The Hidden Costs of Smoking

Tobacco and Related Expenses Can Harm Everyone

by Vindia Robinson, age 11 

Smoking doesn’t affect just those who smoke, but everyone around them. Furthermore, smokers in the work force can even affect their employer.

According to previous studies, private employers in the United States spend an extra $5,816 a year on smokers compared to non-smokers. Researchers at Ohio State University have estimated that the largest cost comes from smoke breaks. This number is estimated at $3,077 annually. On average, smokers took five breaks a day compared to the three breaks non-smokers took.

Health care expenses make up the second largest cost. The remaining cost comes from being absent from work. Not only do smokers miss about two-and-a-half more days of work than non-smokers, but they also lose productivity.

Smoking has been known to hurt more than just the smoker. Some experts say this is an issue that requires attention because of the negative effects it can have on the workplace and the well-being of others.

[Sources: The New York Times; www.Nicorette.com]

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