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The true cost of employing smokers

Smokers in the workplace are costing employers huge amounts each and every year, with recent research estimating that for each smoker employed a business could be looking at costs of up to $5000 per year.

There are many factors involved in reaching this figure, and if a business wishes to calculate the approximate cost of employees who smoke they need to factor in the following;

  • Loss of productivity from smoking breaks: OnePoll.com’s research shows that the average smoker’s cumulative total per day is 60 minutes. This amounts to 30 working days per year spent smoking, and not working.
  • Sick days taken: Action on Smoking and Health UK estimate that the average smoker takes five more sick days per year than a non-smoking employee. This figure can range all the way up to 11 days depending on which research one refers to.
  • Increased costs in providing employees with smoking areas.
  • Mortality rates: A QUIT study estimates half of all tobacco smokers will die as a consequence of their smoking. Smoking-related illnesses can also lead to early retirement.
  • Insurance costs: If a company offers insurance for employees, the costs of insuring a smoker are between 35 and 50 percent greater than the costs of a non-smoker.
  • Mental health issues: Smoking causes an increase in anxiety and reduces concentration.

A proven method of eradicating these costs is to introduce workplace cessation programs. Healthier staff means happier, more productive staff. The initial costs of implementing these programs should be outweighed by the increase in productivity from employees.

One such stop-smoking method is Allen Carr’s Easyway program. It’s considered the world’s most successful corporate non-smoking program, having been used at companies such as Virgin, Sony and Microsoft.

“I’m pleased to say that it has worked for many of my friends and staff,” Virgin entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson said.

As with most cessation programs, Allen Carr’s Easyway can be held on the premises of your business and offer follow-up sessions should they be required.

Given the loss of business attributed to employing smokers, implementing a stop-smoking program in the workplace should be viewed as a priority by business owners. The benefits are clear, not just for the employer but also the employee.

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Gavin McColl

Gavin McColl

Gavin is an enthusiastic, driven writer who loves to write about his passions. He's a perfectionist, with a meticulous eye for detail and is a passionate music and film fan who loves watch musicians and films. He loves travelling and enjoys immersing himself in new cultures. His favourite city is Budapest, favourite band is Bon Iver, favourite film is Goodfellas and favourite food is lasagne.

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