Escaping the VAT Rise with Electronic Cigarettes: An Interview with Jackie from UK Vapersby James Dunworth Lifestyle
Smoking cigarettes is becoming increasingly expensive - but there is an alternative!
Smokers are facing an extra 50p on a pack of budget cigarettes this year, and with many smokers in poorer income groups it is truly a tax that targets the poor!
While the state obviously hopes to force smokers to quit, many smokers either can't quit - or simply don't want to.
But some nicotine users have been escaping the huge tax on cigarettes for years. (In future, they might even attract a reduced rate of VAT!) Jackie, who manages the popular e-cigarette forum, UK Vapers, is one of them, and kindly agreed to this interview:
How often did you buy a packet of cigarettes before you switched to vaping, and how much money did you spend on smoking?
Jackie: I was a pack a day smoker. I did sometimes used to roll my own, but mostly I bought cigarettes. Based on that, it was £4.60 a pack (it's a lot more now!) so that equals £32.20 a week, or £1,679.00 per year.
How much money do you spend now on vaping, and how much money does it save you on an annual basis?
Jackie: Ah, the million dollar question. Discounting the cost of starting up (buying a kit, spare atomisers, trying different flavours of liquid, batteries, etc), I'd say I spend on average around £10 a month on atomisers, and £30 a month on liquid. That's a generous estimate based on 3ml of liquid per day when I mostly use 2ml.
So for base costs, £40.00 per month or £480.00 per year.
That doesn't of course allow for the cost of a kit, but if I leave out my numerous impulse buys which are entirely optional (as most sane people seem to manage without them) I'd add on another £150.00. Again, I'm being very generous, that's more than enough to allow for the cost of a kit and spare batteries (based on an Ego type kit or a 'mod' plus batteries) throughout the year.
Which would bring my total to £630.00 a year, saving me just over a thousand pounds. Which is actually a lot more than I'd imagined!
What difference does the saving make to your life style?
Jackie: Probably not as much as some, but it has made a big difference. Being on a very tight budget currently, there's no way I could have afforded to continue buying cigarettes, or even tobacco. The low costs of vaping however have allowed me to continue to get my nicotine in a very similar way. I always looked at it a bit like changing brands of cigarette - this 'brand' is just much cheaper, and healthier!
I should point out that I'd probably have noticed the savings a lot more if I didn't have this awful urge to try different models of ecigs and experiment with the latest and greatest equipment. The market is ever changing, new atomisers / cartomisers especially seem to be cropping up with increasing frequency. It isn't that I'm not satisfied with my existing gear, but I've never been all that good at resisting temptation! That said, even with all of my impulse buys (which in the first 6 months were numerous!) I've never gone over the amount I would have spent were I still smoking and I'd guess I've still saved a fair bit.
How do you feel about the savings?
Jackie: Who doesn't like savings? I have to say, financial savings were never my prime motivation, I think the health savings are of far more importance. The fact that I have saved is definitely an added bonus though.
Any comments/stories you want to pass on?
I think many people who are new to vaping worry about the cost. It's the smokers psyche I think, that old 'but if I spend this and it doesn't work, it'll be a waste of money and I won't have as much for my cigarettes' train of thought. As a smoker for 20 years, believe me I can relate to that, especially as somebody who'd tried all sorts of methods in the past to stop smoking cigarettes. I think that's a fairly common fear and it can be difficult to get past. I'm glad I did though, I've been free of tobacco since August 2009 and can honestly say I enjoy vaping even more than I used to enjoy my cigarettes.
So for anyone reading this who is considering buying their first ecig, don't be put off by the initial cost. It's really not that huge in grand scheme of things, and the benefits you may (hopefully will) gain far outweigh any initial worries.
Two chances to win a free electronic cigarette kit!
You can make your vaping habit even cheaper by winning one of our free kits!
To win a free kit (you don't have to pay for postage, and we don't want your bank details - it's not one of those horrible electronic cigarette scams!), take one of our (very short) surveys:
How much could YOU save with the electronic cigarette?
Work out your savings with our electronic cigarette calculator! (You can also embed it in your own blog or website!)