Downturn Forcing Workers to Quit Smoking

The effects of economic downturn have some workers making healthier choices when it comes to lunch breaks and smoking habits during the work day. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 47 percent of workers report they have been packing a lunch more often to eat healthier or help save money.

When it comes to smoking habits, 44 percent of workers who smoke said they are more likely to quit smoking given today’s economic conditions. In addition one-in-five said that they have decreased the number of times they smoke during the work day (21 percent) or actually quit altogether (20 percent).

The CareerBuilder survey was conducted among more than 4,400 workers between May 18 and June 3, 2010 while the findings were released today, July 8.

“Economic stress over the last year has caused some workers to reflect on their habits, and many of them have turned to healthier routines,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder.

Nearly one-third (32 percent) report they take less than a half hour for lunch, while 5 percent take less than 15 minutes. One-in-ten never take a lunch break and 16 percent report they work right through their lunch hour.

Nearly one-in-five (18 percent) typically don’t leave their desks during their lunch break and eat in their workspace 5 days a week.

As some workers struggle to fit in break time during the day, others choose to multitask on their lunch hour, using their breaks for the following activities:

  • Hanging out with co-workers – 23 percent
  • Running errands – 18 percent
  • Doing work – 16 percent
  • Walking – 10 percent
  • Shopping – 7 percent
  • Working out – 3 percent

Of workers who smoke, 78 percent of them said they take up to ten minutes for each of their smoke breaks a day.

Seven-in-ten (70 percent) report they take up to 3 smoke breaks a day, while 12 percent take more than five smoke breaks in a work day.

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 4,498 U.S. workers.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman

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