Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nicotine Tests & Productivity

As more employers mandate no smoking policies at work and at home for their employees, it may be worthwhile to examine the statistics that underlie these decisions. Why do you have to take a nicotine test at work these days? The CDC provides the answer.

According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published by the CDC, "during 2001–2004, average annual smoking-attributable health care expenditures were approximately $96 billion, compared to $75 billion in 1998. [emphasis supplied]" The CDC also pins $97 billion in productivity losses on smoking. The total economic burden then comes out to $193 billion. These are the sort of numbers that have groups like the Santa Rosa Sheriff's Office banning smoking, on and off duty.

There are other studies - that may be influencing employers to nicotine test - suggesting smoking is tied to productivity. This study in the Scientific American shows that smokers took on average three times as much sick leave as non-smokers. A year after they quit smoking, individual ex-smokers were about 5% more productive than their smoking counterparts.

It seems then that nicotine tests are not going away when it comes to the workplace. The prospect of saving money on healthcare costs is appealing for many employers. Particular polices may vary, but the trends are clear. Florida even has a state law requiring that paid firefighters are tobacco-free for a year before they start work.

For the smoker then, the risks of smoking continue to multiply. Not only are there risks to your health but also to your chances in the job market. If you wish to use a nicotine test to test yourself or a loved one, you can purchase these at Home Health Testing. Such tests are cheap, easy to use, and extremely accurate. All that is required is a urine sample and five minutes of one's time.