Smoking at work makes an impact

Survey finds smokers unaware of full impact on co-workers

Smokers might be aware their addiction impacts their health but they are not so perceptive when it comes to the impact on others, according to a survey conducted by Leger Marketing Research and sponsored by Pfizer Canada.

It found smokers don’t truly understand the degree to which their addiction impacts their work, social life and personal relationships, or the role it plays on the lives of those around them.

For instance, while smokers believe that having a cigarette during office hours only bothers about one-third of their co-workers, in reality more than one-half (52 per cent) of people who work with a smoker find it bothersome. In addition, smokers are unaware of how much their smoking is taking them away from their work. On average, smokers take significantly more breaks (three) throughout the day than ex-smokers (2.2) and non-smokers (1.9). But only 20 per cent of smokers believe they actually do so.

“According to the research, many smokers were unaware of the perceptions that others had about them, which was especially prominent in the workplace,” said Dave Scholz, vice-president of Montreal-based Leger Marketing. “It was also very interesting to see how a person’s working habits and social circles changed significantly once they quit smoking, emphasizing that these views change once a person has quit smoking.”

And one-in-10 respondents say they have lied about being a smoker at work, particularly those 18-29, those who live in a city and those who smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes per day.

The online poll was conducted in April and answered by 3,166 smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers.

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