Smokers spend more than a year of their careers on breaks, according to a recent UK study.
The average nicotine addict takes four 15-minute breaks every day, costing their employers 240 working hours a year in lost productivity, which is equivalent to 10,680 hours during the average smoker's working lifetime of 44.5 years.
The study of 2,500 adults by market research website OnePoll.com found four out of five smokers did not cut down on their breaks during the economic downturn.
It also emerged that women spend longer outside having a natter with colleagues over a cigarette than men.
"The average smoker is taking their colleagues and bosses for a ride," the Daily Express quoted a OnePoll spokesman as saying.
"Working an hour less than everyone else these days is shocking. Every office in the country has people standing outside smoking. These statistics are bound to annoy employers who are paying people to puff away.
"They will also irritate non-smokers, who wouldn't get away with taking four 15-minute coffee breaks a day," he added.
The study also found one in 10 smokers will regularly nip outside just for a chat without even lighting up.