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SURVEY SHOWS A NUMBER OF NEGATIVE ATTITUDES EXIST TOWARDS SMOKING AND SMOKERS IN THE WORKPLACE

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In a nationwide survey of 1,143 people in Australia, it was clear that smoking and smokers in the workplace are not looked on favorably for a number of reasons. Some of the more interesting attitudes the recruitment firm Talent2 found are listed below:

•    71% think smokers waste time on the job and should work unpaid overtime to compensate for that lost time.
•    63% were offended by the stench of smoke – it was seen as particularly offensive in the legal, sales and  marketing industries
•    19% admitted they were smokers – with 83% of that segment made up of women.
•    Only 12% of the smokers interviewed admitted to taking cigarette breaks at work
•    Most of the smokers who admitted taking breaks took three to four daily.
•    Blue-collar workers were most likely to smoke while at work, followed by junior to mid-level managers.
•    All smokers who said they did not smoke during working hours believed smoking at work was unprofessional. They claimed clients and colleagues being offended by the smell and being too busy at work as other reasons for not lighting up.
•    Women smokers felt less compelled to smoke during work than men.
Queensland Cancer Fund tobacco issues coordinator Catherine Mayony said employers were well aware smoking resulted in lost productivity. "It’s not only that they are taking more breaks than non-smokers – research shows they also have a higher rate of absenteeism."

She suggested employers be more equitable to non-smokers by setting down strict break guidelines for smokers or allowing non-smokers to have increased breaks. She said more and more workplaces nationwide were starting to become smoke-free in response to the health risks associated with passive smoking.

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