The research team analysed nationally representative registry data on sickness absence among more than 14,000 workers in Sweden between 1988 and 1991.-Wes
Of the sample included in the study, 45 percent had never smoked.
Of the remainder, 29 percent were current smokers and 26 percent former smokers.
Non-smokers took the fewest days off sick; smokers took the most.
Across the whole sample, the average number of days taken as sick leave was 25.
But smokers took almost 11 extra days off sick compared with their non-smoking colleagues, equal to 43 percent of all sick leave taken every year among the sample, say the authors.
There was little difference in the number of additional days taken as sick leave between male and female workers.
Source reference from British Medical Journal's Tobacco Control.