Despite the fact that the negative health effects of smoking are thoroughly documented, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 15 percent of the United States population still smokes. In addition to being responsible for more than 400,000 deaths every year, smoking inflicts billions of dollars in unnecessary costs on U.S. industry every year.
Here are few reasons why small business owners, in particular, should do their best to help their workers quit smoking.
Smoking Negatively Impacts Productivity
The CDC notes that American businesses lose more than $156 billion in lost productivity to smoking every year. That includes $5.6 billion in productivity lost due to secondhand smoke exposure.
Four of the most expensive and productivity decimating health conditions that contribute to that staggering number are heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, and chest pain. Smoking increases an individual’s risk factor for all of those debilitating ailments.
Smoking can also lead to the contraction of serious illnesses like cancer, lung disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, one study found that U.S. businesses lose $3,077 annually for every smoker they employ due to the costs of smoke-break-related partial absenteeism.
Smoking Increases Health Care Costs
Another big problem that smokers bring to the workplace is increased healthcare costs. Almost $170 billion are spent providing medical care for smoking-related illnesses every year. This is due to smokers being more likely to be stricken by respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As such, they’ll need a greater level of coverage than non-smokers.
Smoking Hurts a Small Business’s Recruiting and Retention Efforts
Smoking can also have a negative impact on a small business’ efforts to recruit and retain top-level workers. Having smokers on the payroll can make health care premiums so expensive for both the employer and the employee that offering health benefits becomes untenable.
Unfortunately for those companies, a recent Glassdoor study found that workers regard health insurance as the greatest factor in employee satisfaction. When employees aren’t satisfied with their jobs, they start considering other prospects. They also give their employers poor marks on their way out the door on sites like Glassdoor. As a result, those businesses have a harder time convincing the best and the brightest that they represent a viable career option.
Bay Area startups need to prioritize helping all their staff members kick the habit once and for all. Regardless of industry, small businesses benefit when their employees don’t smoke.
Canopy Health is a community of caregivers creating an integrated healthcare experience where quality care and coverage are provided by an alliance of top caregivers throughout the Bay Area. They offer refreshingly clear, human care that is achieved by making each unique member’s journey predictable, transparent, and cost-effective.
For more tips and inspiration for small business owners,
visit CBS Small Business Pulse San Francisco.