From the miscellaneous drawer by Anne Swenson

The cost of smoking

by Anne Swenson
I owe an apology, not only to visitors of 2 East Sheridan (an earlier Ely Echo HQ), but more especially, to my family. There really is no excuse for smoking.
At the old Echo, everyone but Jeanne Tome, Pam Roberts, Tom Coombe and Nick Wognum smoked. The building reeked of cigarette smoke. A haze was often seen over the desks of Mary, Vic, Bob and me.
Worse yet was smoking at home with both Warren and me smoking. Looking back I realize what a burden it was to Nick, Sandy and my Mom.
I learned to smoke in college, but it took until the 1970s for it to become a four-pack-a-day habit. Though many a cig burned out untouched in an ashtray, it was still too much. Sometime in the ’90s I finally quit.
Growing up, cigarette smoking was in movies, magazines and billboards. It purported to be the sophisticated thing to do and I got hooked. Kicking it was hard to do, but I succeeded.
With the economic and societal costs of smoking totaling more than $300 billion a year and rising, the personal-finance website WalletHub recently released its report on The Real Cost of Smoking by State.
Here’s what Wallet Hub recently found out about smoking in Minnesota:
The Financial Cost of Smoking in Minnesota (1=Lowest, 25=Avg.):
Out-of-Pocket Cost per Smoker – $166,418 (Rank: 46th)
Financial-Opportunity Cost per Smoker – $1,458,953 (Rank: 46th)
Health-Care Cost per Smoker – $190,731 (Rank: 37th)
Income Loss per Smoker – $286,885 (Rank: 38th)
Other Costs per Smoker – $14,070 (Rank: 37th)
Total Cost Over Lifetime per Smoker: $2,117,058
Total Cost per Year per Smoker: $41,511
When I quit cigarettes were about $2 a pack. I couldn’t even afford the price now which I’ve heard can be $9 a pack.
To my friends who still smoke, I hope these facts hit home with you.
To my children I say, thank heaven you never took up smoking and I now realize how your health was jeopardized. Please forgive me.
* * *
In the Ely Echo for January 28, 1980, 40 years ago, the headlines were:
• Motel feasibility study says motel not feasible,
• Presidential candidate and Echo editor Jackpine Bob appears on national TV show,
Public debates sewage disposal system,
Ely-Tower ski race set for February,
• USFS to purchase Canadian Waters’ Fall Lake landing.