Could electronic cigarettes be the answer to the results of a study by The Ohio State University wherein researchers found that smoking costs the average American business almost a quarter of an average employee income. Seeking to evaluate the true cost to the employer, the researchers broke-down the financial implications of having a smoker within the workplace, splitting their findings into three sections each with differing amounts of financial and workplace productivity implications.
The results of this research brings the total of employing a smoker to the quite staggering amount of $5,816!
Their research focused on breaking down this sum in order to discern how it could reach such a large amount. Initially perceiving that extended and extra breaks cost the employer around $3,077 annually, this is predominately due to smokers taking on average about five breaks a day, compared with the three breaks typically sanctioned for most workers.
Secondly extra healthcare costs made up $2,056 of the total, and although in Britain employers don’t have such a requirement to support employee healthcare costs, they do however have to tackle what the research paper calls increased absenteeism. The research found that smokers miss about two-and-a-half extra workdays each year — and lost productivity at work, perhaps because of nicotine’s withdrawal effects.
The article itself raises the question of employers supporting cessation devices, “We certainly encourage businesses to provide smoking cessation programs. At least for large companies, it’s highly likely to save them money over time,” said Micah Berman, an assistant professor of public health and law at Ohio State and lead author of the analysis.
As you may have seen in BBC 3’s The Call Centre, electronic cigarettes are beginning to be seen by employers as the alternative to smoking for companies seeking to reduce the cost disparity between non-smoking and smoking employees on their yearly balance sheets. Not only can they help companies reduce their costs, but they do so at a benefit of the employee. Promoting electronic cigarettes in the workplace could lead to a reduction of breaks, less health related days off, and increased productivity due to the freedom to enjoy nicotine at the desk.
Read the full article here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/the-cost-of-a-smoker-5816/?_r=0