(TORONTO, ON) – As Canadians across the country participate in National Non-Smoking Week (January 20 -25th), Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada advises consumers that butting out can save a lot more than your health.
According to the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, approximately 16 per cent of Canadians (4.6 million) identify as regular smokers, with the average smoking 15 cigarettes per day.
As the average cost of a pack of cigarettes costs approximately $11.79, most Canadian smokers are spending over $2,500 a year to put their lives at risk.
What is interesting to Consolidated Credit is that the same percentage of Canadians (16%) identified debt reduction as their top financial priority for 2014.
“One of the easiest ways for Canadian consumers to reduce debt is to butt out,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit. “One of the first questions we ask a client is if they smoke. Cutting back or quitting altogether can increase a consumer’s cash flow by as much as $200 to $300 a month.”
And that can go a long way towards reducing debt.
“Our job as credit counsellors is to help Canadians build a healthy financial future. Quitting smoking can help consumers achieve that goal – not only through the immediate savings, but also through reduced life insurance premiums, a longer life span and reduced health issues caused by smoking,” adds Schwartz.
If you are a smoker who is trying butt out and get your finances back on track, Consolidated Credit encourages you to reach out and ask for help. Take advantage of the programs offered by Health Canada, and learn to budget your new found cash flow.