Smoke Breaks May Result in Income Change


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Feature Photo: Everyday Health

By: Emily Morris         Wednesday, November 14

Six extra days off are allotted to the non-smokers of Japanese Company, Tokyo’s Piala Inc. These paid vacation days are the result of employee complaints about the difference in amount of work, according to The Telegraph.

This is right in line with what current statistics unveil; the average smoker takes roughly six days of smoke breaks every year. However, the level of stress associated with a profession can cause for different results. Technology, retail, and finance industries showed Americans requiring longer breaks: as much as 20 minutes everyday. Twenty minutes a day equates to 20 days every year spent smoking (The Ladders).

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Chart: The Ladders

Roughly 38.7 million (15.5 percent) adults in America are smokers, according to a 2016 study by The Centers of Disease and Control Prevention. Even so, not everyone is in favor of smoke breaks during work hours. Around 1 in every 4 non smokers believed these breaks were “fair”, while over 3 in every 4 smokers believed their breaker were fair (The Ladders). These statistics reflect the lifestyle requirements of both parties.

Smoking is not a professional choice though; smoking is a personal choice. Cigarettes and e-cigarettes are addictive because of the nicotine present in the products. The average smoker needs 5.5 cigarettes per day to avoid feelings of withdrawal and discomfort, according to The National Center for Biotechnology Information. This would entail a smoke break roughly every 4 hours: an inevitable distraction for the usual 8 hour workday.

Legally, companies are not required to give employees paid smoke breaks, but evidence relays the idea that breaks may be biologically necessary. Choosing how to address the pay gap regarding smoking is entirely the choice of individual businesses.