Canadian Consulting Engineer

Smokers each cost employers $4,000 a year

A Conference Board of Canada report estimates that employees who smoke are costing their employers more than $4,000 each year. The report, released on October 29, found that for each employee who lights up, the cost is: "more than $3,800 in...

November 5, 2013   Canadian Consulting Engineer

A Conference Board of Canada report estimates that employees who smoke are costing their employers more than $4,000 each year. The report, released on October 29, found that for each employee who lights up, the cost is: “more than $3,800 in lost productivity due to unsanctioned smoking breaks and more than $400 in lost productivity due to absenteeism.”

The estimated cost of smokers has risen by 25% since the board conducted its last estimate in 2005.

The overall economic costs of smoking to business and society are estimated at $11.4 billion in 2010.

The report says that employers should implement programs to help their employees quit: “The workplace is an ideal setting to combat smoking. Canadian businesses should have a strong financial incentive to help smokers quite, especially in industries like construction, mining and transportation that employ predominantly male blue-collar workers.” It predicts that the number of smokers in a typical Canadian company would fall by 35% by 2025 if a workplace cessation program was introduced.

Funding for the research was provided by Pfizer Canada and the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Healthcare.

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