Smoking doesn’t just cost you money

6 June 2013

cigarettesAmazingly, there are still people who smoke. Not that there is anything wrong with people making their own minds up to smoke, provided they are in full possession of the health warnings, it’s just that smoking nowadays requires such a high level of commitment. Sure, having a fag outside is no hardship on a sunny day, but in the middle of a never ending wet and snowy winter? You’ve gotta really want that fag.

One claim smokers make is that smoking helps calm their nerves, something that might be in abundance just before a job interview. But new research from the States might mean that smoking before a job interview would not be the best way to get a job.

According to the completely unbiased Tobacco Control Journal, smokers actually cost more to employ than non-smokers owing to absenteeism, lower productivity and increased pension costs. They put this extra cost as the equivalent of £3,839 a year, including £344 in extra days off, £307 in reduced productivity while you dream of your next fag break, and £2,045 in time wasted on fag breaks themselves.

Anti-smoking groups have welcomed the report, because they knew this all along, with some groups, such as of British Lung Foundation Wales calling for employers to provide smoking cessation services for employees to help them over their addiction. After all, it'll save them money in the long run.

But Simon Clark, director of the consumer group Forest, which lobbies for the rights of smokers, was understandably less impressed:

“This study trots out the usual estimates and calculations. Yes, smoking is a risk to people's health but so is obesity, drinking to excess and lack of exercise,” he said.

“Non-smokers take coffee breaks, make personal phone calls and use social media at work. Should those activities be targeted too?” he concluded, conveniently ignoring the fact that smokers can also drink coffee, make personal phone calls and use social media.

However, he finished by insisting that whether a person smokes or not should not be a factor for employers, saying “people should be judged on their ability to do the job, not on whether they smoke”. While smokers are not officially a discriminated-against group (although smokers may argue they are discriminated against) it is unlikely to be legal to refuse to employ someone just because they smoke. But then again, perhaps your CV will just look better if it doesn’t smell of stale smoke...

TOPICS:   Health

12 comments

  • jim
    this annoys me. if smoking is soo bad - they why the fuck is it legal. double standards bullshit - ganja is illegal - it doesnt kill yet fags and alcohol are legal. and people moan about it. sod off im going for a smoke
  • Mustapha S.
    Because if they banned everything that was bad for you or dangerous, we wouldn't be able to do anything. So quite rightly the Govt taxes it. I pay my staff who are non smokers about more than smokers, as they've generally off chuffing every 5 minutes, or being ill with chest infections.
  • Natty
    @fullofpoo No discrimination there then...
  • iForgot
    "Increased pension costs"? Are smokers living longer than non-smokers now then?
  • Justin A.
    @jim 'Ganja' can immediately fog the mind of the smoker a great deal more than a standard cigarette (don't drive while smoking it), lead to the development of schizophrenia and paranoia and is considered a gateway drug to harder substances. I don't advocate smoking regular cigarettes, but plenty of active professionals function as decent citizens despite smoking them. Whereas the majority of weed smokers I've ever seen or met have been slackers, drop-outs or students.
  • Joulupukki
    @ Justin Manchester AfterDark ...Aaand cue that pillock Lancer Vancer to claim the exact opposite. Take it away, Lance.
  • Alexis
    "“This study trots out the usual estimates and calculations. Yes, smoking is a risk to people’s health but so is obesity, drinking to excess and lack of exercise,” he said." Yes, and a company would be best not employing fat alcoholics too. So what's his point?
  • Daisy D.
    And absolutely no doctors or nurses are fat alcoholics. That's a FACT right there.
  • jim
    my point is cigarettes kill - yet they are happily taxed and sold. ganja - doesnt kill yes it can cause some problems for some people - but so does alcohol. so fuck people moaning about cigarettes - they should be illegal as they kill smokers and people near them. double standards
  • Mustapha S.
    @Natty - why should I discriminate against non smokers, who would otherwise work an extra 30 minutes a day for the same wage as a smoker who get to chat outside in the sunshine? What would you think would happen if I made Asian workers work whilst I let white folk go home 30 mins early?
  • _me_
    It's full of bullshit. I smoked for 23 years and took 2 days off work in that entire time. I did more business transactions and had just as much real work in the smoke room as I did at my desk. I quit smoking because it was too expensive and my missus didn't like it. When you work 10-12 hour days when you only officially do 7.5, who gives a shit when you have fag breaks?
  • _you_
    @ _me_ Perhapse if you were at your desk you wouldn't have to work 12 hour days ;)

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