Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

One casualty of the new health care law may be paid coverage for families of people who work for small businesses.

Smokers cost employers $5,816 apiece per year; more than half is lost time from smoking breaks.

Aaron Carroll defends rationing in the Oregon Medicaid program.

Comments (12)

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  1. Tom says:

    “Smokers cost employers $5,816 apiece per year; more than half is lost time from smoking breaks.”

    Will employers try to screen out smokers during interviews now?

    • Sam says:

      They should pay smokers less than non-smokers.

      • Tom says:

        Really? How would they objectively justify this discriminatory stance? Sure, they may have some aspects that cost employers more money, but even so, that is not a universal cost with all smokers…

        • Crownswell says:

          Health Costs is how you can justify it. It’s not discrimination…they choose to make themselves less healthy than a non-smoker.

    • Craig says:

      I find this study to be completely unreliable. Because there is no way to objectively verify the amount money a person could make for the company, because that is a very individualistic variable which can’t be accurately averaged.

      • Barry says:

        Exactly!

        Also, cigarette’s are a anti-psychotic, so you are going to have a less stressed work force = higher probability of a happier worker = a more productive work force = means more money.

  2. Clarence says:

    “Smokers took, on average, about five breaks a day, compared with the three breaks typically sanctioned for most workers.”

    I would like to see the statistical data on this, because I would think that there would be a lot outliers in this study, because the average/mean of smokers could be distorted by people who smoke a ridiculous amount of cigarettes. Like 3 backs a day.

    • Bosh says:

      Also who was the demographic of people who were interviewed for this study, because that changes the statistics a lot.

  3. Crownswell says:

    “The remaining costs came from increased absenteeism — the researchers found that smokers miss about two-and-a-half extra workdays each year — and lost productivity at work, perhaps because of nicotine’s withdrawal effects.”

    2 1/2 work days? out of 365 days a year? That’s less than one percent of a year…the costs are small at best.

  4. Ben says:

    “We certainly encourage businesses to provide smoking cessation programs. At least for large companies, it’s highly likely to save them money over time,”

    That’s an interesting plan for increasing productivity, but I am not sure it is really going to make companies that much more money.

  5. Howard says:

    Smoking is just another thing for employees to waste their time with. You could screen for smokers during interviews, or just have a strict smoking policy at work. Smokers would have a chance to smoke at least during their lunch break.

  6. Studebaker says:

    Aaron Carroll defends rationing in the Oregon Medicaid program.

    I don’t have a problem with public programs rationing the amount of services they are willing to provide any given person. In consumer markets, goods and services are rationed by price. In non-market sectors, of course donors should place limits on the goods and services provided to benefactors. That’s why I’ve never complained about so-called Death Panels.