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Quitting Smoking Can Boost Productivity

Here's another good reason to kick the habit: giving up cigarettes will increase your productivity at work and cut back on your sick leave. A new article in the journal Tobacco Control reports these findings, which result from a 1990 U.S. Office of Technology Assessment study. The research estimated that smokers cost employers $47 billion dollars in early deaths and disability. The scientists tracked the attendance, productivity and perceptions of ticket sales staff for a major U.S. airline. One hundred of the subjects smoked, 100 had never smoked and another 100 had quit.

The data showed that smokers took on average nearly three times as much sick leave as did non-smokers, and significantly more time off than ex-smokers as well. The more recently an ex-smoker had quit, the more absenteeism they still showed. So too, it took quitters 12 months to become more productive than current smokers. Past that one-year mark, though, ex-smokers were on average five percent more productive than smokers. Perhaps the greatest incentive to give up smoking, the scientists found that current smokers were the least satisfied with their lives, based on their answers to a standard questionnaire.
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