How smoking burns up company cash

In a world where time is money, smoke breaks can quickly add up for companies. / Thinkstock
In a world where time is money, smoke breaks can quickly add up for companies. / Thinkstock

No matter how you look at it, smoking is expensive — beyond the actual pack of smokes, treatment expenses and healthcare for smokers often break the bank. To combat some of these expenditures, there have been national campaigns to either reduce or fully outlaw public smoking. A new study from Ohio State University shows another way that smoking has become a burden: through those little bits of time smokers use to light up.

According to the June study, employing smokers will cost employers upward of $5,800 per smoker, per year. The costs due to loss of productivity because of periodic smoke breaks is more than $3,000 per smoker, per year. Attorney Gregg Salka, of the law firm Fisher & Phillip, represents employers who are concerned that employing smokers is bad for business.

As a representative for the employers, what are your biggest concerns about employing smokers?

Employers that have employees who take breaks in increments of five to 20 minutes throughout the day; if those employees are hourly, they need to be compensated. So I’m assuming that would decrease productivity just as someone who’s browsing Amazon or posting on Facebook.

Is there anything else you’d like people to know about smoking and workplace productivity?

I think [employers] should really treat all their employees the same, regardless of whether they’re smokers or nonsmokers or Facebookers or non-Facebookers. An individual who is taking a break away from working time for whatever reason should be treated and disciplined the same.

What are some of the direct actions employers are planning to take with regard to the costliness of accommodating smokers and their breaks?

The best bet for employers is probably to institute some sort of a wellness program to reduce the overall likelihood that individuals will continue to smoke. Your costs will go down because your employees will be healthier, and they’ll presumably be smoking less and working more. There are also subsidies that are available under the Affordable Care Act in certain situations for employers that implement such wellness programs, so that’s another way to recoup some of the costs that are associated with smoking issues.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.