Doctors group finds smoking ban would boost productivity

Workers taking cigarette breaks are contributing to major losses in the UK economy, according to the Royal College of Physicians.

In a study, the Royal College said savings of up to £4bn would come from increased productivity, as workers take fewer cigarette breaks,  lower NHS costs, reduced insurance premiums, cleaning and fire-related bills.

The government plans to ban smoking in all public enclosed places, except pubs and bars that do not serve food, following a consultation exercise.

The report said: “There is an unanswerable moral case to protect all people from passive smoking at work. All employees have a right to work in a safe environment, and all employers have a duty to ensure that they do.”

It said a comprehensive smoke-free legislation, making all public places and workplaces completely smoke-free, without exception, is the only effective means of achieving this

The Royal College of Physicians estimates that of the 12,000 deaths caused each year by passive smoking, 500 can be attributed to smoking at work.

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