X

Would you like to customize your experience?

We will only send you the content you are most interested in.

I'm interested in:

Not now, thanks.

Stay Up-to-date with Xceleration

Firms seek to cut costs by encouraging employees to give up smoking

More companies are linking their rewards and recognition programs to employee health initiatives in order to improve well-being and cut insurance costs.

More companies are linking their rewards and recognition programs to employee health initiatives in order to improve well-being and cut insurance costs.

One big target for firms is to convince their workers to put down cigarettes and quit smoking altogether. Micah Berman, director of New England Law and Boston's Center for Public Health and Tobacco Policy, has examined how much smokers cost their employers per year, and so far estimates it's about $6,000 annually for each individual, The Columbus Dispatch Reports.

That large figure covers the excess healthcare costs that accompany tobacco use as well as expenses that have less to do with insurance and more to do with productivity, including smoking breaks and an inability to focus due to nicotine addiction. These factors are contributing to changes in business policies.

"It's a trend, but certainly not something that has exploded, and it's still a small minority of companies," Berman told the newspaper. However, the number is growing. A survey by Towers Watson found the number of companies with such policies in place grew by 50 percent between 2009 and 2010.

Before implementing health initiatives, firms will want to consult with legal counsel to ensure they're within their rights and not infringing on those of staff members.

What are you waiting for?
Subscribe to get the latest from our blog!