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Smoking expenditure in Great Britain

The following research conducted by Nicotinell, gives an insight into how much money is spent on smoking across Great Britain each year by those who have picked up the habit.

Smoking expenditure in Great Britain

"The basis for the research comes from the fact that the average daily cigarette consumption for men across Great Britain sat at 12 cigarettes in 2016."

The following research conducted by Nicotinell, a company which can help people when they have ambitions of quitting smoking, has provided insight on how much smoking costs across Great Britain by those who have taken up the habit…

Understanding where the research came from

According to the Adult Smoking Habits in the UK: 2016 report put together by the Office for National Statistics. This figure sat at 11 cigarettes a day for women. Over a year, these figures work out at 4,380 cigarettes for men and 4,015 cigarettes for women.

The next step of this research was to select the leading cigarette brands by sales value across the UK in 2016. These brands, as discovered by Statista, are as follows:

1.       Sterling — £1.51 billion

2.       Mayfair — £1.05 billion

3.       Lambert & Butler — £788 million

4.       Marlboro — £782 million

5.       Richmond — £724 million

7.       John Player Special — £677 million

8.       Carlton — £541 million

9.       Silk Cut — £504 million

10.   Windsor — £462 million*

*Players were the UK’s sixth leading cigarette brand. However, they have not been included in this research, due to the data for this brand being unavailable on mysupermarket.co.uk.

From this information, the most popular 20-pack box of cigarettes from each of the cigarette brands were selected and then the mean value of the price charged at the four largest supermarket chains across the UK was calculated. The supermarkets selected were those with the highest market share according to Kantar Worldpanel, which are as follows:

1.       Tesco — 27.8%

2.       Sainsbury’s — 15.8%

3.       Asda — 15.3%

4.       Morrisons — 10.4%

When it comes to the most popular 20-pack box of cigarettes for each cigarette brand and their mean value, these were priced and charted in terms of popularity according to mysupermarket.co.uk as of November 1st 2017. The results can be seen below:

  •          Sterling Dual King Size — £8.24
  •          Mayfair White King Size — £8.89
  •          Lambert & Butler Original Silver King Size — £8.89
  •          Marlboro Gold King Size — £10.36
  •          Richmond Bright Blue Superkings — £8.89
  •          John Player Special Bright Blue Superkings — £7.35
  •          Carlton Superkings Red — £7.35
  •          Silk Cut King Size Silver — £10.66
  •          Windsor Blue JPS Superking Green — £7.89

With all of the above data gathered, the expected amount of money spent by the average male and female smoker in Great Britain on cigarettes per year can be calculated.

The true annual costs of the average British smoker on cigarettes

Cigarette product

Avg. expenditure by men per year**

Avg. expenditure by women per year**

Sterling Dual King Size



Mayfair White King Size



Lambert & Butler Original Silver King Size



Marlboro Gold King Size



Richmond Bright Blue Superkings



John Player Special Bright Blue Superkings



Carlton Superkings Red



Silk Cut King Size Silver



Windsor Blue JPS Superking Green



Avg. expenditure across all products researched




**The average expenditure has been worked out per the cost of a 20-pack of each cigarette product, under the assumption that they will need to purchase a new pack even if their average yearly expenditure doesn’t calculate to a sum of 20. For example, if a smoker has 42 cigarettes per year, they would need to purchase 3 x 20 packs of cigarettes.

How these costs compare to popular purchases

To truly understand the high costs of smoking identified in the aforementioned table, here’s how much some popular purchases cost in comparison:

  •          A 49-inch Sony Bravia KD49XE9005 LED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart Android TV can be purchased new from John Lewis for £1,199.
  •          A PS4 Pro 1TB, an Xbox One X and a Nintendo Switch can be purchased new from GAME for a total of £1,069.97 for all three consoles.
  •          A summer holiday for a family of four costs an average of £1,212, according to research from Asda Money, with this figure including flights, accommodation, food, clothes, phone data, and activities.
  •          The average Brit spends £1,042 a year on clothes, according to the Great British Wardrobe Report commissioned by Ariel.
  •          The average British household spends £753 on Christmas festivities, according to research carried out by Gocompare.com Money, with this figure including the costs to buy presents for friends and family, food and drink for the big day, partying and all of the festive decorations — including the Christmas tree.