Smokers miss more work than nonsmokers, costing their workplaces and the economy, as well as their health.
It’s hardly a surprise that smoking is bad for our health, but a new study shows that it’s also bad for the economy.
A new report published in the journal Addiction looked at data from Europe, the US, Japan, and Australia and New Zealand from the years 1960 to 2011. Researchers found that in comparison to nonsmokers, smokers missed an average of two to three more days of work a year. This adds up to an equivalent of $2.25 billion lost in terms of absenteeism from the workplace.
Interestingly, previous research has shown that children who grow up in smoking households are also more likely to be absent from school. The report also noted that ex-smokers missed work more often than nonsmokers, but less often than current smokers, showing that quitting can and does make a difference.
While absenteeism is one smoking-related cost to workplaces, others include the time taken away from work due to cigarette breaks, as well as smoking-related fires.
Negative consequences of smoking
Along with smoking causing a wide range of health consequences, there are several more lesser-known consequences, such as smoking contributing to depression, third-hand smoke on surfaces, and harming the environment.