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Thursday 27th October 2016

Smokers waste time

12th March 2007

The war on nicotine continues as new research accuses smokers of wasting half-an-hour’s productivity a day indulging their habit.


The Benenden Healthcare Society studied 1,000 adults and found that the average smoker takes three 10 minute cigarette breaks a day while at work. It estimates that nearly 300,000 working days are therefore lost in the UK each year by smokers leaving their desks for a cigarette. The study revealed that smokers in the North took many more cigarette breaks than those in the South. Some workers were found to take seven cigarette breaks a day.

The society said their researchers found that smoking breaks are the cause of bad feeling amongst colleagues as non-smokers feel they get less time off than those who indulge. Despite cigarette breaks helping non-smokers to avoid the risks associated with passive-smoking, a spokesperson for Benenden said, “Non-smokers feel that smokers get away with avoiding work, and this report will only confirm their suspicions."

However, Simon Clark from pro-smoking group Forest criticised the study saying it was unscientific. "If someone chooses to have a smoke break rather than make a personal phone call, send a personal email or chat over the water cooler then that really should be up to them,? he said.

From 1 July, smokers are likely to be away from their desks for longer as they go outside for their cigarette breaks to comply with the ban on smoking in public places.


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Edward Hutchinson

Sunday 18th March 2007 @ 20:32

As Hypovitaminosis D in British adults at age 45yr: nationwide cohort study of dietary and lifestyle predictors shows 87.1% (link here) of the White UK population have insufficient Vitamin D status in Winter and 60.9% remain insufficient throughout the Summer would it not be an idea to require both smokers and non-smokers to take 3 x 10 minute sunbathing breaks through the day?

You will see from this link Relationship Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Pulmonary Function that low vitamin d status has twice the impact on pulmonary function as does smoking, so instituting a regular sun break for all would seem to be the way to go.

Jeff Talbot

Monday 9th July 2007 @ 15:38

Since the publicity surrounding the recent ban started, I have heard this comment paraphrased on many occasions. As a smoker, I do take a couple of quick breaks throughout the working day to go outside and have a cigarette.

I also arrive early for work, rarely take a full lunch break and work on in the evenings most days. Unlike some clock watchers that arrive dead on 9.00 leave dead on 5.30, etc., etc. Not to mention the numerous trips to the kettle throughout the day.

Perhaps we should take the advice from one of your other articles.

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