Healthify Blog

Smoking Hurts Your Health And Your Job Prospects Too

Study Finds Smokers Earn Less than Nonsmokers

Smokers have a harder time getting jobs, and when they do get jobs, they earn less than nonsmokers, a Stanford University study found. Those findings, which recently made headlines in NY Daily News, and other news outlets, are especially sobering given smoking's well-known, detrimental health effects.
smoking.jpeg(Attributed: Tomasz Sienicki via Wikimedia Commons)
The lead author of the April 2016 report, Judith Prochaska, "surveyed 131 unemployed smokers and 120 unemployed nonsmokers at the beginning of the study and then at six and 12 months," according to a Stanford press release.
"At 12 months, only 27 percent of smokers had found jobs compared with 56 percent of nonsmokers. And among those who had found jobs by 12 months, smokers earned on average $5 less per hour than nonsmokers," the release stated.
Even after controlling for variables such as age, education, pre-existing health conditions, duration of unemployment, race and criminal record, researchers found that the re-employment rate of smokers was 24 percent lower than that of nonsmokers after 12 months.
According to the CDC, rates of smoking are higher among those living below the poverty level, and higher for those who have obtained less than an undergraduate college degree.
One out of every four adults living below the poverty level smoke, compared to about one out of every seven adults at or above the poverty level, the CDC stated.
Meanwhile, out of the adults who've attained an undergraduate degree or graduate degree, 7.9 percent and 5.4 percent smoke, respectively. That's compared to 22.9 percent with those with 12 or fewer years of education (no diploma); 43 percent for adults with a GED; 21.7 percent, high school diploma; 17.1 percent, associate's degree; and 19.7 percent, some college.
Putting together all the info above, it seems like smokers tend to have poorer health and worse job prospects, two outcomes which are probably independently exacerbated for many smokers because they're poorer and less educated in the first place.
Healthify's goal is to efficiently connect underserved populations, such as those living in poverty, to social programs that can help them get on the path toward good health. 
Insofar as the impoverished are smoking and are trying to stop, Healthify's hope is to quickly provide access to resources that would help them in their efforts.
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Topics: health disparities public health