What Smoking Costs Employers


Smoking cigarettes comes with many steep costs. It costs many smokers their health, their money and their time with friends and family. In addition, the consequences do not stop there; employers are paying the price as well. In Florida, the annual direct costs to the economy attributable to smoking were in excess of $19.6 billion, including workplace productivity losses of $4.4 billion, premature death losses of $7.9 billion and direct medical expenditures of $7.2 billion.
The increased health care costs of having employees who smoke impacts the bottom line. Employer costs for insuring someone who smokes are $2,000 more every year than insuring a non-smoker. There is also lost productivity from smoke breaks, sick days and “presenteeism”, which is where your employee is at work but they are not as productive as they should be due to the distraction of withdrawal or physical illness related to smoking. In sum, between losses in productivity and extra health care costs, an employee who smokes will cost a business upwards of $6,000 per year.
Employers are increasingly recognizing that helping their employees quit smoking can provide a noticeable boost to their bottom line. Many workplaces are introducing smoking cessation programs that can benefit everyone involved. Four key elements comprise the gold standard for promoting a smoke-free workplace: 1. Implement a smoke-free workplace policy, 2. Support smoking cessation through health benefits, 3. Cessation initiatives, 4. Work with health care providers.

Please contact your local AHEC to set up a meeting to discuss offering tobacco cessation in your workplace. We provide onsite counseling and nicotine replacement therapy free of charge. We can also help you develop a tobacco free policy. Contact Person: Emily Kohler Phone: 850-224-9340 Email: