SMOKERS cost the UK economy £12billion a year through illness and fag breaks, a study found.
The total comes despite the number of people smoking having fallen from around 11million to 9million in the past eight years.
Workers nipping out to have a cigarette break cost businesses £3.6billion a year — around £10million a day.
And employees taking time off sick due to smoking-related illnesses cost an additional £8.4billion.
Using data from public health charity Ash, vaping specialists Vapourcore.com looked at the cost of smoking in different regions.
Its study found London (£1.7billion a year) is worst hit, followed by Manchester and the West Midlands.
The lowest costs were £45million in Dorset.
Vapourcore chief Charles Bloom said: “The numbers prove smoking remains a countrywide issue.
“Instead of redistributing wealth into the local economy and improving the experiences of consumers, companies are having to spend their excess on facilitating employees’ smoking habits.”
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