Essex has been ranked one of the top ten worst counties for businesses who have lost the most money from a lack of productivity due to smoking a new study reveals.

A staggering £209.5m is estimated to have been lost across the county in the past year, placing them as the seventh most affected county according to Vapourcore.

Businesses based in Greater Manchester topped the chart hit the hardest by smoking related issues, with a final total of £8.4 billion lost across England.

Interestingly, the county in which businesses lose the least amount of money is Dorset, with an annual loss of £45m.

Charles Bloom, owner of Vapourcore, said: “The risks of smoking have always been highlighted from a health point of view, but rarely from the perspective of business and opportunity.

“The numbers revealed in this study prove that smoking remains a countrywide issue.

“However, instead of redistributing wealth into the local economy and improving the experiences of consumers, companies are having to spend their excess on facilitating employees’ smoking habits.”

The vaping specialists managed to calculate their findings their research on the counties across England by using ASH’s ‘Ready Reckoner’ tool.

Fortunately, smoking is gradually becoming one of the lesser chosen vices in England, with the number of smokers has now decreased from 19.8 per cent in 2011 to 14.9 per cent in 2017.

However, from daily smoking breaks to excess sick pay and more, business owners and managers are continuing to pay out extra for their employees who smoke.