Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 09:17 PM EDT
Tobacco use can break the bank, not only is it expensive for the smoker, but also his or her employer.
Now, as News 13's Jay Siltzer shows us in today's Health Alert, more and more businesses are willing to pay up to help workers kick the habit.
Charlie Howes, smoker for 11 years, "usually when I wake up in the morning that's the tough ones and driving in the car...those are the two big ones for me."
Faced with the declining health and the potential for lung damage, Charlie's employer wants him off cigarettes and is paying for him to take part in a smoking cessation program through Mission Hospital.
"There is a great cost savings in our medical dollars when people quit using tobacco."
Studies show at least $3,200 a year for the company per employee and about $1,500 a year for the employee who smokes a pack a day, all for an investment of approximately $750 per tobacco-using employee.
"The program is not judgmental about you falling off the wagon; no one gets mad at you."
Donna Borowski, tobacco addiction specialist, "we educate them on all the different medications...we talk about the different processes that are out there."
Always aimed at improving the employee's health, all the while increasing production at work, while reducing absenteeism and overall insurance costs.
For more information on the nicotine dependence program, contact Mission Health at (828) 213-5527.