Study: Smoking Employees Costing Employers Big Bucks

(Memphis) The cost of having employees who smoke is lighting up.

That’s according to a new study by Ohio State University. which says employees who smoke are costing companies thousands in wasted time because of too many breaks.

Ohio State University says the average smoker costs their companies almost $6,000 a year.

Smoker Randy Chappell says people like him have to go outside, wasting their company’s time for a simple reason.

“Just getting out of there sometimes is a break. So it’s not just a cigarette. But it is an excuse. Works most the time!” said Chappell.

“I would think two would be sufficient. One in the morning and one after lunch,” said Bentley Matthews.

Matthews says she doesn’t like smokers getting a few extra breaks and free time.

“It’s not fair! It’s just not fair. Yeah they should crack down. I never thought about it before but absolutely,” said Matthews.

The study says if an employee takes a short eight-minute smoking break a day, it would still amount to more than $1,600 a year.

For two 15-minute smoke breaks, employers lose more than $3,000 a year.

That’s not where the costs end.

The study shows smokers also run up extra healthcare costs, to the tune of more than $2,000 every year.

Paula Dietrich used to be a smoker and says it’s a personal choice and people should stop picking on smokers.

“To some extent I think it’s really discrimination against employees to say they cost employers more because they take smoke breaks. I don’t think it’s that bad,” said Dietrich.

According to the CDC, 19 percent of adults in the US smoke.