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The costs of smoking

Report out today telling us all how much smoking costs business.

Smokers cost British companies more than £2bn ($3.2bn) last year, according to a study funded by the NHS and published on Friday.

In the first estimate of the direct cost to companies of staff who smoke, the London School of Economics said businesses lost £1.1bn from smoking-related illness absences, £914m from smoking breaks and £133m from fire damage. Indirect costs could be as high as a further £1.1bn.

So, err, half of the two billion comes from the costs of smoking breaks, not from hte costs of smoking.

This is thus showing us the costs of the smoking ban, not the costs of smoking.

Anyone remember what the figure they used for the costs of second hand smoke to business were? Higher or lower than £900 million?

15 thoughts on “The costs of smoking”

  1. Politicians understand this point. That is why they did not ban smoking in the Westminster or the EU Parliaments. 😉

  2. Is there any evidence that people who leave the workplace to smoke regularly actually produce less in the long run?

    It’s good to take a break now and then, no?

  3. Surely the smoking ban was because people have a right not to be exposed to toxins at work? Not for financial reasons?

  4. But the smoking ban was justified in part on financial reasons which this study is attempting to justify.
    Also missing from the study is the beneficial effect the consumption of nicotine has on mental concentration. How much has been lost because workers in stressed jobs are not operating at peak ability?

  5. fjfjfj no tthe opposite is in fact the case. Regular breaks increase productivity, they do not decrease it…

  6. @Kit smoking is, entirely and throughout, banned in the Houses of Parliament. The lie that it isn’t is popular among libertoonians, but is still a lie.

  7. @john b

    Sorry I didn’t choose my word carefully enough. Yes smoking is banned in the Houses of Parliament BUT not everywhere in the Palace of Westminster.

    (In the House of Commons smoking has been banned since 1694)

  8. Meh. “All internal areas of the Palace of Westminster, so the rules on smoking faced by MPs are exactly the same as the ones faced by people who work and/or drink anywhere else” being the point.

  9. “smoking is, entirely and throughout, banned in the Houses of Parliament. The lie that it isn’t is popular among libertoonians, but is still a lie.”

    “the people in Trixie’s video were just breaking the rules.”

    So it’s banned, but the ban isn’t enforced. So saying MPs are allowed to smoke isn’t actually a lie.

  10. Bah, some of the best most efficient colleagues I’ve ever had also took regular smoking breaks. And the laziest and least effective colleagues sometimes did so.

    Had a visit from my Maltese opposite number in the sister company once—utterly amazed I could do the job without a massive ashtray full on the desk at all times. “How can you handle the stress”. I tended to shout at people, go for a walk or read blogs.

    But when I was reading blogs it looked like I was working. More honest to take a fag break. Besides which, smokers take a fag break frequently do so in lieu of a proper lunch break. FFS.

    Utterly bollocks research paid for by us. Wonderful.

  11. @john b

    Did you read your own link?
    “While the Act does not formally apply on the parliamentary estate…”

    Can you not see the difference between an Act Parliament and a decision taken by a “Administration Committee”?

  12. @john b

    When you lose an argument you will get a great deal more respect if you don’t resort to a playground tirade.

  13. @kit when you lose an argument, you’ll get a great deal more respect if you sound less like a pompous twat.

    At least, that’s what your mum told me last night.

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