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​Is Vaping Really Cheaper Than Smoking

​Is Vaping Really Cheaper Than Smoking

4th Sep 2018

Is Vaping Cheaper Than Smoking

First, money shouldn’t be the main reason for switching from smoking to vaping. Health should be the main reason. Costs are considerable. We look at whether vaping is cheaper than smoking or fake news.

The Cost Of Smoking

Smoking costs a lot. Cigarettes have risen sharply in cost in recent years. We’re aware of the costs to the health of smoking. Have you considered the cost of smoking on the environment?

Keep Britain Tidy, the UK environmental organisation, has stated that of all the rubbish types in the UK, it’s the cigarette butt making the most mess, being the most littered item in England. This is a widespread problem, with only 1% of towns reporting no smoking-related litter; it is a more significant problem than some would suspect. Since over seven million adults in the UK still smoke traditional cigarettes, smoking-related litter is substantial.

Thankfully statistics from Public Health England show that smoking numbers are falling, with a considerable drop of 15% since 2015.Will the fact that fewer people are smoking significantly impact the amount of smoking-related litter? We can but hope! Over two hundred and forty-four million cigarette butts per year are estimated to be dropped, and that’s just in the UK. That means that a third of the litter dropped is related to tobacco smoking; quite frankly, that’s appalling!

Smoking-related littering is a big issue. The LEQSE (Local Environmental Quality Survey) recorded results in 2015, showing that, on average, each site they surveyed had 7.1 cigarette butts dropped on it. That’s a significant amount! The study also confirmed that a higher volume of cigarette-related litter was found in industrial areas, areas with high foot traffic from the public (i.e. parks, shopping areas and so on) and many built-up housing areas.

The attitudes to smoking-related littering are also concerning. A survey by Keep Britain Tidy shows that, in general, cigarette butt litter was considered by some to be “not as bad” as other types of littering. The study results went so far as to state that many questioned would not drop “ordinary” litter outdoors, such as food wrappers, but would, had, and would likely continue to drop cigarette butts.

We all know the cost of cigarette smoking on our health. Yet, despite the health risks, people continue to smoke. Maybe it’s time to consider the financial costs. £10 a day for a packet of 20 cigarettes may not seem like a big deal. But when you add it up, the results can be pretty alarming.

A 5 A Day Habit

If you smoke only five cigarettes daily, you can say you aren’t a proper smoker. But even a minimal amount of smoking will affect your health and, surprisingly, your wallet.

Smoking five cigarettes will set you back around £75 a month. That’s money you could spend on a meal out for two, a facial, a massage, a theatre ticket, or a new pair of shoes.

Your little smoking habit will cost around £900 in one year. That’s equivalent to a long weekend in Florence, a luxury spa break or a flight to New York.

A 20 A Day Habit

Paying £10 for a packet of cigarettes daily will soon add up. 20-a-day smokers spend approximately £300 per month on their smoking habit.

That’s the same as a UK household’s average monthly grocery costs. Even more alarming, you are spending around £3600 per year.

That is a severe amount of money that could be invested in a high-interest bank account or towards your kid’s university fund.

It’ll Only Get Worse

The annual tax increase on cigarettes in the UK means smokers must dig even deeper into their pockets yearly. The figures for the 2014 Budget revealed that smokers would face an extra £69.06 per year to pay tobacco taxes.

Also, during the 2018 Autumn Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a further increase in tobacco taxation, in line with the so-called tobacco escalator. This increase puts a hefty 24p on each pack of cigarettes (20 packs), making the average packet of cigarettes cost well over ten pounds.

With a rise of 2% over the current inflation rate to deal with and tobacco costs rising annually, it is clear why so many are looking to move to vaping as a cheaper and healthier alternative.

How Much Can You Save Vaping?

We will go into the financial elements of vaping in this extensive part, concentrating on the costs of refillable vape kits and e-liquids. We will examine the financial advantages of vaping and illuminate the potential savings that can be realised by using the most recent data from the UK.

Refillable Vape Kit Prices

Due to their adaptability and long-term cost-effectiveness, refillable vape kits have become quite popular among vapers. These kits include a tank or atomiser, rechargeable batteries, and changeable coils. Compared to disposable vape or pre-filled pod systems, the initial cost of a refillable vape kit may seem expensive, but the significant long-term savings make it worthwhile.

Refillable vape kit prices in the UK might change according to the brand, features, and quality. According to the most recent information, dependable refillable vape kits cost between £20 and £80. Choosing a more expensive item may improve usability, performance, and durability. However, even with a mid-range refillable vape kit, significant savings can be realised compared to conventional smoking.

Remembering that e-liquid consumption varies according to personal vaping habits and frequency is significant. Compared to casual vapers, heavy vapers tend to use more e-liquid. However, the overall cost of e-liquids is still much lower than the expense of conventional smoking, even with moderate to heavy usage.

How Much E-Liquid Costs

A key component of the vaping experience is e-liquid, sometimes known as vape juice. These liquids, which come in various tastes and nicotine levels, must be considered when estimating the entire cost of vaping.

The brand, intricacy of the flavour, bottle size, and nicotine level all affect how much e-liquid costs in the UK. According to the most recent data, a 10ml bottle of e-liquid normally costs between £1 and £3, with luxury or elaborate flavours frequently costing more. However, buying e-liquids in bigger sizes, like 50ml or 100ml bottles, can result in significant savings over time.

Vaping vs Traditional Smoking Cost Comparison

Let's compare vaping costs to traditional smoking using the most recent UK data to comprehend potential savings.

In the UK, a pack of 20 cigarettes typically costs £10. Assuming a pack of cigarettes daily translates to £70 per week or almost £280 per month. Over a year, this cost soars to an astounding £3,360. Contrarily, vaping is significantly less expensive, including the initial purchase of a refillable vape kit and e-liquids.

For instance, if a typical vaper spends £40 on a refillable vape kit and £20 on e-liquids monthly, the yearly cost would be £720. Comparing this to conventional smoking, you can save over £2,500.

Additionally, there is a chance for even bigger savings when vapers gradually reduce their nicotine intake and switch to e-liquids with lower nicotine concentrations or nicotine-free options. This may result in lower monthly e-liquid costs and greater long-term financial savings.

Investigating Additional Vaping Cost-Saving Factors

Although the main vaping costs are refillable vape kits and e-liquid purchases, it is important to consider additional elements that may result in further cost savings.

Costs of Replacing a Coil

Since coils in refillable vape kits gradually deteriorate over time and influence vapour output and flavour quality, they must be replaced regularly. Depending on usage patterns and coil conditions, replacement frequency varies.

A coil may last several weeks; new coils can cost between £2 and £4 each. Although it is still quite inexpensive compared to the ongoing cost of cigarettes, it is essential to consider this additional cost when estimating the cost of vaping.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Vape devices, like any electronic item, require periodic maintenance and care to guarantee the best performance and longevity. This can require washing the tank, changing the O-rings, or sporadically buying new batteries or charges. Even though these charges are infrequent and small, they should be considered when calculating the total cost of vaping.

Potential Indirect Savings

Beyond the clear cost contrast with traditional smoking, vaping can result in further indirect savings. For instance, some vapers report fewer visits to the doctor for smoking-related illnesses, which can lead to lower healthcare expenses over time.

Users frequently report enhanced odour management because vaping creates less detectable scents than cigarette smoke. Eliminating the need for air fresheners, dry cleaning, and other costs related to removing the smell of tobacco smoke can result in cost savings.

Are Disposable Vapes Cheaper Than Cigarettes?

Disposable vapes are small, one-time-use gadgets with e-liquid already added and a charged battery. The accessibility of disposable vapes is one of their main benefits. They typically cost less than reusable vaping devices and don't need extra parts like tanks or coils, so there are no extra expenses.

Disposable vapes can cost more or less based on several variables, including brand, size, flavour variety, and nicotine content. The typical cost of a single disposable vape is between £3 and £5. Some disposable vapes provide more puffs per unit, which may impact the price. Disposable vapes, however, are made to be thrown away once the e-liquid runs out and should not be used for extended periods.

Compared To The Price Of Cigarettes

It's important to consider both immediate costs and ongoing expenses when comparing the price of disposable vapes to tobacco cigarettes. Disposable vapes may seem more expensive than a single pack of cigarettes, but it's important to consider the long-term financial effects.

Over time, disposable vapes may be more economical. Hundreds of puffs can be obtained from a disposable vape comparable to several regular cigarettes. Investing in a disposable vape could save money by lasting longer than buying several packs of cigarettes for a chronic smoker.

Additionally, disposable vapes can help smokers progressively reduce their nicotine consumption by selecting lesser nicotine strength alternatives. As the dependence on nicotine declines, this can also help save money over the long term.

It’s crucial to remember that using disposable vapes and other vaping products comes with costs. Costs associated with purchasing disposable vapes regularly could be lower than purchasing traditional cigarettes. Making informed decisions about nicotine use also requires taking health into account.

What Is The Most Economical Way to Vape?

Many fans now enjoy vaping as a pastime, but you must be careful with your spending if you don't.

Choose Rebuildable Atomisers.

Frequent purchasing of replacement coils for your atomiser is one of the biggest costs associated with vaping. Think about using rebuildable atomisers to cut this cost. You can construct and install your coils with these atomisers, saving you a lot of money. Despite the slightly greater initial outlay, rebuildable atomisers are a cost-effective solution for vapers.

DIY E-Liquid

Buying pre-made e-liquids can add up quickly, especially if you vape frequently. Consider manufacturing your e-liquids instead. Several online sources offer instructions and recipes for making your flavour. You can make a significant amount of e-liquid at a fraction of the cost of commercial solutions by investing in a few simple ingredients and flavours.

Purchasing in Bulk

Bulk purchases of vaping products can considerably save expenses. Search for trustworthy online merchants to get savings on larger orders of e-liquids, coils, and other vaping accessories. By purchasing in bulk, you can reduce the cost per unit and ensure there will be enough supply for a long time.

Upkeep and Cleaning of Your Equipment

Your vaping equipment needs to be properly maintained and cleaned frequently to work at its best and be the most economical. Your gadgets' lifespan may be shortened or damaged if maintenance is neglected, requiring you to replace them earlier than necessary. To ensure your vaping equipment's effective operation and lifespan, clean the contacts, replace the cotton wicks, and regularly clean your atomisers.

Research and Price Comparison

Finally, before making any purchases linked to vaping, always take the time to shop about and compare prices. Prices vary widely because there are so many Internet shops and markets. You may uncover the best vape deal offers and benefit from sales or discounts by comparing costs, which will eventually help you save money on your vaping materials.

E-Cigarettes Save You Money

Vaping, on the other hand, can work out significantly cheaper, especially over some time. At face value, vaping could be the more expensive hobby, especially when considering start-up costs, i.e. a starter kit. However, a recent American study from LendEDU of a thousand vapers who enjoy the hobby daily shows that the costs may be lower than you’d think.

Based on data from Statista, sales of e-cigarettes online alone worldwide have now totalled over six hundred and fifty million dollars. In the US alone, consumers have spent nearly two and a half billion dollars on vaping. Given how many individuals vape, currently one in five US residents, this is quite the spend.

This amount still works out to be significantly less than the amount spent on smoking. Back to the LendEDU survey, respondents were asked how much they spend on e-cigarettes, consumables and vaping altogether. It was found that the average amount the respondents spent on their e-cigarette devices was around £50.

The average monthly spend on e-liquids and other consumables and accessories was just over £20. This totals around £80 a month. Further questions about e-cigarette use, the number of purchases and more resulted in LendEDU being able to pull together the following findings:

71% of surveyed said vaping was significantly cheaper than their previous smoking habit.

An average of $118.05 (or £88.63) was saved each month after making the switch. It was found that, on average, vapers made 9.2 vaping relating purchases a month.This research shows that vaping works out significantly cheaper than smoking and could be more affordable still if vapers took advantage of bulk buys, offers and so on.

It has become evident that despite buying a starter kit (these are very affordable), vaping is a cheaper hobby and is cleaner, healthier and better for the environment.

Statistics Of People Who Have Quit Smoking And Now Use E-Cigarettes

The NHS is committed to helping people quit smoking for good. Smoking-related diseases are preventable. The immediate benefits of quitting are extraordinary. Within 72 hours, your body will be nicotine-free. The harmful chemicals in smoke will have already passed through your urine.

  • From 2 weeks, your heart attack risk will drop, and your lung function will improve.
  • From 5 to 15 years, your stroke risk will be the same as that of a non-smoker.

Smoking-related diseases drain the National Health Service of precious funds and resources. According to the NHS, stop smoking services:

  • 312,975 people set a quit date through the NHS campaigns.
  • 50% reported to have successfully quit.
  • Success increases with a steady increase in the number aged 60 and over.

Pregnant Women and Smoking

In 2014, 12% of pregnant women smoked. This number is slightly lower than in 2013 when 12.7% of pregnant women smoked.

The HSCIC reports a slow but steady decline in women who continue to smoke during pregnancy.

In 2014, with the help of the NHS stop smoking services, 47% of pregnant smokers managed to quit successfully.

Vaping while pregnant is significantly the better option.

Geographical Location

The South East, Yorkshire and Humberside reported the highest proportion of successful quitters, resulting in 55% for each region. The lowest proportion (43%) was recorded in the North East and the North West of England.

Support Services

One-to-one support was reported as the most widely used quitting method (49%). However, fewer people utilised telephone support but had a higher success rate (59%).

General practice was the most common setting for smokers trying to quit (47%). But the workplace setting had the highest success rate (61%).


ASH has estimated that in 2014 approximately 2.1 million adults used e-cigarettes as a non-smoking alternative. Seven hundred thousand have quit smoking altogether. 1.3 million alternate between tobacco and e-cigarettes. In the UK, e-cigarette usage has risen from 2.7% in 2010 to 17.6% in 2014.

The Future Cost Of Smoking And Vaping

As things stand, the Government and Public Health England are working hard to cut the number of people smoking.

As well as the price hikes and the fact that smoking in any public places outlined as part of the Go Smoke-Free legislation of 2007 is banned, the government are prepared to go one step further.

There are plans to ban flavoured cigarettes such as menthol from May 2020. This plan is another attempt to reduce the number of people smoking.

On the other hand, vaping is as affordable as ever, with cheap e-liquids and flavours such as menthol and starter kits making switching over easy for all smokers.

Vaping is not governed by smoking ban laws, though property owners can allow/disallow vaping at will. That said, Public Health England, supported by numerous health organisations, researchers and smoking harm reduction charities, is lobbying the government for better access to smoking.

For example, this could mean relaxing the rules surrounding vaping at work. In addition, PHE hopes e-cigarettes will be officially adopted as smoking cessation devices, enabling GPs to issue them on prescription as part of dedicated NHS Stop Smoking Services.

Vaping On A Budget

At face value, vaping might seem more expensive than tobacco smoking when considering the price of a packet of cigarettes and a starter kit. When you break things down, however, it’s easy to see that not only is vaping the healthier alternative, it can be cheaper long term and much easier to afford on a budget.

Strictly speaking, all you need to vape is a starter kit and some e-liquid. Some starter kits include e-liquids.

You will eventually need to replace your starter kit or parts of your cigarette, and you will eventually need to replace parts due to wear and tear if you decide to upgrade to a more customisable e-cigarette.

The brilliant thing is the choice is yours. You can get some decent vaping out of a starter kit, and even if you replace the whole thing down the line, it STILL works out cheaper than smoking does.

Hopefully, it’s becoming clear that vaping is not the big, expensive hobby that some might assume and that you ultimately have control over how and how much you invest in it.

Either way, we’re sure you’ve quickly realised that vaping is significantly cheaper and more budget-friendly than smoking, which ticks many boxes for many people.

In Conclusion

Vaping is cheaper than smoking if you compare like-for-like usage. Yes, the start-up costs of vaping (£30-£40 for e-liquids and a starter kit) are higher than the £10.50-ish cost of a pack of twenty tobacco cigarettes and matches.

The difference is the twenty-pack and matches go up in smoke and are done. The vaping kit lasts significantly longer. You’d have to work hard to pay more for vaping yearly than a smoker would on cigarettes.

However, buying every e-liquid available, having a massive store cupboard, building everything, and trying new tanks, accessories, and upgrades every other week is possible.

There are numerous ways to save money on vaping, including searching our latest special offers section.

Take a minute to appreciate the other costs of smoking that don’t apply to vaping. By this, we mean the health, environmental and public health service costs.

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