Teaching Profession Opinion

$278 Billion Up In Smoke

By Emily Douglas-McNab — November 20, 2013 1 min read
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According to a recent report from Gallup, “Workers who smoke cost the U.S. economy an estimated $278 billion annually in lost productivity due to absenteeism and extra healthcare costs.” How did they measure this impact? Here’s a snapshot of the data.

The findings are based on more than 67,000 interviews with American adults who work at least one hour or more per week. The interviews were conducted via telephone as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey between January 2, 2013 and August 21, 2013.

Between rising health insurance costs, lost productivity, and overall employee health and well-being, more and more talent managers have been tasked with working to alleviate the financial and physical impact of smoking on their organizations. Some businesses have gone so far as to enact policies barring individuals who smoke from employment.

What is your organization’s policy toward smoking? What supports, if any, have you put in place to help employees quit? Do you collect data to measure the impact of smoking on employee health and your organization’s bottom line?

For more information on human capital and talent managment in education, you can follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyDouglasHC

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