by Dr. Lorin Bradbury
Question: We are in a financial bind. We can’t pay our rent, yet my husband smokes a pack of cigarettes each day. I know we are on the verge of being evicted, but he always saves enough money to make certain he feeds his habit. Is there any advice you can give me?
Answer: If he has any interest in quitting, there are programs available. I know there is a smoking cessation program at YKHC, and there are therapists in Bethel that are willing to work with individuals who are serious about quitting smoking, or using tobacco of any kind.
You raise a point that everyone should consider. The use of tobacco is no longer an inexpensive habit. It has the potential to cut significantly into your budget. I don’t know the exact price of a pack of cigarettes, or a can of snuff, but I believe it is somewhere around $13 per pack. And let’s suppose smokeless tobacco is $10 per can. If your husband smokes one pack per day, that amounts to $4,745 per year. Similarly, if someone chewed one can of snuff per day, that is $3,650 per year that could go toward rent, groceries, or the kids clothes. In fact, those amounts look like they might cover the rent for several months. Or, if you saved that money, in two years, you could make a down payment on a house.
I would urge you to try to communicate with your husband to get help breaking the addiction. If he won’t quit for you maybe he will do it when he sees the significant amount of money he could save.
Lorin L. Bradbury, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bethel. For appointments, he can be reached at 543-3266. If you have questions that you would like Dr. Bradbury to answer in the Delta Discovery, please send them to The Delta Discovery, P.O. Box 1028, Bethel, AK 99559, or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.