E-Cigarette vs. Cigarettes: Price Comparison

Some people believe that e-cigarettes are more expensive than smoking standard cigarettes, and indeed, recent studies have allegedly proved than e-cigarettes are only cheaper than the standard product in three countries worldwide. While it is possible to spend a lot of money on vaping accessories like high power mech mods, premium e-liquids and e-cigarettes, is it actually more expensive to become a vaper rather than a smoker of combustible cigarettes?

Cigarette Cost

On average, a pack of cigarettes costs around $5,51, and in the majority of states, you could expect to pay between $6 and $8 for a pack. While this is an average, the actual figures can vary wildly, with some packets costing as much as $14 in New York. Smoking is certainly an expensive habit, and if you live in the Big Apple, you can expect to spend around $5,000 each year just on your cigarettes due to the state’s cigarette tax which charges $4.35 on each pack of twenty. On top of that, the state’s sales tax adds another $1.60 to the cost and there is some speculation that these extremely high prices are designed to discourage people from taking up the habit. In some states, however, cigarettes are only a fraction of the cost that you would expect to pay in New York. For example, in Virginia and Missouri, the average cost is just $5.25 per pack, with Missouri’s state excise tax being exceptionally low at just $0.17 per pack. Until recently, Kentucky charged the least for cigarettes, but they have now lost that status with packs costing around $5.40 due to state price increases. In some areas, prices have reduced and in Alabama, Iowa, California, South Dakota and Arkansas the cost of cigarettes has been cut, with a drop of 17% in Arizona alone. However in more than 50% of states, price increases have come into force, with the biggest increase being in Minnesota where a 36% increase added $2.15 to the average price of a pack.

cigarette costAlthough some smokers save money on their habit by purchasing in bulk, one of the best ways to get your hands on affordable cigarettes is to purchase them in duty free stores, as this allows a saving of up to 78%. Not only can you buy from physical duty free locations but you can also get this saving when you purchase online too. In all states, the price of purchasing cigarettes for 20 years is more than $38,000 and whichever way you look at it, this is more than enough money to purchase a car, or maybe even to put down a down payment on a home. And, of course, this calculation doesn’t take into account the medical bills that may be generated from smoking – the cost of a year’s treatment for lung cancer anywhere in the US averages out at around $8,000, with the cost to begin treatment coming in at more than $60,000.

E-Cigarettes Cost


disposable e cigarettesMost people begin their forays into vaping by using disposable e-cigarettes. These are relatively inexpensive and are simple to find and purchase, even for those who are brand new to the vaping market. Prices can vary, and are usually lower when purchasing multiples at once, however single disposables tend to come in at around $6 to $12 each. Each one lasts as long as around 2 or 3 packs of cigarettes and as they are disposable, you have no ongoing upkeep costs or replacement parts to purchase.

Cartridge Models

cartrige modelsA cartridge model, or cig a like, is a rechargeable product, containing pre-filled cartridges which are simple to exchange with no refilling necessary. Usually, these are first purchased in a starter kit which comes with extra batteries and charging accessories, and while this means that there is a cost involved with getting set up, there is very little in the way of ongoing costs, apart from e-liquid cartridges which cost about $2 – $4 each.


e-liquid costThings become more complicated when you start using a refillable tank, and the total cost of vaping then becomes impossible to calculate. A basic e-Go style battery and tank will be a lot less expensive than a box mod which is highly adjustable, so prices can range from just $20 right up to hundreds of dollars, and many vapers choose to have multiple devices that they frequently use. To calculate the cost, you need to work out how much the device will cost, as well as the price of accessories such as batteries, coils and replacement tanks which are ongoing expenses. E-liquid will vary greatly in price, with a bottle of 10ml containing around the same volume as five packs of cigarettes but only coming in at around $7. A 30ml bottle generally costs about $20 and this is equivalent to around 15 packs. Premium e-juices are also an option, however these add more to the cost.

So Is Vaping Really Cheaper?

If you smoke an average priced pack of cigarettes per day at around $7.26, you will be spending around $2,650 each year. If you are smoking in one of the cheaper states, you are still looking at around $1,818 and in New York, the most expensive state of all, you will be shelling out $4,928. On the other hand, if you smoke disposable e-cigs, with a cost of between $6 and $12 each, you will be spending an average of around $1,314 per year at the equivalent of one pack per day. This will save you a minimum of $500 each year and as much as $3,600 depending upon where you live. If you choose cig a likes, the cost of cartridge replacements needs to be borne in mind as well as accessories and replacement batteries. Prices will vary and will be cheaper if you purchase in bulk, but on average you will be spending just over $1,000 a year which represents a saving of between $800 and $4,000 annually. In the case of refillable e-cigs, you need to consider the cost of replacing tanks, coils, batteries and other accessories which can be rather expensive. However the price of e-juice is easy to compare to standard cigarettes as a 10ml bottle costs around $7 and will last as long as 5 packs. Therefore, if you smoke one pack each day, you will spend around $500 annually. This means that no matter where you live, you could still spend quite a large amount on devices and supplies and still be making a considerable saving over the cost of regular cigarettes.

e cig vs cigarettes costThis makes it clear that even though some believe say that e-cigarettes are more expensive than regular smoking, this statement is not rooted in fact. And these calculations do not even take into account any ongoing health care costs which are associated with regular smoking, as e-cigarettes are considerably less harmful to health than standard cigarettes. To determine how much you are likely to pay out to support your vaping habit, you need to work out all of your expenses before deciding whether you are saving money or not. Being honest about how much you vape and how much you spend will enable you to work out a true cost. However, even though the initial price of starting up with vaping may deter some people from trying it, in the long run, you are sure to be making a saving – not just financially, but also in terms of your health and well being. Vaping has been shown to be 95% less harmful to the health than regular cigarettes, and evidence has even shown that vaping is one of the best tools for quitting smoking altogether.


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