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Smokers Are Slackers on the Job

They tend to be sicker, less productive than nonsmokers

(HealthDay) -- It may come as no surprise to colleagues of smokers, but those who puff on cigarettes tend to be ill more often and are less productive than their non-smoking counterparts, reports this article from the BBC News.

American researchers studied 300 airline employees and found that smokers averaged at least two more sick days a year than nonsmoking employees. Smokers also did their jobs at a slower, less productive pace than nonsmokers.

Smokers may be less productive because they take frequent breaks to smoke, the article says. But, when smokers quit, their productivity increased, the researchers found.

"It's time employers recognized the fact that health and industrial competitiveness are fundamentally linked," says Clive Bates, director of the group -- Action on Smoking and Health -- that did the study.

The Tobacco Manufacturers' Association disputes the latest findings and counters that smoking can actually increase productivity. It claims smoking relieves stress and brings together employees who wouldn't normally meet.

While quitting smoking may or may not boost your productivity, research has shown it definitely can boost your health. So, check out the You Can Quit Smoking Consumer Guide, offered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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