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vaping vs smoking cost

Is Vaping Cheaper than Smoking? How Much Does it Cost?



Vaping vs smoking is a topic of discussion throughout the world. One common subject is "how much does vaping cost?". 

If you’re making the step into vaping from smoking, you probably want to know if vaping is cheaper than smoking?

The quick and simple answer is that vaping can save you an estimated 92% if you smoke a pack per day.

But there will be many factors that can change this estimate. And in some cases cost more to vape than cigarette smoking.

If you want to know the juicy details and want help getting started, we can point you in the right direction!

How Much Does Vaping Cost?

How much does vaping cost? Yearly cost of vaping vs smoking


Depending on how much you vape during the day. Vaping can cost anywhere from $387 to $5082.50 per year. When compared to smoking, if for example, you smoke a pack a day, it can cost you $2087.8 to $5091.75 dollars per year.

Vaping in this scenario is cheaper than smoking, but in some cases, vaping can be more expensive than smoking.

This is because the cost of vaping depends on three main factors:

  1. The type of vape you buy
  2. The price of your e-juice
  3. Vape juice consumption

Let’s go through each factor and discuss how each factor contributes to the cost of vaping.

How Much Are Vapes?

How much are vapes? Average cost of vapes

In the vaping world, vaping devices are called vapes and are also referred to as E-cigarettes.

So, how much does a vape cost?

There are 4 different types of vapes out there currently, and these are the average range of prices for the following type of devices.

Cig-a-likes $ 5 - 60 (Including starter kit prices)
Pod Mods $ 10- 50 (Including starter kit prices)
Vape Pens $ 15 - 50
Vape Mods (Box Mods) $ 30 - 100+ (Including Starter Kit Prices)

The initial cost of buying a vaping device will be higher than buying a pack of smokes. Think of your first vape as an investment.

How Much Is Vape Juice?

How much  is vape juice? Average price of e-juices on the market

Vape juice is also referred to as e-juice or e-liquid in the vaping world. Vape juice contains 4 main ingredients: PG, VG, Flavorings, and Nicotine.

There are two different kinds of e-juices:

  1. Regular E-juice (Freebase Nicotine)
  2. Nicotine Salts E-juice (Used in Pod Mods aka Low wattage devices due to high nicotine strength, e.g., 25 mg - 50 mg)

So, how much does vape juice cost?

On average, the prices are dependent on the size of an e-juice bottle and quality of e-juice. Listed below are the average cost of vape juice on the market.

Cig-A-like Pre-filled Cartridge $ 1.7- 2 per replacement cartridge
Full Disposable E-cigarettes $ 6 - 10 dollars per e-cigarette (Not recommended)
Pre-filled Nicotine Salt Pods $ 3-5 per pod
Nic Salt E-liquid 30 ml = $ 15 - 20
Regular E-juice 60 ml = $10 - 25
Regular E-juice 120 ml $15 - 35

Let’s get into the third factor: average e-liquid consumption per day.

What is the Average e-juice consumption per day?

Average ejuice consumption per day

The monthly cost of vaping will depend on your vape juice consumption. Depending on the device and e-liquid you use, your e-liquid consumption will vary.

What increases ejuice consumption?

Vape juice consumption affects how often ejuice you buy as well as the maintenance costs of your device. The more you e-liquid you consume, you will have to purchase coils more frequently.

We have split the levels of e-juice consumption in ml per day as well as separating into the two different kinds of vape juices: regular nic vs nic salts.

Average Regular E-juice (Freebase Nicotine) Consumption

In a study done in 2014, most vapers vaped 2-6 ml per day.

In the numbers below, we did not account for nicotine levels used in e-juices, and thus, we used liberal numbers that would be equivalent to or more than smoking a pack a day.

Read our how to choose the right nicotine level article if you would like to compare the smoking habits to vaping consumption.

Cig-a-likes 2 pre-filled cartridges per day
Low Vaping Usage  3-5 ml
How often will I replace coils? 1 coil every 3-4 weeks
Medium Vape Usage 5-10 ml
How often will I replace coils? 1 coil every two weeks
High Vape Usage 15-30 ml per day
How often will I replace coils? 1 coil per week

How Much Are Vape Coils?

Average Cost of coils: $ 2-5

Depending on your vaping consumption and the kind of e-juice you use, vape coils last anywhere from 1 - 4 weeks.  Vape coils just like vape juice will regularly be bought.

On average, regular vapers will use 1 coil every 2 weeks. For heavy usage, vapers will replace coils once a week.

Average Nicotine Salt E-juice Consumption

In the numbers below, we did not account for nicotine levels used in e-juices, and thus, we used liberal numbers that would be equivalent to or more than smoking a pack a day.  Medium vaping usage will be equal to smoking a pack a day based on anecdotal evidence.

Read our article on how to choose the right nicotine level if you would like to compare the smoking habits to vaping consumption.

Low Vaping Usage 0.2 - 0.5 ml
How often will I replace my pods/cartridges? Once every two weeks
Medium Vape Usage 0.7 - 1.0 ml
How often will I replace my pods/cartridges? Once a week
High Vape Usage 1.2 - 2 ml or higher
How often will I replace my pods/cartridges? Once every 4 days

How Much Do Replacement Pods Costs?

Average Cost of Replacement Open Pods: $ 4-5

Average Cost of Disposable Closed Pods: $ 3-5

For open pod systems, you may be replacing your pods/coils anywhere from once a week to once every 2-3 weeks.

How Much Does Vaping Cost Per Month?

How much does vaping cost per month?

The monthly cost of vaping depends on how often you buy e-juice bottles as well as how often you purchase replacement coils.

In the chart above, we used a low to high price range based on the cost of e-juices for each device.

To calculate these numbers, we looked at three factors:

  1. E-liquid Consumption
  2. Frequency of Replacement Purchases (Coils/Pods)
  3. Average price range of e-liquids

The cost of smoking based on AWL’s report in 2017, the lowest average price for a pack of cigarettes are $5.72 (Kentucky), and the highest average price of smoking cigarettes are $13.95 (New York).

Based on those numbers, the cost of smoking a pack of day per month can range from $174 to 424 whereas vaping can cost anywhere from $74 to 204 per month.

Monthly Cost of Vaping Cig-A-likes

Monthly cost of cig-a-like

The monthly cost of vaping cig-a-likes can range anywhere from $ 103 to 122.

  • Regular cig-a-like user can vape anywhere from 1 to 3 pre-filled cartridges per day. In the chart above, we used an average of 2 cartridges per day.     
  • When replacement cartridges are bought in bulk, it can range anywhere from $ 1.70 to 2.00 dollars per cartridge.

Compared to smoking cigarettes, vaping cig-a-likes at 2 cartridges per day can result in 30 to 76% savings.

Monthly Cost of Vaping Pod Mods

Monthly  cost of pod mods

Pod Mods use nicotine salts, and therefore, we used a different price range to calculate the monthly costs of vaping. There are also two different kinds of pod mods (Open vs Closed), and we calculated the costs differently as well.

The monthly cost of vaping nic salts in Open System Pod devices cost anywhere from $74 to $84.

  • The average price range for nicotine salt juice range anywhere from 15 to 30 dollars for 30 ml. That comes out to 0.50 to 0.6667 dollars per ml, respectively.
  • The nic salt consumption per day we used in our calculations was 2 ml per day.
  • The replacement costs for the refillable pods cost anywhere from 4-5 dollars. For the calculations above, we used 5 dollars per replacement cartridge and at twice a week.

When compared to the cost of smoking, vaping nic salts in open pod systems resulted in a 52 to 83 % in savings. Out of all the devices, an open pod system resulted in the most significant savings. Now, let’s take a look at closed pod systems.

The monthly cost of vaping closed pod systems ranges anywhere from $91 to 152.

  • The average price for each pod regardless of ml capacity ranges from 3 to 5 dollars.  
  • The amount of nic salt consumed in our calculations was a pod per day for heavy smokers.

The savings from vaping closed pods compared to smoking a pack a day was anywhere from 13 to 79% in savings.

From the analysis, open pod devices are much cheaper than vaping closed pod systems. However, both devices result in cost savings.

Monthly Cost of Vaping Sub-Ohm Devices (Vape Pens / Box Mods)

Monthly Cost of Sub-ohm device ( vape pens/Box mods)

The majority of the vaping devices on the market in 2018 are sub-ohm devices. Sub-ohm vapes such as vape pens and box mods use regular e-juices, and due to the higher wattages used, sub-ohm devices are known to be e-juice guzzlers.

The monthly cost of vaping sub-ohm devices ranges anywhere from $79 to 204.

  • The average price of vape juice ranges anywhere from $0.125/ml to $0.416667/ml.
  • We used 15 ml of e-juice per day in our calculations above. Well above the average e-juice consumption recorded in 2014 with an average of 2-6 ml per day.
  • We also used 1 replacement coil per week for the monthly cost of calculations in the chart above.

We have found that if you vaped 15 ml per day with a replacement coil each week and buying e-juice at 25 dollars for 60 ml, vaping will be 17% more expensive than smoking the cheapest cigarettes. However, if you buy the cheapest vape juice at $15 for 120ml, you will be able to save about 81% in monthly costs.

Is Vaping Cheaper Than Smoking?

Is vaping cheaper than smoking? Yearly cost of vaping vs smoking

The yearly cost of vaping can range anywhere from $387.75 to $5082.5 whereas smoking a pack a day can cost you $2087.8 to 5091.75.

Switching to vaping can save you up to 92% if you smoke a pack a day. However, there are cases when vaping can cost more than smoking.

Let’s go through the scenarios when vaping can be more expensive than smoking a pack a day.

  • Cig-a-likes: if you are vaping 3 or more cartridges per day at 2 dollars per cartridge, it will be about 5% more expensive than smoking a pack a day that costs 5.72 dollars per pack.
  • Sub-Ohm Devices: if you are buying 60ml e-juices for 25 dollars, and vaping 15 ml per day as well as replacing your coils once a week, it will cost you about 22% or more than smoking a pack of cigarettes that cost more than 5.72 dollars.

Our suggestions for you to save money is to increase the nicotine strength in your e-juice, buy e-juices in larger sizes to save you money in the long run or switch to nicotine salt e-liquids.

Which Vape Should I Buy?

Which vape should you buy

With sin taxes costing a pack of cigarettes up to 14 dollars in states such as New York, switching to vaping is a sound economical choice.

You might be asking, where do I start?

#1 Nicotine Salt

The data above shows that the cheapest vaping device is using nicotine salts. Not only do they give you the most cost savings, but they are also becoming increasingly popular among smokers to use as a means to quit smoking. Nic salt devices are beginner-friendly and are effective due to the high nicotine strength.

#2 Cig-a-likes

Cig-a-likes are used as an entry-level device due to its user-friendliness, but many vapers graduate to a better device to get more flavor and flexibility. Cig-a-likes can be expensive if you use 3 cartridges per day.

#3 Sub-ohm Vape Pens and Box Mods

Sub-ohm devices can save you up to 81%, or it can cost you 17% more than smoking. However, many smokers have had success with quitting cigarettes due to the incredible flavor and cloud production of high wattage devices. For beginners, we recommend you getting sub-ohm vape pens due to its intuitive design whereas box mods can have a bit of a learning curve to use.


Feel free to ask any questions. If you’re already vaping, let us know how much e-juice you vape a day and what device you use.


4 Responses

That Dude

November 28, 2022

In 2022 it’s cheaper to smoke

A carton of cigs is ~$120 and would probably last me 9-10 months as I was never a heavy smoker

The vape cartridges I order for my USB cigalike are ~$1,500+ a year and a hassle to order. Each cartridge is over $2 and I go through them like water.

Nhat vo

January 30, 2019

In the vaping world if you learn more you can save your money for sure. Learning how to mix your juice and make your own coils will save your time and money.

Brian From Ruthless

June 26, 2018

Hello Shawn:

We used an average price range found in online stores and local vape shops. I have seen boutique vape juices charge $ 20-40 for a 30 ml. But, the prices for vape juices in California fall in the $ 15-25 range in California. So, the costs can depend on where you live and dependent on the vape shop.

If you like our Loaded e-juice line, we sell 120 ml for under 20 dollars. Feel free to check it out, but I’m a big believer in supporting our local vape shops!!

Thanks for sharing Shawn!

Happy Vaping,



June 26, 2018

These costs are crazy cheap where I’m from a 60ml bottle is 32$ haha but still a better habit then smoking ciggys

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