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Employees Who Smoke Cost Companies Almost $6,000 More Annually: Study


Employers pay almost $6,000 more annually for workers who smoke, compared with their nonsmoking colleagues, a new study finds.

The savings occur even after taking into account those smokers who die earlier, and thus collect fewer pension dollars, NBC News reports.

Researchers at Ohio State University evaluated studies on the health care costs of smokers. They looked at how much extra employers paid for smokers’ health care, as well as lost productivity from taking sick days and smoking breaks. They report in Tobacco Control the average annual excess cost to employ a smoker is $5,816.

“It is important to remember that the costs imposed by tobacco use are not simply financial costs,” the researchers wrote. “It is not possible to put a price on the lost lives and the human suffering caused by smoking. The desire to help one’s employees lead healthier and longer lives should provide an additional impetus for employers to work towards eliminating tobacco from the workplace.”

A growing number of employers are requiring tobacco users to pay more for their health insurance if they do not participate in a smoking cessation program, a national survey recently found. Some employers are refusing to hire smokers.

2 Responses to this article

  1. Carol / June 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    This is another hate crime against smokers. They took every opportunity to chisel and bill falsely. They ignore the fact that employers get tax breaks for the cost of employees’ health insurance. They bill smokers for breaks which are mandated by law, but not non-smokers. (Perhaps they billed smokers for legally-mandated holidays as well.) They ignore the fact that most people nowadays will be counting on Social Security for their old age, not company pensions, and that non-smokers will be collecting it for more years at taxpayer expense. They pretend that $26.49 an hour for 232 days, which equals $49,165, a well-to-do HOUSEHOLD income, is a typical wage, in order to inflate wage costs. They slander smokers by claiming they’re paid less because they “cost more” rather than because they’re younger and more likely to be working class. They falsely blame smoking for heart disease and cancer that are really caused by infections, such as CMV and Helicobacter pylori, that smokers got during childhood due to social class. And, because they don’t state what non-smokers’ costs are, they may have perpetrated the same fraud as the CDC’s fraudulent SAMMEC claim of $193 billion in health expenses and lost productivity, which is cited as fact here. The CDC simply pretends that non-smokers’ costs don’t exist at all, to conceal the fact that non-smokers’ costs are actually higher! And, their claim that “most smokers want to quit” is contradicted by widespread indifference to company quit-smoking programs. Any media that purvey those lies and defamations as fact have proven conclusively that they’re nothing but corrupt, lying propaganda organs of the oligarchy, and the bitter enemies of all truth, freedom and justice.

  2. Doug / June 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Janet! How ironic that your comment was published right below “Cigarette prices rise again”. Do you work for the tobacoo industry?

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