The Price It Pays To Employ A Smoker



smoker2Illustrated by Zhang Qingyun.
It turns out that smokers aren't the only ones who have to pay for their habit — their bosses do, too. And, employing a smoker doesn't come cheap: According to researchers at The Ohio State University, hiring a smoker costs a private employer an additional $5,816 per year compared with a nonsmoker. That's a lot of could-be bagel breakfasts and missed office birthday celebrations.

So, where is all this lost money going? Researchers estimated that the largest cost, $3,077 annually, actually comes from taking smoking breaks, which translates to a lack of work and productivity. That's right, taking a five minute break to light up is like charging your manager for a grande Starbucks coffee. With smokers taking an average of five breaks a day, compared with three breaks for most nonsmoking employees, the $$$ adds up.

The second largest cost, at $2,056 annually, isn't all that surprisingly related to additional health care expenses. We know that smokers generally have more health problems than nonsmokers, but who knew that this fact costs employers the equivalent of one month's rent on an NYC apartment?

Sure, smokers can make up the lost time by staying late and might not face serious health consequences during the work year; yet, it's interesting to think of the monetary repercussions when we take a two minute detour from our desks to the kitchen or a second look in the bathroom mirror. What all this really boils down to is that quintessential catchphrase, "time is money." In this case, it's $5,816 and a lot of butts to show for it. (The New York Times).

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