Cost of smoking

Welcome to our briefing on the cost of smoking. Find out how much it costs to smoke below.

How much do people smoke?

  • In Scotland, people who smoke use an average of 11.4 cigarettes a day. This figure has steadily declined over the years. The average in 2003 was 15.3 cigarettes a day.  
  • People from the most deprived areas who smoke use 13 cigarettes per day on average, compared to 10 cigarettes by those in the least deprived areas. 
  • People with mental health issues or physical disabilities smoke more than those without.
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The price of an average packet of 20 cigarettes was £15.26 in January 2024.

Prices for the most expensive brands of packets of 20 cigarettes were between £17.35 - £17.55.

The average price for 30g of rolling tobacco is £20.55 (approximately 50 cigarettes).

Price of a packet of the cheapest brands of 20 cigarettes at common supermarkets (June 2024)

ASDA

£11.20

Sainsbury's

£11.20

Morrisons

£11.20

Tesco

£11.15

Tobacco product Cost per cigarette Cost per year (smoking average amount of cigarettes) Cost per year if smoking one pack a day (20 cigarettes)
The average packet of cheapest brand cigarettes in supermarkets costs £11.19£0.56£2,450£4,083
The average pack of 20 cigarettes costs £15.26£0.76£3,341£5,569
The average cost for 30g of rolling tobacco is £20.55 (approx 50 cigarettes)£0.41£1,799£2,999
A packet of 20 illicit cigarettes costs £7.63£0.38£1,670£2,785
30g of illicit rolling tobacco costs £9.13 (approx 50 cigarettes)£0.21£899£1,499
The average cost of pre-rolled cigarettes, taking in to account the market share of duty paid (91%) and illicit (9%)£0.73£3,191£5,319
The average cost of rolling tobacco, taking in to account the market share of duty paid (66%) and illicit (34%)£0.34£1,493£2,489
The average cost of cigarettes, taking in to account the proportion of people smoking pre-rolled and rolling tobacco£0.51£2,223£3,706

In 2023, households in the lowest income group quintile were projected to spend nearly 30% of their income on tobacco, compared to 3.4% in the highest quintile.

Inequalities (8)
Cost of smoking website (1)

Since 2016, loose tobacco for hand-rolling cigarettes has been more commonly used than pre-rolled cigarette. 57% of tobacco users smoke hand-rolled cigarettes and 43% pre-rolled cigarettes.

In 2021/22, according to figures from HMRC, an estimated 11%, or £1.2 billion of the pre-rolled cigarette market was illicit, and 33.5%, or £1 billion, of the hand-rolling tobacco market was illicit.

Cost of smoking website (2)

You can easily calculate the cost of smoking and potential saving when you quit through the NHS Inform smoking calculator

Read our report about the effect smoking has on personal finances and poverty in Scotland

You can download a pdf file of the 'How much does it cost to smoke?' factsheet.

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