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Smokers may earn less than non-smokers

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016,13:14 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Los Angeles | Smokers, take note! Unemployed smokers may be less likely to get new jobs, and when they do, earn an average of USD five less an hour compared to non-smokers, a new US-based study has found.

Researchers from Stanford University examined differences in reemployment by smoking status in a 12-month period in a group of 251 unemployed job seekers in San Francisco. Among the 251 participants (131 daily smokers and 120 nonsmokers), 65.7 per cent were men and they were an average age of 48, researchers said.

Study participants were 38.2 per cent white, 35.9 per cent black, 9.6 per cent Hispanic, 7.2 per cent Asian and 9.2 per cent were multiracial or other race, they said. Among the job seekers, 31.1 per cent had a college degree and 39.4 per cent were unstably housed.

The smokers consumed an average of 13.5 cigarettes per day at baseline. There were 217 participants who completed 12-month follow-up surveys. Researchers found that 60 of 108 nonsmokers (55.6 per cent) were reemployed compared with 29 of 109 smokers (26.6 per cent).

The results suggest nonsmokers were 30 per cent more likely on average to be reemployed at one year compared with smokers, researchers said.  Nonsmokers also earned more money.

The hourly wage for smokers was about USD 5 less at an average of USD 15.10 per hour compared with USD 20.27 per hour for nonsmokers. At an average of 32 hours per week, this is a deficit of more than USD 8,300 annually, researchers said.