Taking a break for a quick puff of cigarette during work could be costing employers as much as five weeks of work time every year, according to a new study.
The study said that they spend up to an hour away from their desk every day while their non-smoking colleagues keep working.
The total time spend away from desk due to puffing adds up to the same time that many receive as their annual holiday allowance.
Even light smokers spend one and half hours less at work each week.
And a hardcore one in 12 need their nicotine fix so badly that they will puff through 30 cigarettes, an average of two and a half hours a day.
Now employers are cracking down on those taking time out for a smoke by making them clock out.
"Non-smokers did not think it was fair that smokers took more time away. Now they clock in and out as they would taking a lunch break," the Daily Express quoted Breckland Council in Norfolk as saying.
The survey carried out by electronic cigarette retailer ECigaretteDirect.co.uk revealed that nearly all smokers admitted they would be more productive if they could kick the habit.