How Smoking Can Negatively Impact Your Career

Cigarette smoking and traditional tobacco use have long been associated with severe health risks and even increased death rates around the world. A study exploring the economic impact caused by cigarette smoking across the USA found that smoking causes substantial financial loss, with the annual combined loss of income and unpaid household production at a national level of $436·7 billion. A key reason for this was how tobacco smoking causes illnesses among more than 16 million adults and 527,736 premature deaths each year.

On top of the impact on health and mortality, tobacco smoking also leads to higher health expenditures and productivity loss due to morbidity and premature mortality.

Despite the known negatives, however, there are still many smokers everywhere today. In this post, we’ll look at how smoking can negatively impact your career and why quitting the habit can be beneficial for your health and work life:

Smoking and productivity

As discussed in our introduction, smoking can negatively impact your productivity and work life. According to insights from Corporate Wellness Magazine, employees who are smokers tend to contribute to absenteeism as they get sick more often and experience decreased energy levels. Smokers also tend to take more frequent breaks, leading to lost working hours, productivity, and efficiency.

If you’re a smoker and are applying to jobs, this may mean a disadvantage compared to other applicants who are non-smokers. After all, employers don’t want to worry about you getting sick and negatively affecting your productivity and output.

Aside from impacting work productivity, smoking can also hinder you from building a professional network. Many non-smokers disapprove of smokers. On top of the health risks and exposure to secondhand smoke, non-smokers also tend to dislike the smell associated with cigarettes and smoke.

In our “Is Networking the Best Way to Improve Your Job Prospects?” post, we highlighted how networking is essential to boost your career prospects across multiple industries. Establishing a professional network can also help you stand out in an increasingly competitive job market. So, your status as a smoker may endanger this wealth of career opportunities.

Giving up smoking to boost career prospects

While quitting smoking will undoubtedly be challenging, the benefits in the long run can far outweigh the inconvenience of tobacco and cigarette withdrawal. Today, many companies and startups are investing in alternative nicotine products to help smokers quit and alleviate withdrawal symptoms.

Aside from helping you give up smoking, these products are also helpful to guide your transition from smoker to smoke-free. They can be used in the workplace without disturbing your colleagues or requiring you to take frequent and long work breaks, keeping you productive and focused on your tasks.

Nicotine pouches have become popular due to their discreet and smoke-free experience. On! pouches are one of the biggest brands available in the US, offering users a satisfying nicotine experience in ultra-compact mini-dry format. Some bestselling On! flavors include wintergreen for menthol lovers and cinnamon for a more aromatic approach.

Other ways to make quitting more manageable include other tobacco substitutes like nicotine patches, which are some of the oldest smoking cessation methods available. Habitrol patches are one of many brands boosting the nicotine patch market today, helping reduce smoking rates in the US as a discreet alternative to cigarettes.

While quitting will take some time — and much determination — you’ll be able to walk away from the process much healthier and without worrying about your smoking habit damaging potential opportunities in the future.

Whether applying for a new role at a new company or trying to build your career networks, leading a smoke-free life will help you become more approachable and dependable in the eyes of future employers.

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