Smoking is undeniably an unhealthy habit. Aside from being the primary cause of lung cancer, insights from the American Lung Association highlight that smoking also increases your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, type 2 diabetes, and other health conditions — including hip fractures. All that, in addition to contributing to 480,000 tobacco-related deaths.
However, aside from causing medical issues and concerns, smoking may also be detrimental to your work and career. In this post, we’ll look at how accessible smoking cessation has become in recent years and how quitting smoking can impact your career for the better.
Nowadays, smoking cessation has become more accessible thanks in part to a variety of products, tools, and aids. Nicotine pouches, which count as oral nicotine products, are used to deliver microdoses of nicotine to help smokers ease off the habit while preventing cigarette cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
Today, these pouches are increasingly popular due to the many flavors and strengths available. They are also easily bought here and in some physical stores. For office workers who may otherwise feel limited from workplace smoking restrictions, these pouches offer a discreet way to access nicotine without the harm of tobacco and other toxic ingredients in cigarettes.
Similarly, other smoke-free, oral nicotine products are popular among smokers trying to quit the habit. Researchers in a Cureus study highlighted the various smoking cessation tools available on the market today that help tobacco withdrawal symptoms and smoking urges, such as nicotine gum and nicotine nasal spray, which is said to have doubled the quit rate among smokers.
Below, we’ll look at how quitting smoking impacts various aspects of your work life and career — productivity, your professional image, and absenteeism.
Smoking and Productivity
Studies over the years have looked at the impact of smoking on work productivity. Because smoking is linked to various health problems, people are more likely to feel distracted or less focused at work. Smoking is also known to cause headaches, nausea, or dizziness, which also impacts productivity.
At the same time, people may also smoke as a result of stress at work. Thankfully, there are ways to handle work-related stress healthily. In a previous post, we highlighted effective and healthy ways to manage stress at work, including developing work boundaries or setting an exercise routine.
Smoking and Professional Image
Secondly, depending on where you work, smoking may be viewed negatively. This negative perception can impact how you are received at work. Some people detest the smell of cigarettes, for example, and would not appreciate having someone spread the odor in the workplace.
Some people may also associate smoking and cigarettes with a less polished or professional look, which may negatively affect how you are viewed and treated in the workplace. People may also think negatively of people who are constantly out on smoking breaks. By quitting smoking, you can improve professional relationships and social interactions in the workplace.
Smoking and Absenteeism
Finally, smoking has also long been associated with absenteeism. Data from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids indicate that productivity losses from smoking-caused illnesses annually amount to $184.9 billion. These productivity losses are associated with shortened work lives and illness that can impact the ability to work — including absenteeism, non-productivity at work, and inability to work due to disability.
When you quit smoking, you can benefit from fewer sick days and be more present in the workplace. Excessive sick leaves are known to disrupt workflow and can strain team dynamics. Your coworkers and colleagues will also thank you for no longer getting the additional work due to your being absent. To employers, constant absenteeism can make them think less of your reliability and commitment to your work, affecting your professional reputation and advancement opportunities.
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