Smoking Kills (Your Profit Margins)


How Smokers Cost Employers Over $5,000 a Year

Looking to hire? A new report indicates that it wouldn’t be in your best interest to put a smoker on payroll.

As reported in the New York Times, a new meta-analysis by researchers at Ohio State University—based on earlier studies of the cost of smoking—found that a tobacco smoker will cost an employer $5,816 more compared to a similar nonsmoker.

Based on conventional wisdom, we’d expect most of this would be due to health problems. Surprisingly, that’s not the case. The largest portion of that cost came from breaks. Smoking breaks meant more time off work for smokers, about eight breaks a day, in fact. When compared to the typical number of three for nonsmokers, the lost-productivity cost in breaks alone was $3,077 annually.

The next portion came from, as you’d guess, health expenses. With private employers sometimes offering insurance and other benefits, smokers racked up $2,056 more than their non-smoking co-workers. Heart and lung disease, as well as cancer, have all been attached to smoking. This excess cost comes even with data that indicates smokers are less likely to collect on their full Social Security and/or pensions.

The final $683 comes from absenteeism and presenteesim. Smokers are, first, more likely to miss work through the year—totaling 2.5 extra days off each year. Secondly, perhaps due to nicotine withdrawal, smokers are less productive while at work.

Altogether, this means that employing smokers means a significant extra cost to business, one it would be surprising if they don’t take note of. So the next time you’re checking out the warning label of a cigarette pack, you might want to mentally add “unemployed” to the list.

You can find the full study and report published through the Journal of Tobacco Control.


Attribution

The Cost of a Smoker: $5,816,” By Sophie Egan, The New York Times


  • Ken Huffar

    GREAT article. No
    one thinks about time. Not just as a company but as an individual. Time to get
    the ciggs,time to smoke,all the time thinking about the next cigg,forgot matches
    or lighter….. TIME WASTER! America had 95% of the worlds productions of
    goods at one time. Now look where we are. Cigarettes’ are just 1 reason we
    blew it BIG TIME!

  • tan

    Yep,, I’m paid for working 36 hours a week, I work closer to 80 hours a week.
    I smoke and eat while i work, so no breaks for smoko’s or even lunch.
    Ive had 1.5 days off in the last year, because the wife was sick, when I’m sick i work through it.

    It more comes down to, if bosses look after staff, staff look after bosses/employer.

    If my employer wanted to start bitching about smoko’s, they would end up with the 26 hours I’m paid to work.

    You know humans history, discrimination against blacks, Asians, females, people on one side of the railroad tracks, religion, based on income, etc etc..

    Now smokers is just another group to generalize and discriminate against.

    Your employee’s worth is based on a performance review, try doing one.
    If the employee isn’t performing, fire them, whether they are black white Asian or a smoker.

Commentary Ticker

  • Google Glass Lets You Take Photos With Your Brain
    July 12, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    If you haven’t heard, electroencephalograms (EEGs) have been getting better. Way better. Artificial limbs and even video game controllers are utilizing the non-invasive brain-wave monitoring method to guide computers by thought. Now English startup This Place has developed a way to bring the technology to Google Glass, allowing Google’s wearable to read your mind. Well, […]

  • Android Art: The Accidental Selfies of Google Art Project
    July 5, 2014 | 11:11 am

    Within the cultural centers of the world lurks a mechanical beast draped in silver spinning madly and capturing everything, sometimes even itself. In 2011 Google created the Art Project, an initiative to bring their Street View technology inside the cultural epicenters of the world. Google enlisted 17 world-class museums in short time. Institutions such as […]

  • Purple Mountunes Majesty: The Most Patriotic Playlist
    July 4, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    A while ago, Paul Lamere of The Echo Nest, a music-analysis company, took to finding each state’s most distinctive, yet popular, artist in a viral article. Spotify took note, purchasing Echo Nest for their analytical talent. Together, they’ve released a blog post documenting each state’s most distinctively American song creating a patriotic playlist for the […]

  • Emojinealogy: Where the Heck Emojis Come From
    July 2, 2014 | 3:10 pm

    On June 16th, the Unicode Consortium announced that 250 new emoji would be added to the list of symbols available to people’s cellphones and computer devices. The list of the new symbols can be found on Emojipedia. And no, the list doesn’t include the much needed minority representation, but it does include your favorite (?) […]

  • The Decline and Fall of the American Mall
    June 24, 2014 | 9:07 pm

    For ages, the shopping mall was as essential to the architecture of suburbia as Levittowns and freeways. But in an era of online shopping, these epicenters of brick and mortar yesteryear are quietly being abandoned across the country. While the U.S. currently has around 1,500, the number may soon shrink, and rapidly, leading to abandoned […]

  • RSSArchive for Commentary Ticker »

Join our mailing list!



Trending on The Airspace