Smokers take eight more days’ sick leave a year than non-smokers

Smokers take an average of eight days’ more sick leave a year than their non-smoking colleagues, research published in the journal Tobacco Control has suggested.

A team from Free University in Amsterdam analysed data on sickness absence among 14,000 workers in Sweden between 1988 and 1991. Of the workers studied, 45% had never smoked, 29% were current smokers and 26% former smokers.

Adjusting for the fact that smokers tended to be employed in “riskier” jobs and were found to have poorer underlying health, as well as socio-economic factors, the difference between those that smoked and those that didn’t was an additional eight days’ absence a year.

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