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Smokers Cost Their Employers $6,000 Annually, Study Finds

06/04/13

  11:45:10 am, by MedBen5   , 207 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Smokers Cost Their Employers $6,000 Annually, Study Finds

A new study reveals that smokers cost employers $6,000 a year more than non-smokers, NBC News reports.

In making this determination, lead researcher Micah Berman of Ohio State University and colleagues looked not only at costs of medical treatment for smokers, but lost productivity for workers who take smoke breaks – and even factored in any savings that may result from an employered smoker dying younger, such as from reduced pension costs.

Bermain noted that his team took a conservative approach whenever possible. “Employers try to correct for the idea that smokers cost more by paying them somewhat less. Even when we adjusted for that – smokers still cost more,” he said.

Employees taking smoke breaks cost employers from about $1,600 to $3,100 per employee per year, depending on the number taken each day. As for added health care costs for such conditions as lung cancer and heart disease, the cost to employers averaged $2,100 annually per smoker.

Even when more obvious factor were removed from consideration, Berman’s team was surprised by the reduction in smokers’ work output. “Though all employees are occasionally unproductive in one way or another, research suggests that smoking status negatively impacts productivity separately and apart from lost work time due to smoking breaks and absenteeism,” they wrote.

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