The 37th Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 15. Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the event encourages smokers to use November 15th as a milestone in their stop smoking journey.


Quitting smoking isn’t just good for your health, it is also good for your pocketbook. If you stop smoking you’ll save money on cigarettes, reduce smoking-related healthcare costs and even save money by reducing your fuel use by eliminating all of those quick trips to the store for a pack of smokes.


If you quit smoking, you can also help your employer save money. Over the years numerous studies have shown that smokers are less productive than their non-smoking coworkers. A study published in the October 2006 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (PDF) put a dollar figure on productivity loss by smokers.


According to the researchers, productivity lost by nonsmokers was quantified at $2,623 per year. This number jumped to $3,426 for former smokers and $4,430 for current smokers. The research team determined that more than half of the costs were due to decreased productivity while on the job with the rest of the productivity loss a result of absences.


When a company employs fewer smokers, they also experience other economic benefits:


  • Direct health care costs may go down with fewer smokers on a plan
  • Risk of fire is lower, possibly reducing insurance premiums
  • Facility and ground maintenance costs decrease because there are fewer smoking-related waste items to clean up
  • Office furniture lasts longer

If you are a smoker, I encourage you to participate in the 2012 Great American Smokeout and I wish you good luck in your stop smoking journey.

Great American Smokeout: Smoking affects workplace productivity
A look at the link between smoking and decreased worker productivity in honor of the 2012 Great American Smokeout.