New research from New England Law found that smoking employees cost employers more than the average employee because of smoking breaks, extra health care costs, lowered productivity and missed work days.
Smokers can cost employers $5,816 a year compared to employees who do not smoke. More than $3,000 is lost in smoking breaks, more than $2,000 in extra health care costs, more than $500 in lost work days and more than $400 in a loss of productivity.
However, the research also found that smokers can save employers a bit of money, albeit in a grim way. Since smokers tend to die at younger ages, they save employers an average of just under $300 a year in tax pension systems.
"Most people who smoke started when they were kids and the vast majority of them want to quit and are struggling to do so," said Micah Berman, lead researcher. "This is a place where business interests and public health align. In addition to cutting costs, employers can help their employers lead healthier and longer lives by eliminating tobacco from the workplace."
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