Smoking Costs Dollars, Legs, and Now Your Job

With the economy slowly recovering, every smoker is faced with the financial burden of their bad habit. Many still push out the dollar signs for their nicotine. Others are paying a different price for the many cigarette breaks. Smokers are 16 times more likely to have peripheral vascular disease or PVD. This disease leads to decreased blood flow, painful limbs, chronic ulcers, and amputations. But wait there is more. The job market is a little smaller for smokers as many companies are adopting anti-smoking policies.
Hospitals and medical businesses are turning away smokers. Part of the interview is screening your smoking habits and some go as far as instituting a nicotine urine test. Why the crackdown on smokers in the workplace? With health care dollars a growing concern for many employers, they are trying to cut their losses anywhere possible. It is estimated that the average smoker cost greater than $3,000 more to employ than the non-smoking counterpart. This is attributed to the higher health care costs and the lost productivity due to those many cigarette breaks.
29 states, with the help of strong lobbies, have adopted laws that prohibit smoking discrimination. Still many large health institutions have adopted the policy. The Cleveland Clinic has been hiring non-smokers since 2007. Also not hiring smokers is the American Lung Association, The American Cancer Society, and the World Health Organization.
Do you need any more reasons to stop smoking! Smoking continues to be leading cause of preventable death. One in five Americans still smoke. We have all heard the dangers of smoking from cancer to cardiovascular disease, but did you know smoking is bad for your feet? I hesitate doing any surgery on smokers. Got a bunion? If you smoke, you are at higher risk of non-healing, infection, and many other complications. Nicotine causes your blood vessels to constrict and decreases the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to your tissues. Years of smoking causes years of damage to your feet and legs.
Too many of my patients come in with ulcers due to poor circulation A number of my patients are missing toes because the blood flow was so poor it could not keep the toes alive. Smokers have thinning skin and are on the verge of losing their legs. Cigarettes will cost you your pocket book, cost you your legs, and now may cost you your job. Quit while you are ahead, because it will get worse the longer you puff.

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