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Tob Control. 2014 Sep;23(5):428-33. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050888. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Estimating the cost of a smoking employee.

Author information

1
The Ohio State University, College of Public Health & Moritz College of Law, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
2
College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
3
College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
4
Tsibouris & Associates LLC, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We attempted to estimate the excess annual costs that a US private employer may attribute to employing an individual who smokes tobacco as compared to a non-smoking employee.

DESIGN:

Reviewing and synthesising previous literature estimating certain discrete costs associated with smoking employees, we developed a cost estimation approach that approximates the total of such costs for U.S. employers. We examined absenteeism, presenteesim, smoking breaks, healthcare costs and pension benefits for smokers.

RESULTS:

Our best estimate of the annual excess cost to employ a smoker is $5816. This estimate should be taken as a general indicator of the extent of excess costs, not as a predictive point value.

CONCLUSIONS:

Employees who smoke impose significant excess costs on private employers. The results of this study may help inform employer decisions about tobacco-related policies.

KEYWORDS:

Economics; Public policy; Smoking Caused Disease

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