Tobacco use in the workplace has been a significant cause of concern over the years, as many workers exposed to tobacco smoke are susceptible to its various health risks and attendant productivity decline. There has been more than a 50% decline in cigarette smoking among US adults since the first Surgeon-General’s Report on health risks of smoking over 50 years ago. However, about 20 percent of the workforce still smoke cigarettes, exposing non-smokers to second-hand smoke.
Tobacco use is a public health problem worldwide, being a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease and cancer which are the leading causes of death worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco smoking remains the largest preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. In addition to its health implications, tobacco smoking causes a substantial economic burden, costing the United States over $300 billion every year in direct medical expenses and productivity loss.
According to the CDC Foundation, productivity loss resulting from of second-hand smoking-related illnesses costs about $5.6 billion every year with a total of $156 billion recorded yearly in productivity loss from all smoking-related illnesses.
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