People who work longer smoke more: Research

  • IANS, London
  • Updated: Jul 29, 2014 17:20 IST

Do you work for long hours? Check your smoking habits. New research has revealed that people who work longer smoke more. They find it harder to quit smoking and those who have given up are more at risk of starting again, according to the researchers from the Loughborough University in Britain.

Also read: Why passive smoking is worse than smoking

"When smokers increase their hours above a typical 40-hour working week, the chances they will successfully give up smoking fall. They become progressively less likely to give up as their working hours increase," explained professor Andy Charlwood from the Loughborough University's School of Business and Economics.

Former smokers who start working longer hours are also more likely to relapse, he added. To prove this, researchers reviewed the smoking behaviour of more than 20,000 people over a 19-year period.

Also read: Why quitting smoking is harder for some

It found a smoker who increases their working week from 40 to 60-plus hours is less than half as likely to quit smoking as someone who stays on a 40-hour week.

"Even if people like their jobs and choose to work long hours, we tend to experience more stress and less pleasure at work than we do when undertaking most other day-to-day activities," Charlwood added.

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Because smokers experience smoking as a pleasurable and stress-relieving activity, the additional stress of working long hours is likely to increase the craving for cigarettes.

The paper appeared in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

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