It’s no secret that smoking cigarettes can cost your health. But it also burns a massive hole in your hip pocket.
Quitting or never starting smoking are the best options. But for those who continue to smoke, there are now more smoke-free alternatives than ever. The Hold My Light website has innovative ways to help quit smoking.
In the UK the average smoker has about 10 cigarettes a day, according to data from the NHS.
So, if the average packet of 20 cigarettes costs about £11 (US$14.60), that means they’re spending about £38.50 ($51.60) a week on smoking cigarettes.
That equals £165 ($218.20) a month and a whopping £2007.50 ($2,655) a year. Imagine all the groovy things you could buy with that kind of money.
There are plenty of ways to quit smoking cigarettes which are highlighted in the Hold My Light campaign. One important trick to beating your cigarette habit is to replace your ‘reward’ of having a cigarette with something else.
We’ve put together some of the coolest, queerest ways you could spend the extra money you’re now saving after quitting smoking cigarettes.
1. Subscription to Netflix, Amazon AND Now TV
With the money saved from stopping smoking cigarettes, you can get premium access to the UK’s three most popular streaming services. For £34.96 per month you could spend hours bingeing your favorite shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime and NOW TV. What a way to distract yourself from cigarette cravings.
2. Sexy lingerie for trans women
Model Carmen Liu just launched the world’s first lingerie line for trans women called the GI Collection. A sexy set of knickers and bra costs between £40 and £50. The all-important tucking tape is £10.
3. Get potted
Invest in some air purifying pot plants for your home or office. Not only do they look good, but they will detox the air, which you’ll need after years of smoking cigarettes. Patch Plants sell pot plants starting from £6 but have a package of nine of their best air-purifying plants with pots for £368.
4. Start PrEP
PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) is a proven HIV preventative medication. It’s not subsidized on the NHS but you can import generic PrEP from the website PrEPerly. A three-month course costs £89 ($119).
5. Go on the Golden Girls themed cruise – twice
The Golden Girls at Sea, will take Golden Girls mega-fans from Miami to several places around Florida and the Caribbean Sea. Miami, of course, is where Rose, Blanche, Dorothy and Sophia lived.
Setting sail on 24 February 2020, the cruise costs £755.87 ($1000) for a standard cabin or $1200 for a deluxe cabin. Both include an unlimited drinks package.
6. Cute Pride outfit
Pride season is right around the corner and we know that it’s better to have your outfits organized months in advance. Not only will you be able to buy multiple cute pride outfits but, you can also show off your healthy skin now that you’ve quit cigarettes. The Rainbow Romper from getonfleek is £60.33 ($80) and ASOS’ high waisted rainbow shorts will set you back £17 ($22.55).
7. Rescue a dog or a cat
Sure, taking on a pet is huge responsibility, but at least you’ll be able to afford it once you quit smoking cigarettes. According to a study by Sainsbury’s Insurance the annual cost of a dog is about £1,183 and £1,028 for a cat. Battersea in London is probably the world’s most famous dog and cat refuge. It costs £135 to rehome a dog (£165 for a puppy) and £75 to rehome a cat (£85 for a kitten). By rescuing a pet, you’re not only saving their lives but also will bring a loving companion into your home.
8. Dinner at a Michelin star restaurant
There’s nothing quite like dining out at a fancy restaurant and what better way to spend your new found riches than on a posh meal. Chef Alain Ducasse holds 21 Michelin stars. A tasting menu at his three Michelin starred restaurant, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester will cost you £145.
9. Chest binder
Chest binders are a necessary daily step in dressing for trans men and non-binary people. gc2b is a trans-owned company based whose founder makes accessible, comfortable, and safe binding options designed by trans people, for trans people. Although costs vary, a classic gc2b binder starts at £30.
Phillip Morris International is a client of Gay Star News.