What’s The True Cost Of Smoking Tobacco Cigarettes?

It’s worrying to think that a shocking £979million is the cost of smoking-related sick days in the UK workplace every year, and it’s even more disturbing to think that these costs can be prevented every day a smoker lights up.

One in five adults smoke in Britain, which equates to approximately 9.6million adult smokers. Research data collected by Action and Smoking Health (ASH) have revealed that about half of all regular cigarette smokers will eventually be killed by their addiction, and when you take this into account in the workplace, ASH has also reported that smoking has a loss of productivity of £4billion due to premature deaths.

The cost of smoking is penetrating all areas of society, from business productivity, NHS costs, fire safety risks and environmental costs; it’s estimated that the cost to our society is a whopping £12.9billion per year, and the facts just keep piling up.

Smoking costs UK businesses around £5.8billion in smoking breaks, equivalent to 865 million minutes a day wasted smoking, and 600,590 days in accumulated time. The average person wastes a whole 7 minutes smoking a cigarette, with research also showing that smokers also take 70% of an extra day’s sick leave every year; more than non-smokers, according to figures by The Office of National Statistics.

Cutting smoking breaks could in turn cut unnecessary costs which impact UK businesses each year, and not only would a reduction of smoking in the workplace improve productivity, it would cut costs to the NHS, and the impact it has on the environment.

It’s high time that businesses started supporting the vaping community, and encouraged more of the smokers to switch from tobacco to e-liquid. Aside from the obvious health benefits it would bring, it would save businesses thousands of pounds as well. Just think what £5billion a year could fund for our British society?



The Facts:

  • Cutting out smoking breaks would save UK businesses £5bn per year.
  • It takes 7 minutes to smoke a cigarette on average.
  • On average men spend an hour and a half a day smoking.
  • On average women spend an hour and 17 minutes a day smoking.
  • ASH reported smoking has a loss in productivity of £4billion due to premature deaths.
  • It costs businesses £5.8billion in smoking breaks.
  • CEBR (Centre for Economic and Business Research) calculated that time off for smoking costs businesses about £50 per year, per smoker.
  • Smoking-related sick days amount to £979million.
  • Smoking breaks cost employers £1,815 a year for each member of staff (British Heart Foundation).
  • A smoker takes an average of 3.9 smoking breaks, lasting 9.8 minutes on average.
  • OnePoll for the British Heart Foundation found that smoking breaks take up 8.1% of time working.
  • Smoking costs a total of £12.9billion a year to society.
  • Smokers take 70% of an extra day’s sick leave every year more than non-smokers according to ONS annual population survey of the smoking habits, and working patterns of more than 300,000 Britons.
  • CEBR found among 300,000 Britons, that of the 2000 of them who smoked, 88% said they smoked when stressed, 72% smoked to put off doing a task, and 76% said cravings increased when others smoked.
  • The average smoker takes four smoking breaks a day.
  • Businesses can be fined up to £2,500 if employees are found to be smoking at work.
  • Businesses can be fined £1000 if they do not display ‘no smoking signs’.
  • Half to two-thirds of all lifelong smokers will eventually be killed by their habit.

Putting it into perspective…

To the moon and back:

  • Women smoke 3418km of cigarettes a day
  • Men smoke 5232.5km of cigarettes a day
  • 384,400km to the moon

3 months of the total cigarettes smoked a day in the UK stacked one by one on top of each other would reach the moon and back!

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