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Photo: Flickr user Alessandra.

It's no secret that smoking is an expensive habit. But unless you smoke and do a lot of traveling, you may not realize how much the cost of a pack of cigarettes varies from state to state. You also may not realize what smoking a pack a day will do to a smoker's budget over a year -- and longer. Smoking simply costs a lot (especially in some locations) -- in money and health. 

See for yourself -- the table below shows the average price of a pack of cigarettes for 2014, from least to most expensive, according to TheAwl.com. (Note that a sizable chunk of most prices is made up of state excise taxes, which range from $4.35 per pack in New York to $0.17 per pack in Missouri as of January. Cities and/or counties in each state also impose taxes.)

State

Avg. Price per Pack

Cost Over One Year

Cost Over 20 Years

Virginia

$5.25

$1,916

$38,325

Missouri

$5.25

$1,916

$38,325

Tennessee

$5.30

$1,935

$38,690

North Dakota

$5.33

$1,945

$38,909

Kentucky

$5.40

$1,971

$39,420

Wyoming

$5.41

$1,975

$39,493

Idaho

$5.41

$1,975

$39,493

West Virginia

$5.43

$1,982

$39,639

Louisiana

$5.44

$1,986

$39,712

North Carolina

$5.45

$1,989

$39,785

Alabama

$5.51

$2,011

$40,223

South Carolina

$5.58

$2,037

$40,734

Colorado

$5.65

$2,062

$41,245

Oregon

$5.69

$2,077

$41,537

Kansas

$5.83

$2,128

$42,559

California

$5.89

$2,150

$42,997

Indiana

$5.97

$2,179

$43,581

Ohio

$6.03

$2,201

$44,019

Arkansas

$6.07

$2,216

$44,311

South Dakota

$6.08

$2,219

$44,384

Nevada

$6.15

$2,245

$44,895

Nebraska

$6.23

$2,274

$45,479

Oklahoma

$6.29

$2,296

$45,917

Iowa

$6.29

$2,296

$45,917

Florida

$6.30

$2,300

$45,990

Mississippi

$6.34

$2,314

$46,282

Delaware

$6.35

$2,318

$46,355

Georgia

$6.39

$2,332

$46,647

New Hampshire

$6.44

$2,351

$47,012

Montana

$6.46

$2,358

$47,158

Texas

$6.69

$2,442

$48,837

Pennsylvania

$6.85

$2,500

$50,005

Utah

$6.89

$2,515

$50,297

Maine

$7.37

$2,690

$53,801

New Mexico

$7.67

$2,800

$55,991

Maryland

$7.75

$2,829

$56,575

District of Columbia

$7.99

$2,916

$58,327

Michigan

$8.00

$2,920

$58,400

Arizona

$8.05

$2,938

$58,765

Minnesota

$8.10

$2,957

$59,130

New Jersey

$8.20

$2,993

$59,860

Wisconsin

$8.82

$3,219

$64,386

Rhode Island

$8.95

$3,267

$65,335

Washington

$9.30

$3,395

$67,890

Connecticut

$9.52

$3,475

$69,496

Hawaii

$9.55

$3,486

$69,715

Vermont

$9.62

$3,511

$70,226

Alaska

$9.79

$3,573

$71,467

Massachusetts

$9.95

$3,632

$72,635

Illinois

$11.50

$4,198

$83,950

New York

$12.85

$4,690

$93,805

Images Money Httpswwwflickrcomphotos

Source: TaxRebate.org.uk.

That'll be $165,602 for that pack of smokes
Based on the numbers above, even in Virginia, where cigarettes are cheapest, a pack-a-day smoker would fork over nearly $2,000 per year. If they smoke at the same rate for the next 20 years and the price of cigarettes doesn't change, they will have given up more than $38,000. Someone doing the same in New York would fork over a 20-year total of $93,805. Of course, the price of cigarettes will rise over time, so these numbers will likely be far larger, as they will be for those who smoke more than a pack a day.

Clearly there's a lot you could do with such big sums of money, right? Especially once you're facing retirement and finding that Social Security isn't exactly paying you a lot each month. Let's employ some fancier math now to see what smokers are giving up. For the purpose of this example, let's say you live in Michigan and smoke a pack a day -- roughly $3,000 worth of cigarettes each year. Using the retirement calculator at Bankrate.com, we can see that if you invested that $3,000 each year for 20 years and earned the stock market's average annual return of 10%, you'd have a nice little nest egg (or addition to your nest egg) of $165,602. That's enough to provide more than $400 in monthly income in 30 years of retirement, accounting for inflation. Someone in Massachusetts, where a pack costs nearly $10 on average, would accumulate almost $200,000 in 20 years by forgoing the smokes.

Images

Source: Flickr user Morgan.

There are other costs associated with smoking that you should consider, too. You may not have thought of all of them. Smoking is clearly harmful to your health, for starters, and is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. Those who smoke tend to live 10 fewer years than non-smokers -- so you're most likely literally losing years of life by smoking, not to mention the retirement funds that you could have spent in those years.

There are costs to society, too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note  that tobacco use costs the United States "more than $289 billion a year, including at least $133 billion in direct medical care for adults and more than $156 billion in lost productivity."

But what really matters to most of us is the small picture, not the big one. Quitting smoking is notoriously hard, but also extremely worthwhile, as it will likely have you gaining thousands of dollars and years of life to enjoy. So if you smoke, give some thought to how quitting can turbocharge your crucial retirement savings.

Beyond quitting smoking, here's how to get even more income in retirement
Social Security plays a key role in your financial security, but it's not the only way to boost your retirement income. In our brand-new free report, our retirement experts give their insight on a simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule that can help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

Longtime Fool specialist Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.