Negative Impact of Smokers in the Workplace

Businesses are all about the bottom line, which means looking at all the different things that can negatively affect it and making changes. Surprisingly, employees that smoke have been noted as a large long-term expense for most businesses, due to the adverse effects on health and productivity that cigarettes have.

It's estimated that the average Australian business loses around ten thousand dollars for every pack that an employee smokes. Because of this, many of these businesses are looking into ways to help their employees quit, for the sake of their health and the company.

1. They tend to be less productive

Despite the fact that nicotine is considered a substance that increases focus and calmness, smokers have been shown to be less productive in the workplace. This could be due to a variety of factors tied to smoking. In some cases, the frequent smoking breaks interrupt productive work and make it difficult to get back into the same working mentality after the break ends.

On the other hand, there's also the factor of smoking as an addiction. When craving a smoke, it's likely that the employee will focus on that instead of the work in front of them. While this is remedied after a smoking break, the loss in productivity has already manifested itself. Despite this, firing them is not the proper solution.

2. Irritating substances can cause adverse reactions

As the name suggests, smoking releases smoke into the air. This smoke contains a wide variety of irritating chemicals which can cause allergies. If any of your employees suffer from asthma or chronic bronchitis, they will have frequent exacerbations if they are in the presence of people that smoke. Even if done outside, the fine smoke and ash find their way onto clothes and shoes, spreading the allergenic substance around the workplace.

Compare this to the vapour of electronic cigarettes, which is almost entirely made up of a water aerosol and non-irritating substances. By avoiding the smoking aspect entirely, an employee that vapes wouldn't have to worry about triggering anyone's allergies.

3. Secondhand smoke can harm other employees

The long-term health dangers of smoking aren't just limited to the smokers themselves; they can also affect the environment around them. Secondhand smoke forces surrounding employees to inhale a small amount of the toxic chemicals that are featured in cigarettes. This small amount is more than enough to cause a documented shift in the number of lung cancer in non-smokers, as noted by the Australian department of health.

Employees might consider switching to a healthier alternative, such as vaping. There have been no documented long-term consequences of using electronic cigarettes, which is why so many businesses are turning to companies like E-Liquid Australia in order to give their employees a healthier alternative and a way to kick the habit of smoking tobacco.

4. Businesses pay larger insurance premiums

A business needs to take care of its workers, but some workers require a bit of extra care than others. Smokers are the most notable examples. It's no secret to anyone that smoking is a harmful activity which affects just about every system in the body, and this reflects on yearly insurance premiums and injury compensations.

Smoking is also a fire hazard, and accidents can happen in the workplace. The average smoker will cause dozens of dollars in fire damage per year, no matter what line of work they're in. Because of this, some employers choose to charge extra premiums from their smoking employees in order to compensate for the potential and actual losses.


Reducing the number of smokers in the workplace is in the interest of every modern business. The damaging effects of cigarettes are too great to be ignored, which is why changes need to be made. Luckily, employees can find ways to kick the addiction or find a healthier outlet for their nicotine needs. Employers need to be understanding of the struggle to quit nicotine and help their employees reach this mutually beneficial goal.

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