The Cost of Smoking

Posted by Pharmacist on August 26, 2013

A study conducted by The Ohio State University has found smokers cost private employers $5,816 more per year than their non-smoking co-workers. The bulk of this cost, $3,077, comes from smoke breaks. The average smoker takes around five breaks per day as opposed to the three breaks typically offered to most workers.

In addition to more breaks smokers typically take more time off work – approximately two-and-a-half additional days annually – than their non-smoking co-workers. The study points out smokers also have lost productivity while at work; one theory is that this is due to withdrawal effects from nicotine.

Statistically smokers have more health issues than their non-smoking co-workers, such as heart and lung disease as well as cancer. Health care costs added an additional $2,056 in expenses.
Ohio State assistant professor of public health and law Micah Berman is the author of the analysis. “We as a country, as communities, need to be making more efforts to address smoking systematically, not just through cessation but prevention,” he noted. One suggestion is that businesses offer smoking cessation programs. “At least for large companies, it’s highly likely to save them money over time,” Berman said.

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