The cost of vaping vs. smoking


Whether you are motivated by health reasons, don’t want to support tobacco industries or want to be considerate of those who live with you, there are many reasons to trade in your musty pack of smokes for an e-cigarette. Perhaps the motivation behind the majority of people switching to vaping is, surprisingly, an incredibly superficial one: saving money.

Who says quitters never win? - The true cost of smoking

We’re all aware of the cost of smoking with regards to health issues such as cancer, emphysema, reduced lung function, etc. But, do we know the actual cost of being a smoker and how this impacts you financially?

The average cost of a pack of cigarettes in South Africa is R35 and the average smoker smokes one pack of cigarettes a day. While quickly nipping out and spending R35 on a pack of smokes may seem an insignificant expenditure, this habit totals to R245 a week and R1 050 a month. The amount of cigarettes the average person smokes increases over weekends when they engage in social activities and can add extra packs of cigarettes to the monthly total.

This brings the overall monthly cost of smoking to a staggering total of R1 050 which adds up to R12 600 per year.

If, instead of spending it on cigarettes, you saved this money every month in an account that gathers absolutely no interest, you would be left with the following amounts:

  • Five years: R63 000
  • Ten years: R126 000
  • Twenty years: R252 000

These amounts exclude an interest rate and are not accurate representations of how much the average smoker spends during these time frames seeing as the tax on cigarettes increases by approximately 15 - 20% each year.

The cost of vaping

Your initial setup to start vaping includes the following:

  • A “mod” which is the housing container for the battery and powers the coil that produces the vapor.
  • The “tank” where the liquid is stored. This attaches to the battery and uses a wick system to carry the juice to the coil.
  • A “drip tip” that attaches to the top of the tank where you inhale from.
  • The flavoured liquid called e-juice that heats and produces the vapor.
  • A battery charger, which can either be used by power outlet or USB.

You will be able to purchase a “starter kit” with all the necessary equipment you need to start vaping. If you are completely new to the world of vaping, read about your Vape Setup 101.  Assuming you buy good quality vaping products such as the Kangertech EMOW Starter Kit , you are looking at an initial once-off cost of approximately R800 for the complete device. Vaper’s Corner is currently having a sale on their vaping products, and you can buy the EMOW starter kit for only R600.

In addition to this you will need to purchase e-liquid which comes in a variety of flavours  and costs approximately R175 for 30ml. The most economic e-liquid offered by Vaper’s Corner is R160 for 30ml with free delivery to your door. The amount you vape will determine how much liquid you need, but the average amount of liquid needed is two 30ml bottles a month, which works out to R350 a month.

Lastly, you also need coils. Although you only need two coils per month, you can buy a pack of five coils for R225. This works out to be R90 a month. Some people choose to cut costs even more by building their own coils on the subbox, saving money on buying pre-built coils and only having the e-liquid, wire and cotton as consumables.

Buying the device is a once-off purchase and will not contribute to your monthly expenditures. Buying two 30ml bottles of liquid a month as well as dividing the cost of the coils into your monthly budget, the cost of vaping will come down to a total of R440 per month and R5 280 per year.

Suck on this instead

A blog on The Financial Page titled Do you think like a wealthy person? explains that becoming wealthy has much more to do with your attitude towards money than how much money you actually have. This includes cutting certain unnecessary costs in the present to benefit from it in the future and making current financial decisions with your future goals in mind.

While some are of the impression that the cost of vaping is significantly higher than that of smoking due to the equipment used, vaping only requires a large once-off investment after which you only pay for maintenance. The cost of vaping is R610 less per month than that of smoking and ultimately saves you R7 320 for every year you choose vaping over smoking. Use this future value calculator to work out how much money you will generate by saving or investing this extra money with a steady interest rate.

The once-off amount spent on the device should be regarded as an investment in good quality vaping products which will save you money in the long run. Do not buy low-cost vaping products as you will need to replace these more often and devices that don’t function optimally might be harmful to your health. Vaper’s Corner offers both the Kangertech EMOW Starter Kit as well as the Kangertech Subox Nano Kit  to simplify your setup. These starter kits include the driptip, and you will not need to purchase a charger as you can charge the battery on the mod by using a USB cable which is also included in the kit. 

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