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

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

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Jul 2002, 20:09 #1

The Cost of My First Relapse

Back in December I started a parade that asked how long some of your past quits had lasted before losing them to a relapse. I think 14 people responded. Today I want to take it another route. For members who had quit at least one other time in the past, even for a few days, and then lost that quit, I would like you to estimate how long ago that quit were lost. Go back to the first quit you can remember ever doing, even if you had interim quits since then. This is a fair way of looking at it because if you think about it, those interim quits would never have had to happen if the first quit lasted. For those who never tried to quit, just work your calculations from when you started to smoke.

Then estimate how many cigarettes you smoked since that first relapse. Try to do a conservative estimate of how much those interim cigarettes ended up costing. This will often become an eye opening exercise. When you think back to how all you wanted was one, how "borrowing" one seemed so harmless, and then realizing just what the cost of that first puff was. Let us know those numbers.

As sick as the resulting numbers may make you feel, understand it is nothing compared to how sick cigarettes may actually make you if you allow yourself to let it happen again. More than just making you disgusted and emotionally sick, it can actually make you physically sick and cost you more this time. Besides the cost of cigarettes having gone up, smoking will eventually cost you your health and likely your life. To avoid a repeat of a past relapse, always remember this time around your success is contingent on always remembering to never take another puff!


Related video: What to do with the money you used to waste on cigarettes:

Last edited by Joel on 11 Mar 2011, 20:18, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Jul 2002, 20:10 #2

So that the people who have done this already don't have to go through the math again...
From: Toast (GOLD!) Sent: 12/29/2001 10:13 AM
Great idea, Joel!

I never tried to quit before, so I have to count from the beginning. Or rather, about when I remember beginning. I chose my smoking father's birthday since he died from cancer & I know I started smoking daily the spring of '81.

Start date: 03/17/1981 (Estimated, and would have been my father's 51st birthday if he hadn't of died a year & a half before.)

Quit date: 05/22/2001.

I smoked for:
20 Yrs 2 Mos 5 Days 22 Hrs 59 Mins 59 Secs.

I smoked 147,439 cigarettes. Give or take.

At an average length of 3.22 in (82 mm), all the cigarettes
I've smoked, if placed end to end, would reach:

12.09 total kilometers or 7.51 total miles.

So I walked more than a mile for my Camels ...

But the most important numbers of the day for me - I've quit smoking for:

7 Months 6 Days 12 Hours 9 Minutes 51 Seconds

By quitting I've smoked 4410 fewer cigarettes,

saved $639.47 and

possibly regained 1 Mo 15 Hrs 1 Min 22 Secs of my life back!

Image Melissa
ImageRecommend (0 recommendations so far) ImageDelete Message 3 of 8 in Discussion
From: SweetLorraine (Silver) Sent: 12/29/2001 10:54 AM
Image Hi Joel - Figuring thrty years since the first relapse and figuring $1.00 per pack - less in the beginning but way more toward the end $9,855 wasted Image - but here's the good news I might well save three times that much if I live another thirty years as an non-smoker! Talk about incentive! Image

yqf Lorraine

Two months, two weeks, four days without a single puff Image

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From: Gigi Sent: 12/29/2001 11:20 AM
The first time I tried to quit was at 21 yrs. old. That was 19 years ago.
Cigarettes Smoked over last 19 years: 152,570

Approximate cost:
7628.5 packs = 401.5 pack a year.
Cost 2.30 average
$17545 spent on cigarettes

Length of cigarettes smoked:
40,939.61 feet
13646.53666 yards
7.75 miles

Time wasted:
762850 minutes
12714 hours
529 days
17 months

But now I'm Free! One week, three days, 9 hours, 19 minutes and 25 seconds. 311 cigarettes not smoked, saving $70.12. Life saved: 1 day, 1 hour, 55 minutes. Image


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

25 Jul 2002, 00:16 #3


My "One Puff" * in 1995, after 7 smoke-free years led to 51,100 more cigarettes.

*uneducated pre-Freedom act of an addict. Sam (19 days, 12 hours, 26 minutes of never taking another puff )


Alyson GOLD.ffn
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

25 Jul 2002, 05:20 #4

Hmmm, let's see. My first failed attempt to quit was when I was 23, began sometime around February (now there's some commitment) with relapse coming on hard and fast (beginning with staying up late to steal roommate cigs - because "if I'm not paying for them, I'm not smoking" - and driving around to smoke them at 4am - I'm sure no one was wise to my stealthy ways).

So that's 13 years and 4 months at let's say a pack a day average: 160 months x 30 packs x 20 death sticks = OH MY LORD!

96,000 cigarettes smoked since my relapse.

At an average cost per pack of $2.75, that's 14 cents per feeding, so I've wasted $13, 400 on my addiction since my relapse.

THIRTEEN THOUSAND & FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS! That's about what I spent on my first brand new car, a little Japanese compact, the same year I relapsed - I coulda had a mercedes.

Well, Joel, that was certainly a sobering exercise. Thank you!


BillW Gold.ffn
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

25 Jul 2002, 09:38 #5

Hi Joel:
I promised this morning I was gonna post here. I lost a 6 month quit 13 years ago, at a pack and a half a day.....But looking up, I see Alyson has done the math for me.....Mine is 1.5 times hers, or
150,000 cigarettes smoked
about $20,000 wasted, or even worse,
perverted to my (possible) distruction.
If I do wind up dying from this (I've nothing specific....I'm just being morbid), then
It would have been cheaper
to hire a hit man
to just kill me!
Dying from the extra 13 years of that relapse, of course, would be the true and ultimate cost of that last lost quit.
BillW Five months, two weeks, two days, 12 hours, 37 minutes and 59 seconds. 4995 cigarettes not smoked, saving $986.42. Life saved: 2 weeks, 3 days, 8 hours, 15 minutes.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

03 Oct 2002, 03:13 #6

Good Afternoon Freedomites!

With so many new quitters and a slew of articles reinforcing the not one puff mantra of our fine Freedom, I thought it would be good to see exactly what that one puff could cost you. And that's if you're lucky enough to every find the motivation to try and quit again! Then again, there's always Bill W's theory. (YOUCH! Glad I quit!)

Sammy ( 2 Months 3 Weeks 6 Days 14 Hours 22 Minutes 5 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 1791. Money saved: $381.69).

OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

03 Oct 2002, 03:20 #7

Wow, I'd forgotten posting to the original thread, and then saw my post above, and was blown away by the nearly 2 grand it cost me to have that seemingly innocent little cigarette one night after having been off for 10 days. 2 grand. Holy cow!


MareBear GOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

30 Apr 2003, 23:34 #8

I thought the math was going to be tougher. I probably just didn't want to think about what I'd done to myself all those years.

My first actual attempt at quitting (I am not counting the ones before because simply saying "I'm quitting" and then lighting the next cigarette five minutes later doesn't count as even a feeble attempt) was on my 30th birthday, 12/7/1997. So that means that between that failure (I didn't last the day) and my big success on May 28, 2002, I smoked 32,640 cigarettes and wasted approximately $5,712.00 of my hard-earned money on my addiction. "Well, at least I tried," I said to myself many times.

Then I got educated...and now I'm free! I can see gold from here...

MareBear Image

11 months, 1 day

smokefreeJD Gold
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:06

01 May 2003, 01:31 #9

This would have been roughly 7 years and 10 months ago when I tried to quit. The length of that quit is debatable because I certainly wasn't nicotine free since my roomie at the time would dispense 1 cigarette to me after work each day as a "reward". Other than that it was only about 3 days long though but it sure seemed at the time like it was forever.
That 1 per day ration led to 49,862 cigarettes up to my quit date and $6,274 just handed over to the tobacco companies.
Kicking Butt for 6 Months 3 Weeks 5 Days.
Last edited by smokefreeJD Gold on 14 Apr 2009, 06:54, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

01 May 2003, 02:27 #10

I began at 14, and first tried to quit when I went to bootcamp at 18. In bootcamp I could run like the wind and I thought I would live forever. I saw my grandfather smoking 3-4 packs a day. At age 66 he died of heart disease...I remember my family being grateful that it wasn't lung cancer. These statistics are horrific.
I continued to smoke for 23 years after my first attempted quit at 18 and was consuming a carton a week.
That would be 1196 cartons @ an average of 15.00 a carton = $17,940.00 since my first relapse.
1196 cartons = 239,200 cigarettes*
*(I cringe to realize these represent cigarettes I no longer wanted to ingest)
At 3.22 inches per cigarette, my 239200 represent
64,185.333 Feet
31,395.111 Yards
and 12.156 Miles
if I were to place those end to end.
The good news is that after years of nicotine addiction and continuing unwanted smoking.....after many relapses and the rollercoaster weight issues of on again/off again smoking...........Thanks to Freedom
I have been quit for 11 Months, 1 Week, 2 hours, 25 minutes and 58 seconds (342 days).
I have saved $1,539.45 by not smoking 10,263 cigarettes.
I have saved 1 Month, 4 Days, 15 hours and 15 minutes of my life.
I don't have to smoke anymore.....neither do YOU!!!
Never Take Another Puff
Dos (Dubs aka Dubiously)
Last edited by DubiouslyDos on 14 Apr 2009, 06:54, edited 1 time in total.