Smoking at Work or Working to Smoke? You might be surprised how long you must work to earn a cigarette.

Just like our article on The Long-term and Short Term Financial Benefits of Quitting Smoking (where we calculated that you would be basically buying a second house if you started smoking at age 18), we're not going to bother talking about the health benefits from quitting smoking.  We are going to ignore the health benefits and stick to the raw financial numbers.
   What we are going to show you, is how much you are working every day for an individual cigarette and a pack.  We also calculated how many days into the year, you need to work to reach your smoke freedom day.  Which is the day you start working for yourself instead of working for your cigarettes.


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Credit Card Nerd Math

Below we have a chart with the amount extra time you will need to work every time you have a smoke.  The discount brand is $0.48 a cigarette ($12 for 25 smokes) and the premium brand is $0.64 a cigarette ($16 for 25 smokes).
    To figure out the time you need to work for you cigarette, we took your after-tax hourly earnings.  We used the tax bracket for an employee that work 2000 hours a year (38.46 hours a week), lived in Manitoba and figured out how many extra minutes you needed to work to earn a single smoke.  We used their marginal tax bracket and not the average tax amount, because this chart is based on how many extra minutes someone needs to work to make up for their cigarette and any extra dollar earned will be taxed at their top marginal tax rate.



Time it took to earn your cigarette

Hourly Rate

Discount

Premium

$10

3.9 minutes

5.2 minutes

$14

2.8 minutes

3.7 minutes

$18

2.2 minutes

3.0 minutes

$22

1.8 minutes

2.4 minutes

$26

1.7 minutes

2.2 minutes

$30

1.4 minutes

1.9 minutes



Time it takes to earn your Pack (25 cigarettes)

Below we are using the same figures as above with regards to cigarette cost, taxes etc., but instead of individual cigarette cost, we calculated the pack of day cost of smoking based on your hourly wage.

Hourly Rate

Discount

Premium

$10

1 hour and 47 minutes

2 hours and 9 minutes

$14

1 hour and 9 minutes

1 hour and 32 minutes

$18

55.3 minutes

1 hour and 14 minutes

$22

45.3 minutes

1 hour

$26

41.5 minutes

55.3 minutes

$30

36.0 minutes

47.9 minutes



Work Weeks Worked Annually for your pack a day habit

Below we are using the same figures as above with regards to pack of cigarette cost, taxes etc.  This time we are calculating how many work weeks you are basically working for nothing each year in exchange for your pack a day habit.  The work week is still 38.46 hours long and you worked 250 days of the year.  We decided to not include the cost of smoking on your days off, because we wanted to just show how much work you are doing so that you can smoke during the work day.

Hourly Rate

Discount

Premium

$10

11 weeks and 3 days

14 weeks

$14

7 weeks and 2 days

10 weeks

$18

6 weeks

8 weeks

$22

5 weeks

6 weeks and 3 days

$26

4 weeks and 2 days

6 weeks

$30

4 weeks

5 weeks and a day



Your Cigarette Freedom Day

Below we will show you what your cigarette freedom day is.  This will be the first day of the year where you will be working for yourself, instead of working for your cigarettes.

Hourly Rate

Discount

Premium

$10

March 21

April 8

$14

Feb 20

Mar 11

$18

Feb 11

Feb 25

$22

Feb 4

Feb 14

$26

Jan 30

Feb 11

$30

Jan 28

Feb 5



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A Wake Up Call

Odds are your boss won't allow you to show up an hour later and leave an hour early every single day.  So you probably won't be working any less if you stopped smoking, but it should feel better knowing that you didn't work the entire time before your first coffee break for your cigarettes, or at least make you feel worse, knowing that basically worked up until your first coffee break, in exchange for your smoking habit.
    The numbers do sound absurd, but if you are a labourer making $14 an hour, paying $16 a pack, you will be working until March 11 to work for your cigarettes.  A non-smoker can take the first ten weeks off, assuming he doesn't get fired, and still have the same after-tax disposable income by the end of the year.