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New research finds smoking employees cost companies nearly $6000 more than non-smoking employees

Wednesday 5 June, 2013

Quit Victoria has encouraged workplaces to help their employees give smoking the flick with new research finding smokers cost their employers an extra $5,816 annually compared with non-smokers.

The costs primarily come from excess absenteeism and lost productivity due to smoke breaks, according to the study, which was published in the Tobacco Control journal.

Quit Victoria Executive Director Fiona Sharkie said there were many incentives for companies to provide support for their workers to quit.

"Non-smokers have fewer sick days than smokers and a healthier workplace leads to greater productivity overall," she said.

Ms Sharkie said there were many ways for employers to provide support to employees to quit including providing a smokefree workplace and running support programs.

"Of course perhaps the greater cost of smoking is the personal cost to the smoker and his/her family members – a cost that can't be quantified," she said.

"The best thing any smoker can do for their health and hip pocket is to quit and the best thing employers can do is support their employees who smoke to quit through creating supportive environments to quit".

Quit offers workplace courses which can be effective in building wider support and team efforts to quit together.