The Real Cost of Smoking to your Business

The following is a guest post from Billy Webb. All opinions expressed in guest posts belong solely to the post’s author. If you would like to have your solely belonged opinions appear on these pages, let me know.

As a Manager you will already be aware of the fact that you lose hours of work from your staff to cigarette breaks. But there are so many more costs involved in hiring a smoker over a non smoker, here we will outline some of the hidden costs and how implementing a non smoking policy, or allowing the use of electronic cigarettes at the desk can be of huge benefit to your business and employees.

smoking womanOn average, a typical business will lose over 100 working hours a year due to staff taking cigarette breaks. This can result in a huge loss in productivity and potentially lost sales for your company.
Smokers are also more likely to have sick days, with the average in the UK being 2.7 more days than their colleagues who do not smoke. This is makes smoker’s 33% more likely to miss work than people who do not smoke, another worrying statistic. This has been estimated by Corporate Health to cost UK businesses an estimated £1.4bn in lost productivity.

As an individual, a smoker can cost you nearly £8,000 per year, this represents the losses directly from paying salary to an absent team member and the lost business opportunities they could have won for you had they been at work.

Not only do smokers cost an individual business quite dearly, they also are more likely to cost the NHS significant amounts of money. The figures from Corporate Health suggest that the overall cost to the NHS is around £5bn dealing with the diseases smokers’ will contract. From this, £2.4bn is for lung cancer alone which is shocking and a drain on resources.

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All of these facts and figures strongly suggest that hiring a smoker is much more costly to your business. However, it is considered unacceptable to ask a potential employee if they smoke during the interview stages. The ways around this are to implement a cessation programme in your workplace. Making it unacceptable to smoke on your premises and offer help to people who wish to quit will actively encourage smokers to state if they smoke or not, or seriously consider quitting.

Another way to help smokers quit is to allow the use of electronic cigarettes in the workplace, without the user having to leave their desk to get their nicotine fix. It will also reduce other problems associated with smoking in the workplace. There will be no horrible cigarette butts around your premises, and it will reduce the resentment felt by the non-smoking employees who often get jealous of their smoking counterparts who are able to take more breaks.

It may seem like a hassle to implement policies relating to smoking, but the amount of money and time you will save your business will be so helpful that the short term inconvenience will soon be forgotten.

Billy Webb is a passionate advocate for electronic cigarettes and feel the more people understand about them, the less dubious they will be. He is also a savvy businessman and knows having hard working employees is important. He runs SmartCigs an electronic cigarette retailer based in the UK, check out their site for more information.