Person smoking cigarette

Smoking Can Affect Employment Opportunities

If you are searching for a job you might ask, “Can I get employed if I smoke?” The best question to ask here is whether there are chances of getting hired by a potential employer if you are still a smoker. A straight answer is no or probably not unless the one landing you a job doesn’t give much attention to whether you are smoking or not. Companies, especially the high ranking ones, give a test to see if someone has nicotine in their body before getting hired. Those in the companies with smoke-free laws are either forced to quit the job or are given classes and moral support to quit. There are a number of reasons why it is not advisable to smoke while having a job or searching for one.

Person smoking cigarette

The Smoking And Employment Study

Research says that smokers searching for a job have much more difficulty in finding one, and when they get it, their salaries are less compared to non-smokers according to Reuters Health study. After a year-long study, it was concluded that smokers versus non-smokers looking for work, had a difference of about 30%. A report in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that smoking also contributes to poor financial wellbeing according to the report’s leading author, Judith Prochaska, who is based in California.

A study on the harmful effects associated with smoking have been done for over 50 years, and it is evident now that it is also a great prohibiting factor to success at your workplace and also contributes to low payments. It is not yet confirmed if smoking is related to joblessness or losing your work in the first place. A recent study had 251 unemployed participants between 2013 and 2015 in which there were 131 smokers and 120 non-smokers. After a year with 217 reporting back, 56 percent of non-smokers found a job as opposed to 27 percent of smokers.

Smoker Earnings Are Reportedly Low

It was also concluded that if you were a smoker, you earned $5 less than a non-smoker. Among the factors that contributed to the fate of smokers, the report findings showed that smokers prioritized smoking before anything. Much is spent on cigarettes than other things like mobile phone, clothing and transportation costs which all aid in job-searching.

Health Costs To Consider

Companies tend to spend more on health care benefits on smokers than the others. Those who smoke tend to take more sick leaves, and a medical study shows that smokers take more time to heal. It is believed that most of the smokers usually get sick often since they have many health issues compared to non-smokers. Thus, smokers miss more days at work attending to their health complications whilst the costs incurred can be of great benefit elsewhere if they don’t smoke in the first place. Smoking creates a higher likelihood of you being disrupted while working than it does for your non-smoker counterpart.

Body Does Come Into Play

Ashtray with cigarette butts

The smell is also another factor to be considered. According to Prochaska’s study, the hiring managers interviewed revealed that if they smelled smoke on someone they were interviewing, it really put that person at a great disadvantage. In fact; it is a red flag to the interviewer. The person might have the best skills that can make them qualify for a job but due to health issues and the smoking laws, they will end up facing rejection every time they go for an interview in comparison to non-smokers with fewer qualifications landing the job.

Places like Orlando Health in Florida, will not qualify a smoker for a job. They have initiated a tobacco-free hiring rule that requires all applicants to be tested for cotinine, a by-product for nicotine. Those who had been employed before are lucky not to lose their position if found to be smoking. However, they will be facing classes and support to quit the same.