Are Electronic Cigarettes Actually Cheaper?

Of course everything in life seems to be getting more and more expensive, especially the ‘luxury’ items such as electronic cigarettes!  Life is stressful, and many people opt for some sort of ‘outlet’ to cope or rather make the day more enjoyable.

Some people like to have a beverage or two to wind down.  Other people like to go the casino for a few hours to see if they can win a few dollars, and millions of people look to smoking as a method of calming themselves or giving them the psychosomatic energy they need to get things done.

It really does matter why because people do it.

So Are Electronic Cigarettes Cheaper than the Traditional Tobacco Ones?


Well, the majority of the time anyway.  E-cigs are usually less expensive than an equal amount of ‘real’ or tobacco filled cigarettes.

How much you save can be determined by:

  • Which brand you smoke
  • Whether you manually fill the cartridge or buy pre-filled ones

Let’s Look at a Short Term Comparison of Price

On average you are going to spend about one dollar for every pre-filled replacement cartridge; that’s pretty standard.  Of course this is dependent on your personal preferences because you can always get fancier or go more basic.  Never forget this!

Some manufacturers claim their cartridges will last about as long as six traditional tobacco cigarettes.  Most experienced ‘mechanical’ smokers find this to be a consistently correct number.

What Do You Need to Do First?

Well you need to buy the start kit of course.  It costs just under $60.

So What’s in an e-cig Starter Kit?

Well they can vary slightly, but you’ll find this is general:

  • Two batteries
  • Charging pack
  • Carrying case
  • One atomizer
  • USB charger
  • Wall charger
  • 25 cartridges

So let’s get on our math caps!

Assuming each cartridge will be the equivalent of about six tobacco cigarettes, this means 25 will last you as long as 150 cigarettes.  With a grand total of $59.95 cents so far!

So How Much Does a Tobacco Cigarette Cost?

Well 100 traditional cigarettes is about seven and a half packs. They cost about $5 per pack.  Already this would ding you at almost $40.

This is assuming, of course, that you buy the separate packs and not the cartons because the cartons would make them a little bit cheaper.


So far the tobacco cigarettes are ahead of the starter kit for e-cigs.


Let’s see what happens when we move forward on this.

  • You would expect the starter kit to set you back a little.  The real savings start after you’ve purchase the starter kit.

Realistic Scenario

Let’s assume that you puff about a pack a day, which means you’ll burn through about 150 cigarettes in just under eight days, right? So we will have to purchase more e-cigarette cartridges or more regular packs.

Let’s take a minute or two to have a gander at that.

Put your math cap back on!

Let’s go with the 25 cartridges for $25 for the mechanical smokes.  This is going to make it easier to understand and calculate.  If you do the same with ‘old-fashioned’ cigarettes you are going to be spending and extra $12.50.

Good News…

You can see that the longer you stick with the program, the more money you are going to save when using the e-cigarette option.

Time is less money in this scenario.

So How about Looking Longer-Term

The smart thing to do, whether you are enjoying traditional or electronic cigarettes, is to buy bulk.  Bulk saves you money!

Let’s assume you are going to purchase for the next year.


So with this option you are stocking up for a full year.  The kit will cost just under $60.  Now we can add a 100 box of cartridges and that will cost about $80.  For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume that will last about 30 days.

This said, we’ll have to get 11 more of these 100 cartridge packs to last the year.

The damage for this = $880.

Starter Kit ($59.95) + $960 for cartridge boxes EQUALS $1,019.95. Yikes!

Don’t forget battery and atomizer replacements.  They are usually pretty good but will likely cost you about another $50 a year to be safe.

So your new total for the year or e-cigarette smoking is $1,079.65!

Traditional Cigarettes

A carton costs about $45.  And a carton has ten packs of smokes just so you know.

So we’ll need to multiply $45 times 36 cartons and we get a grand total of…

$1,620 for a year of tobacco smoking!

So the long and the short of it is:

  • If you are a regular smoker and going long-term, e-cigarettes are going to save you a bundle.
  • If you just smoke on occasion and it would take about a month to get through one pack of cigarettes, then it may not be cheaper to smoke mechanically.
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One Response to Are Electronic Cigarettes Actually Cheaper?

  1. Vapegrl says:

    I save over $2,000 per year using electronic cigarettes because cigarettes are incredibly expensive where I live. The state government has already tried taxing e-cigs at the same rate as tobacco, though, so I imagine the cost savings will eventually go away.

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