Want To Earn More Money? Quit Smoking - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Want To Earn More Money? Quit Smoking

NBCNEWS.COM - Got a cigarette habit? New research shows what's going up in smoke could be your earnings potential — unless you quit.

In a new paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta economists Julie Hotchkiss and Melinda Pitts found that smokers only earn about 80 percent of what nonsmokers earn. People who used to smoke and quit more than a year earlier, though, earn 7 percent more than people who never lit up in the first place.

The PSA advice that "one cigarette is one too many" apparently is true at work. Hotchkiss and Pitts found that the earnings of both a weekend social smoker and a pack-a-day puffer suffer a similar wage gap.

"It is simply the fact that someone smokes that matters in the labor market, not the level of intensity," they wrote. "Even one cigarette per day is enough to trigger the smoking wage gap."

Jack Bradway, lead salesman for a company that produces legal conferences, smokes a pack-and-a-half a day. The 36-year-old New Yorker said he doesn't think how much he makes has been affected by his habit.

"I don't think it ever stopped me from receiving compensation or blocked me from any promotions," he said.

If he didn't smoke, he said, "It just means I'd be at my desk for a total of maybe 30 minutes more."

Bradway said he eats lunch at his desk and keeps his breaks brief, chain-smoking two cigarettes during each of his three daily smoke breaks. "One hits the pavement, another gets lit up," he said.

Hotchkiss and Pitts found that heavy smokers aren't less productive than other workers, but even if they get their work done on time, their earnings still suffer.

The two researchers attribute about 60 percent of the wage gap between smokers and nonsmokers to demographic differences — collectively, smokers tend to be less-educated than nonsmokers, for instance — but the rest were ascribed to what they called, "unmeasured factors."

"The wage disadvantage to smoking has been well documented… [but] hard to believe that the direct unpleasantness of smoking is the main factor," Frank Stafford, an economics professor at the University of Michigan's Population Studies Center, said via email.

In considering what those other factors could be, Hotchkiss and Pitts mentioned an employer's tolerance for smoking in the workplace. Beyond that, they and other experts theorize that there could be personality traits that differentiate current smokers, former smokers and nonsmokers.

"We suggest that it is something about the persistent smoker's lack of self-control and the inability to quit," Stafford said.

Conversely, smokers display other qualities that can be beneficial in business, said Kim Ruyle, president of Inventive Talent Consulting, LLC.

"There's a social aspect to leadership that's important, and there's a social aspect to smoking as well," he said.

And smoking is a risky behavior, which can pay off in certain professions. "Many effective leaders are highly curious, they experiment, they're willing to take more risks than some people will," Ruyle said.

When a smoker quits, they keep those behaviors and add a strong dose of self-discipline — another trait that can help out someone's career.

"That discipline is useful in the workplace as far as focus on projects and tasks, expectations of similar discipline from subordinates, or simply the discipline for good attendance," George Boué, expert with the Society for Human Resource Management and vice president of human resources at commercial real estate firm Stiles, said via email.

"It takes a whole lot of perseverance to stop an addictive behavior, and perhaps that transfers over into labor market behavior as well," Pitts speculated.

Emily Busscher, a quality control technician at a manufacturing company, said she doesn't think being a smoker since the age of 15 has held her back. "Everybody I work with smokes," she said.

But the 28-year-old Michigan resident acknowledged that quitting might make her bosses think, "She's willing to do stuff, so she can make it places."

Busscher said she has quit smoking for short stretches before. If she kicked the habit for good, "They'd figure I was a stronger-willed person," she said. "I'd be more apt to be like a supervisor or somebody higher than where I'm at."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: Westbound I-90 at Ellensburg back open after 16 vehicle crash

    PHOTOS: Westbound I-90 at Ellensburg back open after 16 vehicle crash

    Saturday, February 17 2018 5:23 PM EST2018-02-17 22:23:29 GMT

    CLE ELUM, Wash. - UPDATE: Washington State Department of Transportation says I-90 at Ellensburg is back open following a major crash Saturday morning. Westbound lanes were closed for several hours Saturday. Washington State Patrol urges drivers to use caution as conditions can change quickly.

    >>

    CLE ELUM, Wash. - UPDATE: Washington State Department of Transportation says I-90 at Ellensburg is back open following a major crash Saturday morning. Westbound lanes were closed for several hours Saturday. Washington State Patrol urges drivers to use caution as conditions can change quickly.

    >>
  • Second Bonners Ferry teen found safe in North Dakota

    Second Bonners Ferry teen found safe in North Dakota

    Sunday, February 18 2018 11:10 AM EST2018-02-18 16:10:32 GMT

    BOUNDARY COUNTY, Idaho - UPDATE: The Boundary County Sheriff's Office confirmed Saturday afternoon that Alisa Hannaman has been found and is safe. The sheriff's office says the other girl, 13-year-old Kaia Kramer is still missing as of Saturday afternoon. 

    >>

    BOUNDARY COUNTY, Idaho - UPDATE: The Boundary County Sheriff's Office confirmed Saturday afternoon that Alisa Hannaman has been found and is safe. The sheriff's office says the other girl, 13-year-old Kaia Kramer is still missing as of Saturday afternoon. 

    >>
  • Day care owner pleads guilty to trying to kill toddler

    Day care owner pleads guilty to trying to kill toddler

    Saturday, February 17 2018 10:46 PM EST2018-02-18 03:46:19 GMT

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minneapolis day care owner has pleaded guilty to trying to kill a toddler in her home.    Forty-three-year-old Nataliia Karia entered the plea to attempted murder and third-degree assault. She also pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular operation of a vehicle for hitting a pedestrian, a bicyclist and another driver as she fled from her home in a minivan.

    >>

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minneapolis day care owner has pleaded guilty to trying to kill a toddler in her home.    Forty-three-year-old Nataliia Karia entered the plea to attempted murder and third-degree assault. She also pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular operation of a vehicle for hitting a pedestrian, a bicyclist and another driver as she fled from her home in a minivan.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • 6-year-old, three others wounded in shooting outside Texas Roadhouse

    6-year-old, three others wounded in shooting outside Texas Roadhouse

    Monday, February 19 2018 12:16 AM EST2018-02-19 05:16:00 GMT
    6-year-old, three others wounded in shooting outside Texas Roadhouse6-year-old, three others wounded in shooting outside Texas Roadhouse

    SAN ANTONIO, Tex. - A 6-year-old child and three other people were injured in a shooting Sunday night outside a Texas Roadhouse restaurant. News 4 San Antonio reports that authorities were called to the Texas Roadhouse at Cinema Ridge at about 8:45 p.m. for reports of an active shooter. Police said four people, including a 6-year-old child were hit when a suspect opened fire outside the restaurant, unloading an entire clip. News 4 

    >>

    SAN ANTONIO, Tex. - A 6-year-old child and three other people were injured in a shooting Sunday night outside a Texas Roadhouse restaurant. News 4 San Antonio reports that authorities were called to the Texas Roadhouse at Cinema Ridge at about 8:45 p.m. for reports of an active shooter. Police said four people, including a 6-year-old child were hit when a suspect opened fire outside the restaurant, unloading an entire clip. News 4 

    >>
  • 14-year-old North Carolina girl found 5 months after her disappearance in Georgia

    14-year-old North Carolina girl found 5 months after her disappearance in Georgia

    Sunday, February 18 2018 11:43 PM EST2018-02-19 04:43:03 GMT
    Courtesy CMPDCourtesy CMPD

     CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A 14-year-old Charlotte, North Carolina girl who disappeared five months ago was found in Georgia this week. WSOC TV reports that Nakia Williams was last seen Sept. 7, 2017 after leaving her home on Wiegon Lane. Georgia law enforcement officials confirmed with WSOC Wednesday that she was seen in Emanuel County, Georgia. Nakia’s mother told WSOC that she was found that same day in Lyons, Georgia, 

    >>

     CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A 14-year-old Charlotte, North Carolina girl who disappeared five months ago was found in Georgia this week. WSOC TV reports that Nakia Williams was last seen Sept. 7, 2017 after leaving her home on Wiegon Lane. Georgia law enforcement officials confirmed with WSOC Wednesday that she was seen in Emanuel County, Georgia. Nakia’s mother told WSOC that she was found that same day in Lyons, Georgia, 

    >>
  • Search and rescue teams comb Whitefish Mountain for missing skier

    Search and rescue teams comb Whitefish Mountain for missing skier

    Sunday, February 18 2018 10:40 PM EST2018-02-19 03:40:28 GMT
    Whitefish Mountain ResortWhitefish Mountain Resort

    WHITEFISH, Mont. (AP) - Authorities are searching for a man who didn't return from a ski outing. Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry told the Flathead Beacon that search and rescue teams have found no sign of a man believed to have been skiing outside the boundaries of Whitefish Mountain Resort. Authorities have not released the man's name but say he was reported missing when he didn't return home on Saturday. The man was last seen near the Flower Point area on B...

    >>

    WHITEFISH, Mont. (AP) - Authorities are searching for a man who didn't return from a ski outing. Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry told the Flathead Beacon that search and rescue teams have found no sign of a man believed to have been skiing outside the boundaries of Whitefish Mountain Resort. Authorities have not released the man's name but say he was reported missing when he didn't return home on Saturday. The man was last seen near the Flower Point area on B...

    >>