Many people take up vaping as a means of quitting smoking, but still more people find that vaping is a good alternative to smoking because of the cost difference. As more and more municipalities raise taxes on tobacco products, some places are leaving e-cigarettes and e-liquids off the list, making vaping significantly less costly than buying the average pack of cigarettes.

Smoking vs. Vaping Costs

Let’s break down the real vaping vs. smoking cost so you can see how the numbers really play out.

How Much Does a Vape Pen Cost?

Vaporizers come in all different shapes and sizes. Likewise, you can find vape pens anywhere from $30 to more than $200. Obviously, the more you spend the more features and quality you will get, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a great vape pen at a reasonable price.

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For most people, $50-75 is sufficient to buy a vape pen that will get you through the day and meet all of your vaping needs. This is a good starting point for determining the ongoing cost of vaping. For our purposes we’ll split the difference and say you buy a $65 device.

Comparing to Cigarettes

There are some important points you need to keep in mind throughout this explanation when it comes to comparing cigarettes and e-liquids. For instance, the average cigarette gives you about 20 puffs. That means your average pack of cigarettes is 400 puffs.

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When it comes to e-liquids there are a lot more factors that will impact how many puffs you get, but based on a survey of many vapers, 10 ml of e-liquid is roughly equivalent to three to five packs of cigarettes by counting puffs. Thus, when you purchase a 30-milliliter bottle of e-liquid you are getting 12 to 15 packs of cigarettes.

That is important to remember when conducting a cost analysis between smoking and vaping. For the purposes of this analysis we will use conservative estimates of 12 packs of cigarettes per 30 ml of e-liquid. If you happen to vape less and get more mileage out of your bottle, then that’s just an added bonus for you.

The Costs of Vaping

The next step is to consider what else you need to vape versus smoke. The e-cig cost is only one part of the equation. You must also consider the cost of e-liquids, coils, wicks, atomizers or whatever other parts you need. Granted, as you become more familiar with vaping you may want to spend some money on high-end gear to personalize your vape, but to get started you really don’t need to spend a lot, so we will stick with some basic cost estimates here.

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To start with, most e-liquids cost around $20, give or take a couple dollars. If you’re lucky you can find a handful of flavors around the $14 price range, but there is a limited selection to choose from. If you are a pack-a-day smoker, you will probably be buying a new bottle of e-liquid every week and a half or so. That’s about 35 bottles of e-liquid per year.

Next you will need to look at your accessories. For a simple calculation, we’ll just look at a five-pack of average atomizers for around $20. If you build your own you may be able to save even more money. You will change your atomizer every five to seven days, so one pack will last you a month. That’s $240 per year. With pre-packaged atomizers you don’t have to purchase separate accessories to make your device work.

Your Total Upstart Price

That means your initial investment is $65 for the vaporizer, $20 for your first pack of atomizers and $20 for your first bottle of e-liquid – a total of $105.

Your total investment for the year will be around $1,005 for all of your e-liquid and atomizers using the same device.

What does that look like when compared to smoking regular cigarettes?

A similar routine with cigarettes would cost you around $155 per month, or $1,860 for the year. Obviously, you can calculate the costs of your actual smoking habit and see where you fall on this spectrum. Either way, you would have to smoke a lot less cigarettes to get down to $1,000 per year. And it’s only going to get more expensive, as cigarette taxes are slated to rise 12.5 percent yearly from 2017 to 2020.

So that’s the breakdown of vaping vs. smoking costs. Now you can see why so many people have switched to vaping just to save money on their monthly expenses.

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