Want to Control Healthcare Costs? Screen Employees for Nicotine Use

Healthcare is one of the top concerns for small businesses, and many employers have started passing along added costs to high-risk employees — particularly smokers. In fact, the cost of providing coverage to smokers is so significant some employers are making their companies smoke free, refusing to hire smokers. Employers pay an extra $21 per smoker per day in additional medical costs and lost productivity. That is $7,874 annually, according to information from Alere, a rapid diagnostics firm.