Savings on E-cigs vs Tobacco Cigarettes

If you are a tobacco cigarette smoker and are planning to switch over to e-cigarettes, then one of the questions that would come to your mind is whether you would spend more or less after the switch. The simple answer is that electronic cigarettes cost significantly less than tobacco cigarettes when compared puff for puff. However, you are unlikely to be satisfied with this answer and will want to see some sort of number work.

This becomes a slightly more difficult task. There is a wide range of prices for both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes. Then there are two types of electronic cigarettes, disposable and reusable. People smoke in different ways. Some take long drags and some take shorter ones. Therefore there can be no single equivalence between e-cigs and tobacco cigarettes. However, the calculations can be done on the basis of reasonable averages and they will clearly bring out that electronic cigarettes cost less by far. And this is without factoring in the savings of derived benefits.

Let us first consider disposable e-cigarettes. As the name suggests, these e-cigs cannot be refilled and have to be thrown away after use. They usually look like tobacco cigarettes and are of a similar size. On an average, one disposable e-cig would provide smoking equivalent to at least 40 tobacco cigarettes. The exact number of puffs you get from a disposable e-cigarette depends on how deeply you draw on it. When you can sense no more vapor while inhaling, you know that the disposable cigarette is over. For bulk purchases the price per unit of disposable e-cigarettes would range from $2.50 to $10. A reasonable average would be $6 per unit.  Hence for $6 you would get the same value as 40 tobacco cigarettes. In order to make comparison easier one can say that for $3 you would get the same value as for a pack of 20 tobacco cigarettes. In the United States a pack of 20 cigarettes of a midrange brand would cost from $5 to $15, depending on which state you are from. The variation is largely on account of the taxes imposed by the states. Even if you take an average value of $10, you will find that the disposable e-cigarette costs about one third. A premium brand of disposable electronic cigarettes would have a unit price of $10. Even for that brand you would pay about half the cost of tobacco-based cigarettes. Go through e cigarette reviews if you are looking for reviews.

Reusable e-cigs come with a refillable tank or cartridge and a rechargeable battery. You buy the e-liquid separately, usually in bulk, and fill the cartridge as and when required. Because of this, reusable e-cigarettes vary in size and shape depending on the amount of e-liquid they carry. Most of the reputed manufacturers of reusable electronic cigarettes claim that their standard cartridge fill is equivalent to a pack of 20 tobacco cigarettes.  The cost of e-liquid for this standard cartridge fill would work out to about $2.50, assuming a mid-size refill pack. This is one fourth the cost of equivalent tobacco cigarettes as estimated in the calculation for disposable e-cigarettes. There are other costs that need to be considered in the case of reusable electronic cigarettes. The battery needs to be charged from time to time and this would consume some electricity. The cost of this is negligible and need not be added to the cost of the e-cigarette. At some point in time not only the battery, but also the atomizer would have to be replaced. Even reusable stuff cannot last forever. An average starter kit consisting of all components would cost about $30. Even if this gives you the equivalent of 100 e-cigarettes, though practically it would give you much more, your cost per e-cigarette would go up by only $0.30, which really does not affect the calculation.

Hence we see that based only on the direct cost of the cigarettes and related material, e-cigarette smoking is about 33% of the cost of tobacco cigarette smoking. Even if you go for the premium brands of electronic cigarettes you would still save considerably. There are larger savings involved that you should be aware of but need not factor in numerical calculations. Tobacco cigarettes result in residual ash and butts that must be disposed of and indirectly add to the cost. There is no such cost associated with electronic cigarettes. In electronic cigarettes you do not inhale any tar or smoke and therefore health problems are bound to be less. Again the costs will be less. Finally you can look at the damage caused to the environment through tobacco smoking. The society pays for these damages. It is impractical to reasonably compute these costs per cigarette, but you know that you will make further savings for yourself and for the society in the long run from e-cigarettes.