Smokos cost Aussie Businesses Billions


In 2006 smokers cost Australian business over $3.5 billion in lost time to the 'smoko,' according to a survey by Talent2, Australia’s leading recruitment and human resources firm. This figure does not take in to account the hidden costs of smoking, such as the extra sick-days smokers take.

According to the 967 respondents, 13.7% of Australians admit to smoking at work, 39.6% say they smoke up to 3 cigarettes a day, with 45% saying each smoko they take lasts between 3 and 5 minutes each.

It appears that moves this year to officially stub-out the smoko are gaining momentum, with 41% of non-smokers gasping for the end of the smoke-break saying it just wastes everyone’s time.

John Banks of Talent2 says that employers have a duty of care for their workers, yet over 35% of people say there is either no written smoke-free work environment policy at their workplace, or if there is, they are unaware of it. This is something that businesses should be mindful of, as if it can be proven that exposure to passive smoking at work has contributed to the development of a disease or aggravated an existing disease, employers are liable to pay worker’s compensation.

"orkplaces are increasingly becoming completely smoke-free. 31.3% of businesses with a smoke-free work environment policy have implemented a total ban throughout the premises, including the surrounding grounds. Worryingly, though, 16.2% of policies still allow for smoking inside the workplace, but in designated, smoking rooms."

"Many employers take the attitude that if an employee decides to smoke, that is a decision that the individual makes. However, as this survey shows, the financial cost to companies makes it necessary for employers to take an active role in helping their employees to quit. Only 15% of employers offer incentives or programmes to assist their employees in quitting, yet 44% of Australians believe their employers should."