Is Vaping Cheaper Than Smoking?

Is Vaping Cheaper Than Smoking?

September 27, 2023

Everyone knows smoking is expensive – that’s one of the selling points of quitting. But if you want to find a suitable alternative, like vaping or using nicotine replacement products, are either of these cheaper than smoking?

Weighing up the cost advantages of vaping compared to smoking can be an integral part of deciding to switch and quit smoking for good.

Read on to find out the actual cost of vaping compared to smoking, as well as if it's cheaper to smoke or vape in the UK.

How Much Does Smoking Cost?

There’s no doubt that smoking hits your wallet, and it’s a manageable cost to quantify. With a bit of time and a calculator, you can work out how many packets you smoke each week and do the Maths. 

However, smoking brings many medical problems, so there’s a larger cost to your health and the NHS. That’s less easy to quantify, although a government report puts this at a staggering £2.5 billion for smoking-related diseases.

How Much Does a Pack of Cigarettes Cost?

The average cost of a packet of cigarettes in the UK is £12, but, as any smoker will tell you, there’s a wide variety of prices out there.

The UK imposes tax on tobacco products, which is sometimes responsible for price hikes and explains the difference between the cost of cigarettes in the UK and Europe. However, the picture’s a bit more complicated than that.

Tobacco companies often protect smokers from the full impact of price rises due to government-imposed taxes by deliberately keeping costs low and sustaining their profits by increasing prices on other, more valuable products.

Some experts claim that introducing a maximum price cap for a packet of cigarettes would end the tobacco producers’ manipulation of prices and cut smoking rates.

How Much Will You Spend in a Year on Cigarettes?

Do the Maths! On a UK-wide average of twenty a day, the weekly cost is £84. Fifty-two weeks in the year is an annual dent in your wallet of £4,368. Ouch!

How Much Does Vaping Cost?

Everyone reckons that vaping is cheaper than smoking, but it’s harder to work out exactly how much vaping costs. Indeed, it’s not as simple as checking out the price of a pack of cigarettes.

The actual cost of vaping varies from person to person and depends (like smoking) on how often you vape. However, unlike cigarette smoking, this depends on your device type and how you inhale. These are all relevant factors to cost.

There are also the preferred e-liquids with their flavour and quality, which can be a real variable, as well as initial start-up costs with vaping that cigarette smokers don’t have to worry about.

The easiest way to compare the relatively fixed cost of cigarette smoking with the more variable pricing for vaping is to match an individual’s vaping use to how they used to smoke.

What Are the Costs Involved in Vaping?

Starter Kits

Starter kits vary from around £10 to nearly £40, depending on the brand. All you need to do is replenish the liquids to suit your tastes!

While you can pay more - around £100 - these devices generally pack more of a punch.

Vape Devices

Vape devices are pre-loaded with different flavours and often retail for under £50. They’re economical for people who don’t vape regularly or handy when you’re out and about.


E-liquids or e-juices vary hugely in quality and type, with countless flavour profiles.

E-liquids come in two essential types: VG (Vegetable Glycerin) and PG (Propylene Glycol). VG is more expensive than PG and produces more clouds but burns more quickly. Many e-juices contain a mixture of PG and VG expressed as a ratio of the product.

E-juices cost, on average, £4-£5 per bottle, usually 10ml. Buying value multi-packs makes the cost per unit much cheaper.


Coils must be changed regularly as they have a life and will gradually burn out, affecting the vape's taste.

A pack of three coils costs between £3-£4, and how often you need to replenish your stock depends on your device and how much you vape.

How Much Cheaper Is Vaping Than Smoking?

If you use a vape device like a cigarette, it’s easy to compare a 10ml bottle of e-liquid that lasts around a week with 140 cigarettes at twenty a day. 

That’s £84 for cigarettes against £7.50 for e-liquid, so vaping is considerably cheaper.

Vaping is significantly cheaper than smoking every week, but only when you’ve bought all the necessary equipment. Likewise, some of those products will need replacing. 

However, you should soon cover those initial costs with the savings you make every week because cigarette smoking is that much more expensive than vaping.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Cheaper to Vape or Smoke in the UK?

It’s cheaper to vape because, even with the start-up costs, the weekly savings are so significant that you’ll start saving money as soon as day four as a vaper.

It doesn’t help that the UK has some of the most expensive cigarettes in the world; this increases the price gap between vaping and smoking even more.

Final Thoughts

Health is the number one reason cited for a switch from smoking to vaping. However, the cost is a factor, and even if you’re a regular vaper and like expensive e-liquids, it’s still cheaper than smoking in the UK.

Sensible purchasing means you can slash your vape costs by buying in bulk or taking advantage of special offers. Never go down market and buy imported e-juices or other vape products that may not be safe.

Instead, explore RELX’s collections for a comprehensive selection of vape devices, pods, and accessories.

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