Employees who smoke also call in sick more frequently and demonstrate poorer productivity, to the tune of $92 billion in annual losses, a Swedish researcher says. All that huddling by the loading dock translates to startling hard numbers, CareerBuilder.com reports: In a study of 14,000 workers, smokers took, on average, 11 more sick days than non-smokers.
The researcher allows for the fact that that smokers often work in more hazardous fields and frequently suffer from other health problems. Nevertheless, the study gives employers new reasons to encourage workers to give up tobacco. Many companies reimburse employees for smoking cessation programs, and at least one health-care firm forbids all its workers from smoking.