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Smoking cost companies billions a year

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Staff writer ▼ | June 6, 2013
U.S. companies spend $6,000 more each year on employees who smoke than on those who don't, according to researches from the University of Ohio.
Smoking
SmokingU.S. companies spend $6,000 more each year on employees who smoke than on those who don't, according to researches from the University of Ohio.


America has an estimated 43.8 million smokers over the age of 18, which means companies are losing billions. Those with the habit tend to take 30 minutes longer breaks during a workday, which annually causes about $3,000 in indirect losses to company owners, the study shows.

A smoking employee spends on average $2,000 more on medical insurance. Statistics also showed that smokers are less disciplined and efficient, they leave work more often and are less productive.

One of the few "benefits", so to speak, is lower payments in corporate pension systems: due to the earlier deaths, each of smokers saves their companies about $296 a year.

The Ohio University researchers said they wanted to help employers calculate their risks, while hiring. They looked at the lowest possible costs for people taking smoke breaks, just eight minutes a day lost to smoking. That would cost employers $1,641.14 a year but it's more likely much higher, $3,077, based on two 15-minute smoke breaks a day.

Lost productivity was based on the average wages and benefits paid a smoker working full time: $26.49 an hour, with 232 days worked a year. Excess healthcare costs of smokers, who have higher rates of lung disease, heart disease, various cancers and other illnesses: $2,055.77.


 

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