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How much is ‘smoko’ costing you?

Last year the humble ‘smoko’ cost Australian businesses over $3.5 billion, according to a recent survey.

In a poll taken by recruitment firm Talent2, almost 14 percent of Australians admit to smoking at work, with over a third smoking up to three cigarettes a day, and almost half of those say a smoking break lasts between three and five minutes.

Forty-one percent of non-smokers in the survey were keen for the smoke break to be abolished, as it takes up too much time.

"Many employers take the attitude that if an employee decides to smoke, that is a decision that the individual makes," says John Banks from Talent2. "However, as this survey shows, the financial cost to companies makes it necessary for employers to take an active role in helping their employees to quit."

While employers have a duty of care for their workers, many don’t have a smoke-free work environment policy in place, says Banks. "Only 15 percent of employers offer incentives or programmes to assist their employees in quitting, yet 44 percent of Australians believe their employers should."

For information on promoting smoke-free workplaces visit the website for Action for Smoking and Health Australia (www.ashaust.org.au) and click on the SmokeFree Australia icon.

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