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Smokers find it harder to find work and are paid less than non-smokers



People who smoke, regardless of gender, are finding it more difficult to locate a job that those who don’t smoke. In addition, smokers tend to make more money than their non-smoking counterparts. That’s been the findings of some recent research just published in the Journal of the American Medical Society.

The research was conducted at the Stanford University Medical School and it discovered that smokers who are unemployed take much longer to find work and when they get it are generally paid far less than the non-smokers. The study looked at 120 non-smokers looking for work and 131 smokers who were job searching in and around Greater San Francisco. After a year of study, 27% of the smokers found work as compared with 56% of the non-smokers. In addition, the smokers that landed jobs were paid, on the average, $5 per hour less than the job seekers who didn’t smoke.


The $5 an hour discrepancy ends up adding up to $8,300 at the end of the year for those working an average of a 32 hour work week. The smokers in the study averaged 13 cigarettes a day and nearly two thirds of the sample were males. A little over 30% of them had college degrees in something. Even when all factors such as race, criminal backgrounds, gender, drug usage and skill sets, the research still seemed to conclude that non-smokers were able to find employment at a rate 30% faster than those who smoke.

The non-smokers who found work were making an average of around $20 per hour while those who smoked were only making in the $15 per hour range. The research made no conclusion with regard to if smoking was a leading cause in losing employment. What the research did find however, was that the smokers had less education and were in poorer health as well as being younger than the non-smokers.

The research at Stanford fell in line with a previous study done on construction workers. That study found that of 52,000 construction workers, 11% were unemployed smokers while only 6.4% who were unemployed didn’t smoke.

PHOTO SOURCES: The Huffington Post,,