While the negative economic effects of cigarette smoking are frequently examined in terms of the costs of health services and potential years of life lost, data on the indirect costs due to absence from work in Israel are scarce. During 1985-87, cigarette smoking habits and absence due to illness and accidents were examined in 5,826 employees (4,177 men and 1,649 women) in Israeli industry, screened in the framework of the Cordis Study. The absenteeism data related to the period 1986-87. Among men, smokers were absent an average of 2.6 days per employee more than nonsmokers (P < 0.001) over the 2-year period after adjusting for age and occupational category. Among women there was no significant difference in sickness absenteeism between smokers and nonsmokers. The excess days lost among male smokers was only partly explained by increased absence due to respiratory illness. Accident rates did not differ by smoking habits. There is a significant increase in absence due to illness among men employed in Israeli industry, which may be attributed to cigarette smoking. Since cigarette smoking continues to be a common practice, the overall costs to the economy may be considerable.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Israel Journal of Medical Sciences|
|State||Published - 1992|
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