Smoking & Drinking Could Cost You Millions of Dollars



Even though many of us know the health risks of consuming too much alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or indulging in foods that are considered bad for us, sometimes such knowledge doesn’t have an impact on a person’s perspective. Now, what if we were to tell you that embracing all three habits could cost you millions of dollars down the road? Would that make you change your ways?

According to a study commissioned by the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF), men who like to drink, puff and eat poorly could essentially be throwing money out the window.

To get to this determination, the CMHF enlisted the services of researchers at H. Krueger & Associates. After collecting population data from across Canada – as well as information regarding the pricing of alcohol, cigarettes and insurance premiums – the firm came to some intriguing conclusions.

For the sake of this study – and to certainly drive some major points home – three prototypes were created: Low-Risk Joe, Medium-Risk Joe and High-Risk Joe.

High-Risk Joe is viewed as someone who is six-feet tall, 331lbs, has a BMI of 45 and goes through 40 cigarettes and five alcoholic beverages per day. This fella could save $1.1 million in his lifetime by giving up those bad habits and subsequently avoid the high life insurance premiums that come along with such behaviour. What’s even more interesting is that curbing this behaviour could theoretically cost this type of person $8.6 million.

How’s that possible, you ask?

Well, researchers note that if High-Risk Joe avoided spending obscene amounts of money on these bad habits and instead invested his money wisely between the ages of 30 and 75, he could’ve potentially earned $8.6 million.


For comparisons sake, Medium-Risk Joe (six-feet tall, 295lbs, BMI of 40) along with his 20 cigarettes and three alcoholic beverages a day routine, could’ve saved $628,000 throughout his lifetime, with an investment potential of $3.2 million.

As for Low-Risk Joe (six-feet tall, 258lbs, BMI of 35), who smokes five cigarettes a day and drinks one alcoholic beverage, he could’ve put aside an extra $275,000 in savings and potentially earned $1.7 million had he invested wisely.

Money sure doesn’t grow on trees, but it can grow elsewhere if you’re willing to think very carefully about what you put into your body.

-Adam Grant