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Work time goes up in smoke cloud

Reformed Noosaville smoker Adrian Redwood took up karate again after successfully giving up cigarettes.
Reformed Noosaville smoker Adrian Redwood took up karate again after successfully giving up cigarettes. Geoff Pottern

SMOKING on the way to work, at work and on the way home from work was an everyday occurrence for Adrian Redwood.

But the British ex-pat, who had been smoking for 25 years, said things had changed since the old days.

Working as a carpenter for Paul Fuge Builders, Mr Redwood said he decided to quit cigarettes to make a new start on life when he moved to Australia 15 months ago.

“As soon as I gave up smoking, I started karate again. Myself and my partner climb Mount Pomona each week and try to get more fit,” he said.

Mr Redwood said he was not surprised by the latest British study, which showed the average smoker wasted more than a year of his or her working life on cigarette breaks and worked an hour a day less than non-smoking colleagues.

The study of 2500 adults, conducted by OnePoll.com, found smokers took an average of four 15-minute breaks daily, amounting to 445 days out of an average working life.

Lasertrend director Declan Blake, who has helped countless people beat the habit since 2001, said he would go even further than that.

“I would argue the average smoker takes 30-minute breaks,” Mr Blake said.

“Usually the worker has to switch off an office computer, go outside because you can no longer smoke in the bathrooms or in a separate room, light up a smoke and have a chat before getting back into the office.”

Mr Blake said staff members were much more productive when their mind wasn’t thinking about when they could get their next nicotine hit.

“It is also a concern for employers because they are losing time put in by their employees every time they light up,” he said.

“Not only that, but it causes some friction between smokers and non-smokers as those who do not smoke are not allowed to have that wasted time to use for recreational purposes themselves.”

After assisting the former Noosa Destinations office to help five employees kick their addiction five years ago, Mr Blake said the increased productivity that resulted was equivalent to having an extra staff member on board at no extra cost.

AT A GLANCE

The OnePoll.com survey found:

  • The average smoker wasted more than a year of his or her working life on cigarette breaks.
  • The average smoker worked an hour a day less than non-smoking colleagues.
  • Four in five smokers did not cut down on breaks during the recession.
  • Women spent longer outside than men.
  • The average smoker took an average of four 15-minute breaks daily.


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