Employees who smoke cost their employers almost $6,000 more annually than nonsmokers, according to a recent study conducted by Ohio State researchers. Lead author Micah Berman, from the College of Public Health and Moritz College of Law, told The Lantern he decided to research this topic when he was asked to give a presentation on policies involving smoking in the workplace, such as smoke-free policies and not hiring smokers. He discovered no studies had been done on the comprehensive costs of employing a smoker versus a nonsmoker. Dr. Peter Shields, co-chair of the Tobacco-Free Implementation Committee at OSU, said the “first and foremost reason we are going tobacco free is because we want to have a healthier community.” Shields is also the deputy director at the OSU James Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor at the College of Medicine. He said cost was a factor in deciding to implement a tobacco-free policy.