How Much Do Smokers Cost Employers?

smokingIn addition to a wildly elevated risk for cancer and state smoking bans in restaurants, bars, most indoor spaces and even outdoors, American smokers now have some more bad news to inhale: They cost private employers nearly $6,000 more a year than nonsmokers.

First published in the June issue of the journal Tobacco Control, the data comes from the soon-to-be completely smoke-free Ohio State University. Researchers there estimated that the bulk of the estimated $5,816 additional costs that employers incur from smokers comes in large part from their workers taking smoke breaks — on average some five a day.

The remaining costs come from added health and medical expenses. The New York Times reports that smokers miss more days of work due to smoking-related health issues.

The researchers looked at “absenteeism, presenteesim, smoking breaks, healthcare costs and pension benefits for smokers.”

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