Does smoking hold you back?


Jun 25, 2007
At my employer it’s basically an unwritten rule that you will never advance beyond a rank and file employee if you smoke (openly anyway). Those who smoke are really looked down upon by management. In most of our buildings, they must stand in an area that’s about 50 feet from the entrance which I must say I do appreciate. In the building where most of the executives have offices they have to smoke clear across the parking lot in a single parking spot marked with an X to designate it as the smoking spot.

They’re pretty health conscious here and you see runners all over campus at lunch and after work. We have a state of the art gym and a full service wellness center. The center employs a full time physician, physical therapist and life coach. We’re inundated with materials on how to improve our health and receive incentives for participating in health fairs etc.

What’s your employer’s attitude toward smoking? Do you think they frown upon it because it reduces productivity? Or because they think it’s such a bad choice to smoke that you must make poor choices in other areas of your life? Or is it because it costs them money in the form of insurance premiums?

I’m not a smoker and don’t understand why anyone would want to smoke but I do realize some people have been doing it for many years and stopping can feel near impossible to them.


Jun 7, 2007
I think it's a combination of the issues you mentioned - poor life choices, reduced productivity and insurance premiums. I work for a small law firm under one attorney and at one time we hired a temp to help with general office tasks. She was a smoker and wanted a 15 minute break every hour to smoke :shock: It became such a problem that we had to fire her. I don't get "fresh air breaks" every hour!


Feb 15, 2007
I think smoking holds people back. I am not a smoker, but I know many who do not want to admit to their colleagues that they are smokers. I do believe that smokers face criticism and prejudices in the workplace.

I just came back from a one-month experience where I studied with 41 higher-ed professionals, and was surprised that there were EIGHT smokers in the group. That's nearly 20%! There was a definite divide between the smokers and the non-smokers. I chose not to spend time with the smokers because I just plain hate being around cigarette smoke, and I definitely didn't want all the clothes I packed to smell, either.


Dec 18, 2007
First of all puppmom, I want to work where you work! It sounds devine - what kind of work do you do?

I think to an extent i think smoking does hold people back. It was different when lots of people smoked and it was allowed in restaurants, bars, etc. In my state smoking was banned in bars starting in the very early 2000s (2002?)- I was on a cross country driving trip when it was implemented and when I got home it was strange! People were angry, but no more smoke smell - have to wash your hair and clothes before bed when you went out for a cocktail. Since then, smoking has become more and more restricted everywhere - outdoor patios are no longer allowing smoking in restaurants. In fact, I teach part time at a community college, as of the New Year, they banned all smoking on ANY part of the campus, including each individual's own car.

I think this is a healthy trend. I also work part time at night in a restaurant (where it's notorious that people smoke), and even there cigarette breaks are not allowed unless it's before and/or after service. I think this makes total sense - the nonsmokers don't get a break every couple of hours to sit down and do nothing, so it makes sense that smokers should only be allowed before and after service.


Jan 18, 2009
My experience is that there is regional pockets of higher smoking (NYC, for example). I think some areas are more tolerant of smoking.


Jun 6, 2011
Locally we have laws that don't allow smoking at public transportation areas (bus stops), no smoking in public toilets, no smoking in air conditioned places. no smoking at casinos & clubs/pubs/bars (except in special designated smoking areas), no smoking at enclosed food establishments...

Its getting pretty serious. A lot still DO smoke, but it is thankfully becoming easier to enjoy public space without putting up with other people's not so private choices.

I drive, you walk. I'm sorry about smog, but they won't let me ride a horse. And I don't want to pick up horse doo either.


Mar 23, 2011
I work at a hospital. There are clearly marked signs that say do not smoke, yet every day I come in with smoke blown in my face by both patients and employees. :angryfire: It's disgusting and unhealthy. I understand that there's not much that can be done about the patients and visitors but there is a place that is designated for smokers that is well out of the way of the entrance. I think that it is a personal choice to smoke but it shouldn't impact me or my health in my workplace!
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