Smoking – the financial cost

After one day of not smoking, you’ve got an extra $21 in your pocket. You could treat yourself to a cafe lunch or buy a couple of your favourite magazines.

The health benefits of not smoking for one day include

  • Most of the nicotine is cleared from your body.
  • Your heart rate slows to a normal rate and your blood pressure is more stable.
  • Your finger tips are warmer.

After two days of not smoking
After two days of not smoking, you’ve saved $42. You could go to the movies, go to the footy or cricket, or treat yourself to a lunch.

The health benefits of not smoking for two days include

  • You notice that your skin, hair and breath smell fresher.
  • Less carbon monoxide in your system means your lungs are more efficient.

After one week of not smoking
After one week of not smoking, you’ve got an extra $147 in your pocket. You could have a facial, take someone to dinner, go to a gig, or buy a few books.

The health benefits of not smoking for one week include

  • The small hair like structures that clean your lungs, called cilia, are starting to work better. (Some people may cough up some phlegm for a few weeks.)
  • You have higher blood levels of protective antioxidants, such as vitamin C.
  • Your sense of smell and taste may improve.

After one month of not smoking
After one month of not smoking, you’ve saved $640. You could go away for a weekend, cover your monthly petrol costs, or treat yourself to some new clothes.

The health benefits of not smoking for one month include

  • Your lungs are working more efficiently.
  • Exercising is easier.
  • Your immune system is starting to recover.

After three to six months of not smoking
After three months of not smoking, you’ve saved over $1,900. This is enough for a new computer or a plasma TV. After six months, you’ve got over $3,800 to spend. You could take your family for a holiday in Queensland or buy a return ticket to London or the United States.

The health benefits of not smoking for three to six months include

  • You’re likely to cough and wheeze less, and cough up less phlegm.
  • Blood flow to your extremities, like fingers and toes, improves.
  • Your body is better at healing cuts and wounds.
  • You may feel less stressed or in a better mood than when you were smoking.

After one year
After one year of not smoking, you’ve saved almost $7,700. This is enough for an around the world plane ticket, some new furniture, or a lump sum off your mortgage.

The health benefits of not smoking for one year are that your lungs have continued to improve. Your small airways are healthier and your lung function is better than if you had kept smoking.

Other cost saving benefits of quitting
If you quit smoking, you’ll save money in many other ways, including

  • You’re less likely to suffer from colds, the flu or other respiratory infections, which means fewer trips to the doctor, less money spent on medications and fewer sick days.
  • You won’t need so many visits to the dentist to have your teeth professionally cleaned.
  • You don’t have to spend as much time and money on maintaining the house. For example, smoking inside your home discolours paint and wallpaper.
  • You cut down on your cleaning bills because clothes, furniture upholstery and the interior of your car no longer smell of cigarette smoke.
  • The risk of fire in your home is lower.

Future benefits of not smoking
The health and financial benefits of quitting continue as the years go by and include

  • Your chances of conceiving a baby improve. Smoking can cause fertility problems, such as impotence in men and a lower chance of conceiving in women. Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a miscarriage.
  • Over time, your sense of smell will continue to slowly improve.
  • Within two to five years, your risk of heart attack and stroke is substantially reduced. You’ve also saved between $15,000 and $38,000.
  • After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer is less than half that of a continuing smoker and continues to decline (provided the disease is not already present). You’ve also saved almost $77,000.
  • After 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke is nearly the same as a lifetime non smoker. You’ve also saved $115,000.
  • Quitting smoking benefits men and women of all ages and improves health in general. Remember that the rate and extent of recovery can vary from person to person.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Your pharmacist
  • Quitline Tel. 13 7848

Things to remember

  • If you need added incentive to quit, think about how much of your weekly income is going up in smoke every week.
  • At today’s prices, if you smoke one pack of cigarettes per day for 10 years, you’ll spend almost $77,000 easily enough to buy a new car.

    Duty free concession

    Most personal items such as new clothing, footwear, and articles for personal hygiene and grooming (excluding fur and perfume concentrates) may be brought into Australia in your accompanied baggage, free from duty and tax.

    Personal goods are free from duty and tax if they are

    • owned and used by you overseas for 12 months or more
    • imported temporarily (a security may be required by Customs and Border Protection)

    For other goods, limits apply. These include goods that are purchased overseas and goods that are purchased in Australia duty or tax free (that have been previously exported), or from an inwards duty free shop on arrival into Australia. Duty free concessions do not apply to commercial goods.

    There are no duty free concessions on tobacco or alcohol for travellers aged under 18.


    If you are aged 18 years or over you can bring 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco products duty free into Australia with you. All tobacco products in accompanied baggage are included in this category, regardless of how or where they were purchased.

    A duty free concessions flyer is available in multiple languages
    General goods

    If you are aged 18 years or over, you can bring up to A$900 worth of general goods into Australia duty free.

    If you are under 18 years of age there is a A$450 limit.

    General goods include gifts, souvenirs, cameras, electronic equipment, leather goods, perfume concentrates, jewellery, watches and sporting equipment.

    Tourist Refund Scheme

    If you return to Australia with goods for which you have claimed a GST refund under the TRS on departure, you must declare those goods at Question 3 on the Incoming Passenger Card (IPC) if their value exceeds the passenger concession of A$900.

    GST refunds received on goods exceeding the passenger concession will have to be repaid if the items are brought into Australia.

    See the Tourist Refund Scheme page for more detail about how it works.

    Alcoholic beverages

    If you are aged 18 years or over, you can bring 2.25 litres of alcoholic beverages duty free into Australia with you. All alcoholic beverages in accompanied baggage are included in this category, regardless of where or how they were purchased.

    Aviation security regulations may restrict the volume of liquids that you can bring into Australia as hand luggage. As an alternative, duty free alcoholic beverages can be purchased in an airport duty free shop on arrival in Australia. For more information about the restrictions, visit the TravelSECURE website.

    Families travelling together can pool their duty free concessions.

    What happens if I exceed the duty free limits?

    If you exceed Australia s duty free limits, duty and tax will apply on all items of that type (general goods, alcohol or tobacco), not just the goods over the limit.

    If you have anything in excess of your duty free concession, declare the goods and provide proof of purchase to us for calculation of any duty and tax to be paid.

    Failure to declare goods in excess of your concession could result in penalties.

    If in doubt, ask one of our officers or call 1300 363 263 (Australia only) for information. If overseas, call 61 2 6275 6666 or email information

    Payment of customs duty/taxes

    Payment of Customs duty and/or other taxes may be made in cash (Australian dollars), credit/debit card (MasterCard, Visa or American Express) or by electronic funds transfer (EFTPOS) from an Australian bank account .

    Please note that we pass on merchant fees (currently 0.94% for MasterCard and Visa and 1.54% for American Express) for credit/debit card payments. This fee is not subject to GST and is equal to the fee that we incur from our banker.

    only available at international airports.

    Can I lodge an objection?

    You can lodge an objection to the assessment of tax and tax penalty on goods brought into Australia with the Commissioner of Taxation within four years after the importation of the goods.

    Taxation objections should be sent to

    The Commissioner of Taxation
    GPO Box 9935
    In the capital city of an Australian State/Territory

    Business travellers

    Business travellers carrying commercial goods or samples may need to obtain permits for their goods depending on the nature of the goods, regardless of value. Quarantine and wildlife regulations and other restrictions may also apply to certain goods.

    A customs entry for Customs clearance may be required if the goods carried are valued over $A1000.

    Laptop computers and other similar electronic equipment for personal use may also be brought in duty/tax free provided we are satisfied you are taking these goods with you on departure.

    Temporary importation of commercial goods

    Carnets may be obtained for temporary duty/tax free entry of goods such as commercial samples, jewellery, goods for international exhibitions, equipment for sporting events, professional television and film equipment etc. Contact your International Chamber of Commerce for application details.

    For more information on importing goods, contact us or an Australian mission overseas.

    Domestic passengers travelling on an international cruise ship

    If you are joining an international cruise ship only to travel between Australian ports you are not entitled to duty free benefits or concessions.

    We recognise that while on board domestic passengers may need to purchase items for personal use such as toiletries, and these are sold free of duty. Also, domestic passengers may purchase spirits by the glass, and cigarettes and tobacco products by the packet free of duty for immediate consumption.

    Unaccompanied personal effects

    Unaccompanied baggage does not receive the same duty/tax concessions as goods you bring with you. These goods may be subject to duty/tax unless you have both owned and used them for 12 months or more. This also applies to articles posted to Australia. For more information refer to the following documents Sending Your Personal Belongings to Australia as Cargo or by International Mail and Unaccompanied Effects Statement.