Besides cutting lives short, smoking cigarettes can also have a detrimental effect on your career and earning power, according to a recent study. The study suggested that unemployed smokers were less likely to get new jobs and when they did, they earned an average $5 less an hour.
Employees, who smoke, cost private employers more money and employers are increasingly taking steps to reduce smoking in the workforce. However, research has not quantified the economic burden of tobacco use for job seekers.
Researcher Judith J Prochaska of Stanford University and co-authors examined differences in re-employment by smoking status in a 12-month period in a group of 251 unemployed job seekers in San Francisco and Marin counties in California.
The study notes limitations that include exclusion criteria, sample size and participants in a geographic area with a low smoking prevalence and a high stigma about smoking.
The authors concluded that as a one-stop shop for employment resources, employment service agencies could raise awareness of tobacco-related costs, wage losses, health harms and associations with lower re-employment success and serve as a connector to low-cost cessation services.
The study is published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.