Smoke breaks may be costing employers more than they think, with U.K. businesses losing around $14.50 billion a year, according to a new study.
The average British smoker takes four smoking breaks during the work day, lasting around 10 minutes each, as well as taking nearly an entire day more in sick leave a year than non-smokers, a study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research found.
(Read more: If you want to earn more money, quit smoking)
"This equates to 136 hours of lost productive time every year for the average smoker – costing the average business 1,522 pounds (around $2,537) in unproductive wages," CEBR said. It noted smokers make up around 20 percent of the U.K. workforce.
The extra cost of a smoking employee may be higher in the U.S. A Gallup poll late last year estimated employers were dunned an extra $3,077 a year for each smoker, assuming it cost $341 for each complete missed workday and around $13 a day for partial-absenteeism due to recurring smoke breaks.