How much is that smoker on your payroll?

Smokers take between 3 to 6 breaks per day

A survey by the National Business Group on Health reports that nearly fifty percent of smokers say they take between three and six smoke breaks per day at work, with more than two-thirds of those employees reporting that the breaks last between five and fifteen minutes. The survey polled 508 employers and 510 employees who smoke.

“While we all intuitively know that smokers taking cigarette breaks cuts into their productivity at work, we learned from this survey that the extent of time lost at work due to smoke breaks could be staggering,” said Ron Finch, vice president at the National Business Group on Health.

Employers in the survey ranked smoking the leading preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Most of these employers believe that establishing smoke-free workplaces is the best way to encourage smokers to quit, but the survey found that employees who smoke believe access to smoking cessation benefits would help them most.