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Should nonsmokers get extra vacation days?

Do you often step outside during work hours to take smoke breaks? Some nonsmokers want extra vacation days to even the playing field, according to a new report. 

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Halo, an e-cigarette manufacturer, recently surveyed 1,005 Americans, aged 19 to 73, to better understand how workers feel about the time their colleagues spend smoking. More than 80 percent of smokers said cigarette breaks were fair, while 25 percent of nonsmokers said they were not. 

In fact, nearly 42 percent of nonsmokers said they should get 3-5 more vacations days. Nearly 25 percent of nonsmokers said one or two added days would be enough and 14 percent of nonsmokers said seven days would do. About 20 percent of nonsmokers said they should not be offered extra time off.

As for the smokers, more than 16 percent said nonsmokers should receive seven or more days of vacation time and 28 percent of them thought nonsmokers should get 3-5 extra days. However, 38 percent didn’t think nonsmokers should get any additional time off. 

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Researchers also calculated the amount of time smokers spend taking breaks, revealing that they “waste” roughly six days each year on smoke breaks at work. They also broke the numbers down by industry. Those in technology and retail spend the most time smoking, losing 20.5 days annually, and those in real estate spend the least time smoking, losing just 5.1 days a year. 

The lost time can affect finances, too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that smoking related illnesses costs more than $156 billion in lost productivity each year in the U.S. and $5.6 billion of it is due to secondhand smoke exposure.

One company has already implemented new incentives to boost work output. A marketing firm in Japan recently granted its nonsmoking employees six extra vacation days after an employee complained that smoke breaks negatively affected productivity.

Want to learn more about the research? Take a look here

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