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:55

13 Jun 2005, 05:36 #35

Free for 11567 days. Working on day 11568

I've not smoked 427965 death sticks, and saved $271,558.43.
I've saved 1485 days, 23 hours and 46 minutes of my life.

Smokes were lot cheaper back then so the money saved would change