Faculty in the News

Micah Berman Media Hits

The following is a list of selected media coverage for Micah Berman. The links below will direct you to sites that are not affiliated with the Moritz College of Law. They are subject to change, and some may expire or require registration as time passes.

 

Dr. Micah Berman, Ohio State University – Social Butterfly

January 3, 2014

Professor Micah Berman spoke to WAMC Northeast Public radio about the extra money smokers cost their employers. Berman conducted a study analyzing five factors:  absenteeism, presenteeism, lost productivity due to smoking breaks, healthcare costs, and pension benefits.

“Overall, we estimated that each year, an employee who smokes costs an employer an average of $5,816 more than an employee who has never smoked.  We caution that this is a rough indicator of excess costs and that costs may vary significantly depending upon the industry, the specific employees, and numerous other factors.”



No End in Sight for Engle Suits, Even With Liggett Deal

October 23, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a Law 360 article on how Liggett Group LLC's $110 million settlement in Florida's Engle litigation makes them the first of four major tobacco manufacturers to reach a global settlement in the litigation.

“Liggett is obviously a much smaller company, so it's dealing with a smaller universe of cases,” Berman said. “I also think Liggett has a history of acting differently and being more willing to settle these cases.”

 



Ohio State study: Smokers cost employers $6K more annually

August 20, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was interviewed by The Lantern for a story on his research regarding the comprehensive costs of employing a smoker versus a nonsmoker. According to the study, it costs employers almost $6,000 more to employ those who smoke versus those who do not.

“Companies with defined benefit pension systems may save some money due to the fact that smokers die earlier than non-smokers,” Berman said. “But the cost savings is very minimal.”



Dr. Micah Berman, Ohio State University – The Cost of Hiring a Smoker

August 8, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was featured by NPR affiliate WAMC Northeast Public Radio about a study he spearheaded on the effects of hiring a smoker. In the study, Berman and his colleagues found that smokers, on average, cost their employers about $6,000 more than nonsmokers, due to a range of factors.

"We analyzed five factors: absenteeism, presenteeism, lost productivity due to smoking breaks, healthcare costs, and pension benefits," Berman said. "'Presenteeism' refers to lower on-the-job productivity due to a lack of attention – in this case, caused by short-term cycles of nicotine withdrawal. For each factor, we projected an annual cost using the best available data from previous studies."



Smokers cost your boss an extra $5,816 each

August 8, 2013

Professor Micah Berman's work was cited in a Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about the additional cost for employers to hire smokers over nonsmokers. The study Berman spearheaded found that smokers cost an average of about $6,000 more annually than nonsmokers do.

The article states that his research estimates the largest cost for employers is related to work that does not get done when a smoker takes a smoke break. That cost alone is estimated to add $3,077 annually for each smoker compared to a nonsmoker.



The Cost of a Smoker: $5,816

August 7, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in The New York Times about a study he spearheaded, which found that smokers cost their employers an average of almost $6,000 more per year than nonsmokers. The additional costs came from smokers taking more breaks, more time off, and requiring more expensive health care to treat smoking-related ailments. Berman said while some companies are working to help their employees quit smoking, the country as a whole could be doing more to help.

“We certainly encourage businesses to provide smoking cessation programs. At least for large companies, it’s highly likely to save them money over time,” Berman said, adding, “We as a country, as communities, need to be making more efforts to address smoking systematically, not just through cessation but prevention."



Smokers cost their employers an extra $6,000 per year

August 7, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a Daily Mail article about a study he headed about the effects of smoking on an employee's productivity. The study found that, due to smoke breaks, increased average time off, lack of focus at work and more expensive health issues, smokers end up costing their employers an average of $6,000 more per year than nonsmokers. Berman said the research could influence companies' tobacco policies.

"This research should help businesses make better informed decisions about their tobacco policies," Berman said. "We constructed our calculations such that individual employers can plug in their own expenses to get more accurate estimates of their own costs."



Employers: Take care or pay up

August 4, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was cited in the Newark Advocate following a study he spearheaded about the effect of smoking on employees' productivity. The article focuses on businesses which are no longer willing to employ workers with expensive health needs, such as ailments brought on by smoking.

Berman's study found that smokers cost employers an average of nearly $6,000 more than nonsmokers do, in part because of added health costs from smoking-related problems.



What Makes It Hard to Kick the Habit: Letter to the Editor

July 29, 2013

Professor Micah Berman wrote a Letter to the Editor to The New York Times in response to an article the paper published about why smokers have trouble quitting. He notes that while the authors of the article blame "poor self-control in the face of immediate temptation," they forget about another factor that contributes to difficulty of quitting smoking: "the role of the tobacco industry in exploiting this widely shared character trait (poor self control)."

"For example, tobacco manufacturers pay retailers to locate large displays of tobacco products immediately behind the cash register," Berman writes. "Numerous studies have shown that these displays prompt impulse purchases and make it significantly harder for smokers to quit — which is why several other countries have prohibited these displays. Additionally, tobacco companies devote the majority of their advertising budgets to price discounts that offer short-term reward but long-term costs."



Massachusetts ruling could invite more tobacco suits

June 18, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a Reuters article about a recent Massachusetts court has ruling that cigarettes' addictive qualities do not give cigarette makers "special protection" from product liability claims. Berman says that while tobacco companies have spent years arguing that cigarettes' addictive qualities are what truly make them cigarettes, this decision rejects that claim. The result of the ruling is that nearly all cigarettes sold in the state could be declared defective, Berman said.

"It's incredibly significant," Berman said of the decision. "There are not many courts out there who have found that there is an available alternative design to cigarettes."



Smokers Cost Employers $6,000 a Year

June 11, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted by Fox Business in an article about a study he led. The study sought to find the effects of smoking on employees' productivity levels, and found that smokers are more costly to employ than nonsmokers - to the tune of about $5,800 per year.

“The idea is that people who are smokers have some level of reduced productivity, because they are essentially going through the cycle of withdrawal from nicotine, which causes distraction throughout the course of the day,” says Berman.
 



The Secret Thing That Can Cost You a Job

June 10, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a Men's Health article about a study he led on the effects of smoking on employees' productivity. The study found that on average, employers spend about $5,800 more on smokers than nonsmokers annually. In the article, Berman acknowledges that smokers can seem undesirable to employers, but one shouldn't lie about whether one smokes to get hired.

"If asked, don’t lie—it can be grounds for getting fired down the road, Berman says. Instead, ask if your company offers a smoking cessation program. It shows you’re dedicated to your health—a positive attribute that any boss will respect—plus, many businesses have started to help employees kick the habit because it saves them money, Berman says."



Smoking Workers Cost Employers $6,000 More a Year

June 5, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a Newsmax article about a study he headed regarding the increased annual amount smokers cost their employers over nonsmokers. The study found that on average, smokers cost their employers about $5,800 more than nonsmokers per year due to increased days off, more health issues, and smoke breaks. In the paper, Berman and his colleagues discuss the many costs, beyond just financial costs, that come from smoking.

"It is important to remember that the costs imposed by tobacco use are not simply financial costs," the researchers write. "It is not possible to put a price on the lost lives and the human suffering caused by smoking.

"The desire to help one's employees lead healthier and longer lives should provide an additional impetus for employers to work towards eliminating tobacco from the workplace."



Smoking is very costly for employers

June 5, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was cited in an article on Examiner.com for the study he spearheaded, which found that on average smokers cost their employers about $5,800 more yearly than nonsmokers. The study took into account smoke breaks, a higher number of health issues in smokers, and an average higher number of sick days taken by smokers. Berman said the cost of employing smokers goes beyond monetary concerns.

"Employees who smoke impose significant excess costs on private employers." Berman said. "It is important to remember that the costs imposed by tobacco use are not simply financial costs. It is not possible to put a price on the lost lives and the human suffering caused by smoking. The desire to help one's employees lead healthier and longer lives should provide an additional impetus for employers to work towards eliminating tobacco from the workplace."



That Employee Who Smokes Costs The Boss $5,800 A Year

June 4, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted by NPR about a study he led, which revealed that on average, employees who smoke cost their employers $5,800 more than nonsmokers. Berman and his team calculated how much money companies lose to smokers who take frequent smoke breaks, require more medical attention than nonsmokers, and take more sick days or are just less productive. The article suggests that some employers are taking hard looks at the cost of employing smokers as they try to cut health insurance costs, with some refusing to hire people who say they smoke.

"I'm not sure what impact that is going to have on people making decisions starting to smoke or quitting," Berman said of efforts to put the financial hurt on smokers. "Most people start to smoke when they're minors" — not a time when they're thinking about future health insurance premiums. Quitting, he said, "is extremely difficult and usually takes a lot of attempts to be successful."



Smoker hiring costs US firms $6000 a head

June 4, 2013

Professor Micah Berman's study on the cost of smokers to their employers was quoted in Perth Now, an Australian newspaper. Berman led the study, which discovered that through smoke breaks, increased need for medical attention, and an increase in sick days taken, smokers cost their employees an average of $5,800 more than nonsmokers.

The paper discusses the trend that numerous employers in the US have begun charging smokers higher premiums for health insurance or declaring they will only hire non-smokers. Some have even threatened to fire employees who do not quit smoking within a given time, it added.

"Without an accurate estimate of smoking-related costs, such policies may seem arbitrary or unreasonable," the paper said. "A well-reasoned estimate allows companies to more fairly analyse the costs and benefits of such 'tobacco-free workforce' policies."



Hiring a smoker costs a boss an extra $6,000 a year, study finds

June 4, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in The Columbus Dispatch about the study he led, which found that smokers cost employers an average of about $5,800 more than nonsmokers. The study took into account the increased number of sick days smokers take, medical attention they need, and smoke breaks they take frequently. Berman said even while smokers are at their desks, they might not be productive due to feelings of nicotine withdrawl.

“Even if people are at work, they’re essentially going through nicotine withdrawal,” Berman said. “It actually causes a measurable reduction in productivity.”



Smokers Cost Employers Nearly $6,000 More Annually: Study

June 4, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a Huffington Post article about a study he led, which found that employers spend an average of about $5,800 more on smokers than nonsmokers. Although nearly half of large companies have instituted wellness programs for employees, a majority of them are centered around factors like weight, cholesterol and blood pressure, rather than smoking, the article says.The study took into account smoke breaks, frequent health needs, and days off. Berman said the lack of focus on nicotine consumption is a mistake, but one that can be explained by the "sensitive and challenging nature" of the addiction.

"I think it can be easier to focus on other issues," he said. "You can encourage people to work out more without necessarily singling them out."



Smokers Cost Employers Thousands More Than Nonsmokers

June 4, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in Health magazine following the release of a study he spearheaded about the increased amount smokers cost their companies compared to nonsmokers. The study found that, on average, employees who smoke cost employers about $5,800 more annually than nonsmokers. In the study, Berman and his team suggest employers might want to put policies regarding tobacco in the workplace into place.

“It is important to remember that the costs imposed by tobacco use are not simply financial costs. It is not possible to put a price on the lost lives and the human suffering caused by smoking,” Berman’s team wrote. “The desire to help one’s employees lead healthier and longer lives should provide an additional impetus for employers to work towards eliminating tobacco from the workplace.”



Smoking Employees Cost Added $6k Annually

June 4, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a story by NetNewsLedger, a Canadian website, about a study he spearheaded. The study found that smokers, on average, cost about $5,800 more to employ than nonsmokers, when taking into account smoke breaks, an increased number of days taken off, and an increased number of health issues. Berman said for these reasons and others, some employers have policies against hiring smokers.

“Most of the places that have policies against hiring smokers are coming at it not just from a cost perspective but from a wellness perspective,” Berman said. "It’s definitely not just a cost issue, but employers should be informed about what the costs are when they are considering these policies.”

 



Hiring a smoker costs US firms $6,000 a head

June 4, 2013

Professor Micah Berman's study on the increased amount smokers cost their employers compared to nonsmokers was quoted by Thailand newspaper Bangkok Post. The study found that, on average, smokers cost their employers about $5,800 more than nonsmokers, due to smoke breaks, increased health problems, and a higher average number of days taken off. In the paper, Berman and his team discuss steps employers have made to combat this, including charging smokers higher premiums for health insurance or declaring they will only hire non-smokers.

"Without an accurate estimate of smoking-related costs, such policies may seem arbitrary or unreasonable," the paper said. "A well-reasoned estimate allows companies to more fairly analyse the costs and benefits of such 'tobacco-free workforce' policies."



Smokers Cost Employers More Than Nonsmokers

June 4, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a HealthDay News article following the release of findings from the study he spearheaded about the cost of employing smokers. The study found that low productivity due to more missed work days costs employers, on average, $517 annually for each employee that smokes. Meanwhile, reduced productivity related to nicotine addiction costs $462 annually per smoker, smoking breaks cost $3,077 a year per smoker and excess health care expenses cost $2,056 annually per smoker. Because smokers are more likely to die at a younger age than nonsmokers, the researchers also took into account that annual pension costs were an average of $296 less for each employee who smoked.

Berman noted that employers should consider the health risks employees who smoke face when debating tobacco-free policies.

"It is important to remember that the costs imposed by tobacco use are not simply financial costs. It is not possible to put a price on the lost lives and the human suffering caused by smoking," Berman's team wrote. "The desire to help one's employees lead healthier and longer lives should provide an additional impetus for employers to work towards eliminating tobacco from the workplace."



Your Cigarette-Smoking Coworker Costs $5,800 Extra Each Year

June 4, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was cited in Business Insider in an aricle about a study he spearheaded, which investigated the cost of hiring a smoker over a nonsmoker. The study found that smokers, on average, cost their employers about $5,800 more than nonsmokers.

According to the study, on average there's about a $517 loss from increased absenteeism, a $462 loss of productivity related to nicotine addiction, a $3,077 loss due to smoke breaks, and $2,056 in extra health care costs.

The article was reprinted in the San Francisco Chronicle.



£4,000 a year: The cost to employers of smokers' cigarette breaks, illness cover and health care costs

June 4, 2013

Professor Micah Berman's study on the effects of smoking on employees' productivity was quoted in an article in The Independent. The study found that due to lack of productivity and increased smoke breaks, smokers cost their employers about $5,800 more annually than nonsmokers. The article cites Berman and his team's research.

“Employees who smoke impose significant excess costs on private employers. The results of this study may help inform employer decisions about tobacco-related policies,” the researchers said.



U.S. businesses pay about $6,000 extra for workers who smoke

June 4, 2013

Professor Micah Berman's research was cited in a United Press International article. The study Berman led foucsed on whether smokers were less productive or more costly to their employers. The study found that on average smokers cost their employers about $5,800 more than nonsmokers.

Smoking breaks accounted for the highest cost in lost productivity, followed by healthcare expenses exceeding insurance costs for non-smokers, Berman said. He added that the analysis used studies that measured costs for private-sector employers, but the findings would likely apply in the public sector as well.



Smoking employees cost $6,000 a year more, study finds

June 3, 2013

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in an NBC News article about a study he led, which found that smokers, on average, cost their employers about $5,800 more than nonsmokers. The study combined the cost of smokers' frequent smoke breaks and sick days as well as their more frequent need for medical attention. The study touched on the fact that some employers are less willing to hire smokers than nonsmokers, or hire them at a reduced pay rate.

“Employers try to correct for the idea that smokers cost more by paying them somewhat less. Even when we adjusted for that – smokers still cost more,” he said.