A number of studies have shown that people who smoke earn less money than those who do not smoke. The results of the studies show that smokers earn anywhere between 4% and 11% less money than non smokers.
What isn’t so clear is whether the decreased earning is a direct result of smoking or due to other habits that tend to manifest themselves in those who smoke. What is fairly clear is that all the lost wages can’t be attributed 100% to the habit of smoking.
That being said, the habit of smoking does lead directly to a number of issues that do decrease a person’s wages. An example of this would be missing work more often due to smoking related illnesses.
In addition, smoking can result in a person not getting a job thus limiting the pool of employers where he can offer his services. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) National Workrights Institute estimates that there are more than 6,000 companies in the US which refuse to hire people who smoke.
What this means is that not all of the decreased wages can be blamed on smoking, but certainly some can. Taking half of the lowest estimate in lost wages would give us a 2%. For a an employer who earns $40,000 a year, being a smoker would result in $800 a year less in wages directly related to smoking than a non smoker.
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