It is better to have smoked and stopped than never to have smoked at all, according to new research by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
Those who quit smoking for at least a year, according to the study, earned higher wages than smokers and people who never picked up the habit.
In fact, nonsmokers earn roughly 5 percent less than former smokers in the workplace.
According the researchers, the characteristics of former smokers are typically more highly rewarded in the workplace, namely the persistence, patience and “everything else that goes along with being able to quit.”
That may explain why former smokers are able to impress their supervisors, but still leaves the question of why a smoker would earn less than someone who never started.
Though it would make sense that frequent smoking breaks might curb productivity, resulting in unsatisfied employers, the research doesn’t suggest that’s the case.
“If the productivity was affected by smoking, than heavier smokers would have a much larger wage gap,” M. Melinda Pitts, one of the lead researchers on the study, told the Wall Street Journal. “We didn’t find support for this hypothesis.”
Pitts and her fellow researcher, Julie L. Hotchkiss, believe the wage gap between smokers and nonsmokers comes from more nuanced factors, like education level of the average smoker and the employer’s tolerance to smoking behavior.
- The most popular jobs in America
- 9 things to never buy at yard sales
- Salt Lake City's inversion problem could mean...
- How much did President Obama donate to his...
- Obamacare may not be as expensive as we thought
- Balancing act: French ban on after-hours...
- How to rear money-smart kids
- 5 features an Amazon phone might offer
- How much did President Obama donate to... 46
- The dangers of financially illiterate... 31
- Obamacare may not be as expensive as we... 28
- Balancing act: French ban on... 10
- Salt Lake City's inversion problem... 8
- U.S. 'tax freedom day' is 3 days later... 4
- What increasing rent costs mean for the... 4
- 9 things to never buy at yard sales 3