Smokers take 2.7 extra sick days per year, research shows

November 1, 2012
Smokers take 2.7 extra sick days per year, research shows

(Medical Xpress)—Smokers are costing the UK economy £1.4 billion by taking an average of two or three days more sick leave per year than their non-smoking colleagues, a new study has revealed.

Current smokers are 33 per cent more likely to miss work than non-smokers and were absent an average of 2.7 extra days per year, according to research conducted by Dr Jo Leonardi-Bee and Stephen Weng in the UK Centre for Studies based at The University of Nottingham.

" appears to reduce absenteeism and result in substantial cost savings for employers" said Dr Leonardi-Bee.

The findings emphasised the importance of encouraging smokers to quit; doing so could help to reverse some of the lost-work trends, as figures showed that current smokers were still 19 per cent more likely to miss work than ex-smokers.

The report, published in the journal Addiction, analysed 29 separate studies conducted between 1960 and 2011 in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Japan, covering more than 71,000 public and private sector workers.

Researchers asked workers about their current and former smoking habits and used surveys or medical and employee records to track how often they were absent over an average of two years. The study showed that smoking was clearly tied to workers' short-term absences as well as leaves of four weeks or more.

The £1.4bn pounds lost in the UK due to smoking-related was only one of the numerous costs of smoking in the workplace, according to Dr Leonardi-Bee and her colleagues. Others costs included productivity lost to smoking breaks and the cost of cigarette-related fire damage.

However, the researchers add, further study is needed to examine which interventions are cost-effective for employers to aid smokers to quit smoking in the workplace.

Explore further: Stopping smoking is hard despite success of smoke-free legislation

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10 … 1/add.12015/abstract

Related Stories

Stopping smoking is hard despite success of smoke-free legislation

April 20, 2012
The successful implementation of smokefree legislation in Hong Kong has led to an overall decrease in the total number of smokers but the remaining smokers who are finding it difficult to quit are going on to become "hardcore" ...

Smoking bans lead to less, not more, smoking at home: study

February 13, 2012
Smoking bans in public/workplaces don't drive smokers to light up more at home, suggests a study of four European countries with smoke free legislation, published online in Tobacco Control.

Social disapproval not fear helps smokers quit

March 15, 2012
Researchers from Canterbury Christ Church University have found that smokers are more likely to stop because of anti-social attitudes towards them than from fear of ill-health.

Age, gender and social advantage affect success in quitting smoking

May 27, 2011
The study, commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and undertaken by the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies (UKCTCS), reviewed published studies from between 1990 and 2007 to establish ...

Brain imaging demonstrates that former smokers have greater willpower

April 26, 2011
A study, completed by researchers from Trinity College and the Research Institute for a Tobacco Free Society, Dublin, Ireland, compares former smokers to current smokers, and obtains insight into how to quit smoking might ...

Recommended for you

Medical students need training to prescribe medical marijuana

September 15, 2017
Although 29 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana use for medical purposes, few medical students are being trained how to prescribe the drug. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis ...

Protein links alcohol abuse and changes in brain's reward center

September 8, 2017
When given access to alcohol, over time mice develop a pattern similar to what we would call "problem drinking" in people, but the brain mechanisms that drive this shift have been unclear. Now a team of UC San Francisco researchers ...

11 minutes of mindfulness training helps drinkers cut back

August 24, 2017
Brief training in mindfulness strategies could help heavy drinkers start to cut back on alcohol consumption, finds a new UCL study.

Marijuana use amongst youth stable, but substance abuse admissions up

August 15, 2017
While marijuana use amongst youth remains stable, youth admission to substance abuse treatment facilities has increased, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Report reveals underground US haven for heroin, drug users

August 8, 2017
A safe haven where drug users inject themselves with heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States for the past three years, a report reveals.

Regular energy drink use linked to later drug use among young adults

August 8, 2017
Could young adults who regularly consume highly caffeinated energy drinks be at risk for future substance use? A new study by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.