Five Questions About: Giving up smoking


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The Independent Online

How much can I save by giving up smoking?

A 20-a day smoker would pocket an extra £45.40 a week by quitting the habit, based on the current average cost of a packet of cigarettes which is just under £6.50. It's enough to fund a weekly facial, buy a new item of clothing or pay for a decent meal for two

What about longer-term savings?

The extra £195 in your pocket equates to £2,340 a year. And if you pay it into the market-leading regular savings account from First Direct, which pays a fixed rate of 8 per cent, you would earn an additional £101.40 in interest. This leaves you £2,441.40 better off at the end of the year.

Won't my insurance costs come down too?

To put it bluntly, as a non-smoker, you are less likely to die or contract a terminal disease. This means once you have kicked the habit for a clear 12 months, life and critical illness insurance premiums can drop by as much as 50 per cent.

Why is now the time to stop?

Any time is a good time to stop smoking, but 14 March is national No Smoking Day – an annual charity campaign which is now part of the British Heart Foundation. Since the event started in 1984, it has helped more than 1.5 million smokers quit for good. For more details and support, visit

Are there any downsides to quitting?

Proven smokers will qualify for enhanced annuity rates when it comes to drawing their pension which means a greater income for life. However, as the reason for this is that your life is expected to be considerably shorter, it's a dubious benefit.

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