Back To Career News

Are Your Employees Smokers? This is How Much It’s Costing You


Many companies are shying away from hiring smokers. While this is basically discrimination, there is a good reason for it — smokers are costing companies a lot of money.

New research from New England Law found that smoking employees cost employers more than the average employee because of smoking breaks, extra health care costs, lowered productivity and missed work days.

Smokers can cost employers $5,816 a year compared to employees who do not smoke. More than $3,000 is lost in smoking breaks, more than $2,000 in extra health care costs, more than $500 in lost work days and more than $400 in a loss of productivity.

However, the research also found that smokers can save employers a bit of money, albeit in a grim way. Since smokers tend to die at younger ages, they save employers an average of just under $300 a year in tax pension systems. 

Do You Know What You're Worth?

“Most people who smoke started when they were kids and the vast majority of them want to quit and are struggling to do so,” said Micah Berman, lead researcher. “This is a place where business interests and public health align. In addition to cutting costs, employers can help their employers lead healthier and longer lives by eliminating tobacco from the workplace.”

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! How does your company feel about hiring smokers? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments!

More from PayScale

The Costs of Employee Turnover

Engaging Employees in Corporate Wellness

Cost-Effective Employee Training Methods


(Photo credit: c Nomad_Soul –

Marissa Brassfield
Read more from Marissa

Leave a Reply

1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
0 Comment authors
Trina Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

I find this to be totally ignorant. Meaning that now people are trying to tell other adults what to do with their own life. What is the difference in drinking too much off the job or smoking weed, even better, popping all those so called pills that is for pain. Leave people alone and live your own damned life. I know that you all lives are not perfect, and stop blaming cigarette smoke on all of medical problems. What is… Read more »

What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.