“Is vaping expensive” is quite probably the question we get asked more than any other. So if you’ve ever found yourself wondering about the cost of vaping, believe me you’re not alone. It’s a topic we’ve given a lot of thought to, especially from the perspective of a smoker looking to save money and switch to vaping.
In fact, the cost of vaping was my main concern when I first started years ago. With the price of cigarettes skyrocketing, I wanted to know exactly how much money you save if you switch to vaping.
Vaping can be significantly less expensive than smoking, especially over the long term. The initial cost of the vaping device and e-liquid could be expensive depending on the set-up you choose. However, once you’ve purchased these items the only additional cost is replacing your e-liquid and coils.
So it’s fair to say that vaping is better for your bank balance (and your health!) but the exact amount you’re likely to save if making the switch from smoking to vaping depends on a number of variables. How often you vape, the device you use and the e-liquid you vape are all factors that have to be taken into consideration when calculating the cost.
It’s easy to get ‘addicted’ to buying the latest vaping mods and trying every premium e-juice brand you can get your hands on!
There is also a major caveat that will significantly affect the cost of vaping which we’ll cover in depth throughout this post.
So without further ado, let’s get stuck in!
Is Vaping Expensive? The Bottom Line…
At the time of writing this post, the average cost per packet of 20 cigarettes is approximately £12.50 ($15.40) in the UK according to the Office for National Statistics.
With a bit of simple math, we can work out a 20-a-day smoking habit will set you back £4,562.50 ($5,619.40) every single year.
So is vaping expensive compared to smoking? In order to compare the cost of smoking to the cost of vaping, we need to look at exactly what you need to buy to get started…
Please note; I’ve provided all cost figures at the current price in the United Kingdom AND the equivalent in dollars based on the exchange rate at the time. The figures may vary depending on your Country so be sure to shop around for the best price you can find!
The vaping mod or ‘e-cigarette’
For the actual vape device, prices range from as little as £15 to over £100 ($18 – $125) depending on the device you buy.
Your options are almost endless at this stage. Box mods, pen style vapes, pod devices, the list goes on and on. You can also buy a ‘starter kit’ which includes everything you need to get you started and these are often pretty reasonably priced.
Pod system devices are extremely popular at the moment and for good reason. They’re cheap to buy, easy to use and often mimic the style/feel of a cigarette.
But let’s say you want a reliable vaping mod, with plenty of features and a bit more ‘oomph’ but easy to use and won’t break the bank… The Innokin Adept is a great device I’d recommend (I own three!) and ideal for a beginner OR more experienced vaper.
Upfront cost total £19.99 ($24.62)
You need a tank, which houses your e-juice, coil and wick and connects to your vape mod. Again there are plenty of options here, ranging from standard tanks ideal for beginners to sub-ohm tanks, rebuildable atomizers and drippers for cloud and flavor chasers!
Prices range drastically depending on the variation and style you opt for, but £20 ($25) is about average for a decent tank.
My favourite tank at the moment is the Innokin Zlide which I’ve been using as my all-day-driver for almost a year. You can pick the Zlide up for around £16.99 ($20.93) at the time of writing and it’s a great tank with pre-built stock coils, excellent vapor and outstanding flavor!
Shop around and decide what would work best for you. If you get stuck at any point, feel free to get in touch and we’d be happy to help. We also have a beginners guide to vaping which you might find helpful.
Upfront cost total £36.98 ($45.55)
With a gazillion different e-juice brands and flavors out there, we’re spoilt for choice. Generally speaking, e-juice will be a mixture of PG, VG, flavor concentrate and nicotine at various strengths.
As with any other product, you can find cheap e-juice deals online BUT keep in mind the lower the price, the lower the quality in my experience.
On average, a 10ml bottle of standard e-juice will set you back between £3.00 – £5.00 ($3.69 – $6.16). This doesn’t include premium e-juice of course, which is often far more expensive.
Upfront cost total £41.98 ($51.70)
The only caveat to the above running total so far is the battery. The mod I recommended above has an internal battery and therefore you won’t need to buy the battery separately. But if you choose a mod powered by external 18650 batteries, you’ll need to pick up a set of these at around £6 ($7.31) per battery and a good quality 18650 battery charger.
However, as you can see it’s easy to pick up a decent vaping set-up for less than £50 ($62).
How much does vaping cost a year? Is it cheaper than smoking?
Let’s take that upfront cost we worked out above and calculate exactly how much vaping will cost you per year.
Let’s assume you’re a moderate vaper and get through around 20ml of e-juice a week. Now before you hardcore vape fiends jump down my throat, I know it’s possible to get through significantly more e-juice than 20ml per week.
BUT for those looking to simulate a cigarette, with a MTL preference and sensible wattage output, 20ml is easily feasible and it’s roughly what I get through in an average week.
You can find plenty of e-juice deals if you shop around and it’s often cheaper to buy in bulk, BUT let’s calculate cost based on the worst case scenario of £10 ($12.32) for 20ml of e-juice per week.
This gives us a total cost for e-juice of £520 ($640.46) per year.
Next let’s look at the cost of coils, which typically cost around £12 ($14.78) for a pack of five. Again we’re going to work on the worst case scenario and ignore any discounts or deals when calculating the cost.
Just keep in mind the actual cost is likely to be much lower if you spend a bit of time shopping around for the best deal you can find OR buying in bulk.
If you change your coil every week (which is far more often than you’re likely to change your coil!) then you’re going to need 52 coils a year. At £12 ($14.78) for a pack of five, you’d need 11 packs per year (rounded up) at a total cost for replacement coils of £132 ($162.58) per year.
So if we take the upfront cost total of £41.98 ($51.70) and combine it with the yearly cost total of £652 ($803.04) that gives us a total cost for your first year of vaping of £693.98 ($854.62)!
And that’s a worst case scenario in terms of your e-juice, coil usage and price point…
Just to recap, a smoking habit of 20-a-day will set you back approximately £4,562.50 ($5,619.52) so the difference is staggering!
The only assumption we’ve made is that you bought (and stuck with!) one vaping mod and one vaping tank. I’ve got devices and tanks that have lasted me several years, so it is completely feasible to stick with one set-up provided you take good care of it.
So will vaping save you money?
Switching from smoking to vaping could potentially result in savings of up to thousands a year. The average cost of a 20 per day smoking habit is approximately £4,562.50 ($5,619.52) per year. In contrast, a moderate vaper may spend on average £693.98 ($854.74) per year, depending on the vaping device used, vaping frequency and choice of e-juice.
The major caveat to this saving that I mentioned earlier is the disposable vape market. A disposable vape is typically far more expensive and the cost can mount up significantly if you’re vaping heavily.
Your average disposable will last approximately 600 puffs and set you back anywhere from £5 to £10 ($6.16 – $12.32) per disposable. I generally get through a disposable in about a day and a half, so it’s easy to see how the cost can rack up quickly!
However, overall I think a strong argument can be made in favor of vaping as a far cheaper alternative to smoking.
Although it is certainly possible to spend a small fortune on the latest vaping gear and premium e-liquid, it’s also possible to keep the cost of vaping to an absolute minimum if you’re sticking to a budget.
How can I lower the cost of vaping?
Although vaping is significantly cheaper than smoking, you can reduce the cost of vaping even further IF you follow a few simple principles:
Do your research and buy a vape mod that suits your needs
It’s all too easy to buy a new mod every time you see something you like. OR a mod you like vaping at home, a mod you feel comfortable taking to work, a mod you prefer for flavor output, a mod you prefer for vapor output and on and on…
The trick here is to work out what you want from your vaping mod and buy something that covers all the bases.
Find a small handful of e-juice flavors you love
This is a topic we could spend hours writing about…
There are those of us that love buying every brand and flavor of e-juice we can get our hands on. One member of the team here (you know who you are!) has several cupboards full of every flavor and brand of e-juice you can imagine.
While there’s nothing wrong with experimenting and finding flavors you love, excessively buying e-juice (especially premium juice!) will certainly lighten your wallet.
It’s far cheaper to find a flavor you like and buy a shortfall bottle, which typically range from £15 – £25 ($18.28 – $30.47) for 60ml to 120ml, as opposed to £3 – £5 ($3.66 – $6.09) for a 10ml bottle.
Mix your own e-liquid
One potential solution to the cost of buying e-liquid is to mix your own e-juice! It’s far cheaper to buy PG, VG and flavoring to mix large batches of your favorite flavors than it is to buy pre-made e-juice.
It’s also a lot more fun!
Build your own coils
One option to look at if you’re looking to keep the cost of vaping as low as possible, is to choose a tank with a rebuildable deck. We can show you exactly how to build your own coils and you can cut out the cost of replacing pre-built coils every time you burn through your coil.
Vape in moderation
It should go without saying but the more often you vape, the quicker you wear out your coil and burn through your e-juice.
The biggest game-changer for me was vaping only as often as I would have smoked. This is important but not at all easy to follow, so it bears spending a bit of time thinking about.
I never smoked inside the house and never around the kids. With vaping, it’s easy to get carried away and vape in bed, or vape while watching TV, even on the loo! If you want to keep the cost of vaping down, try to avoid having your vape in the room with you.
By vaping less, you burn through much less e-juice and your coil will last longer.
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Featured & Additional Images Source: Vaping360