Why are we addicted when cigarettes are so expensive?

Cigarette prices are set rise by two percent, making the average pack over £10, following the release of the Budget by the Chancellor.

Duty costs are also set to effect hand rolling tobacco and white ciders.

Despite the ever rising cost of tobacco and increased public health warnings, around one in five adults in the UK remain regular smokers.

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So imagine spending £550 a year on an addiction. Just five cigarettes a day totals to that amount.

If smokers saved all they would have spent on smoking, they could have a nest egg of anything up to the equivalent of the average weekly wage.

So why, as a society, do we continue to smoke?

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Well the fact is that once you start, it is difficult to stop.

When smoking, nicotine is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream and within seconds, it reaches your brain. This causes a release of adrenaline, creating a buzz of pleasure and energy. But this is only short lived- it leaves you feeling tired and down afterwards, which means you have to do it again.

Often Menthol filters and cigarettes are how smokers begin the habit. But many start young, due to peer pressure.

Alfie Beecher, a third year film student, told us he started smoking socially when he was 17: “I would do it only when I was with people at school… but I wouldn’t buy my own at the time and I wouldn’t smoke on my own, only with people around.”

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In terms of the process to quit, many smokers move to e-cigarettes in the hope that they will save some money but also be of less risk to their health.

A salesman from the off-license Bargain Booze on Bath Road said: “We get lots of sales of cigarettes but also e-cigarettes because people have been told it will give them the kick to quit, but as of yet there’s no concrete evidence to suggest that it is a better or safer way of smoking. They are cheaper and that is another reason people transfer to e-cigarettes.”

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