Smokers and Employers

Smoking not only costs you more money and increases your chances of developing certain diseases, it also costs employers more money. A recent study from Ohio State University revealed that people who smoke bring an added cost of almost 6k a year to their employers. The amount is broken down into four different segments. They include costs from being absent from work, taking smoking breaks during their scheduled hours, reduced productivity, and health care costs.

Smokers decrease productivity by taking breaks to go outside and smoke. If they are salary, this means they are getting payed for not working. Overall, it has been shown that people who smoke missed more days of work in general than non-smokers. Many times this is due to preventable illnesses that are directly related to smoking, including bronchitis and a number of different cancers, as well as cardiovascular disease. For these reasons and more, there are a growing contingent of companies who are simply refusing to hire people who smoke. Some companies have even gone so far to fire employees who test positive for cigarettes.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) did a study similar to the one recently concluded at Ohio State. The CDC study calculated the cost impact of smokers on the general economy. At the time of the CDC study (around ten years ago), that was approximately $3400 per smoker. With the rising cost of health care and inflation, there’s little doubt that if the same study was done today, that number would probably be higher.

And what about the costs incurred by smokers? Cigarettes aren’t cheap and are taxed to help alter behavior. If you are a smoker, be honest with yourself and keep track of the amount you spend on cigarettes each week, and multiply that number so that you get the bottom line on what you spend each year. Imagine how much money you’ll save if you stop today. Think about the short term and long term health benefits. And think about the ways you can improve your life by being able to participate in regular exercise without feeling as if your lungs are on fire. If you analyze the costs of smoking (financially and physically), you’ll see the benefits of quitting. Add in good habits such as getting regular exercise and starting to eat clean and you’ll see what an improvement it is to live healthy.