Smoke breaks for non-smokers?

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cigarette breakEveryone likes work breaks. You like them because  they give you, well, a break from your job — they’re a chance to get coffee, update your Facebook status, pay a bill, watch the latest Funny or Die video or smoke a cigarette. Employers like them because downtime has been shown to help productivity, relieve stress and even build camaraderie among employees.

But breaks can be also a point of contention around some workplaces. While you barely can pull yourself away from your desk most days to heat up your Lean Cuisine, your co-worker seems to be constantly ducking out for coffee, stamps or a quick smoke.

What’s fair and what’s not? Here’s what the Labor Law Center’s Human Resource blog says

The best practice in HR is to give employees an unpaid meal break of 30 minutes or more, per 8 hour shift. Most employers give an additional meal break if the employee has to work 12 hours or more.

In addition, the best practice in most industries is to give workers a 10 to 15 minute break at approximately the mid-point of each 4-hour work segment. Usually this translates into a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon break. Under the federal FLSA or Fair Labor Standards Act, rest breaks of less than 20 minutes must be paid. (Meal breaks that are longer than 20 minutes may be unpaid if the employee is relieved of all duties during this period.)

Which brings us to the subject of smokers and their break times.

It’s one thing if you are using break time as stated above, but what if you are taking four breaks a day or one break an hour? I’m not saying all smokers do that, but there are many non-smokers who complain about this. What are they supposed to do if they don’t relax with a nicotine fix? Aren’t they entitled to the same break time as smokers?

Hard-hitting reporter Pat Tomasulo, sports anchor for WGN TV’s morning news in Chicago, recently took a look at this very topic. Watch here as he takes his own version of “smoke breaks” — he might be on to something.


What do you think? Tell us below; no login required.

  1. I used to be a smoker, so I know both sides of the issue. As a smoker, you feel like you’re entitled to a smoke break, like something you’ve earned by a few hours of work. Now that I don’t smoke, I see that mentality as weak and as one that hinders productivity for the entire workforce. Smokers should not be given breaks for a filthy, terrible habit.

  2. I am a smoker, and yes it relieves the stresses and aggravations of the day. I believe it makes me more able to handle the people I have to go back into the office with for 8 hours. I also notice that the smokers are more productive than the non-smokers. I don’t think non-smokers need a smoke break because they are playing solitaire, e-mailing chain letters and jokes, talking on the phone to family/friends, etc. I smoke, get back to work and get my job done and then some.

    • This is by far the most hilarous comment I think I hav ever written. I am actually laughing at your stupididty whilst typing. First smoking has been proven to increase stress level. So whilst your puffing away at your cigarette thinking it is actually relieving your stress…your wrong because what has actually caused the stress in the first place is the previous cigarette! And as fot the ‘smokers are more productive than non smokers’ I can honestly say you are utterly wrong on that level also. If you were so intelligent and productive you wouldn’t be inhaling and actually enjoying something that will eventually kill you! Haha but thanks for absolutley making my day with your stupidity

      • This is by far the most hilarous comment I think I have ever read. I am actually laughing at your stupididty whilst typing. First smoking has been proven to increase stress levels. So whilst your puffing away at your cigarette thinking it is actually relieving your stress…your wrong because what has actually caused the stress in the first place is the previous cigarette! And as for the ‘smokers are more productive than non smokers’ I can honestly say you are utterly wrong on that level also. If you were so intelligent and productive you wouldn’t be inhaling and actually enjoying something that will eventually kill you! Haha but thanks for absolutley making my day with your stupidity

        • Actually Terri has some point. I am a light smoker (8-10 cigs / day) and a software developer. My job is very stressful and difficult that your mind gets stuck after some hours of coding. I have found that going outside, smoking a cigarette and thinking over the code has helped me return much calmer and ready to take on the challenge again. On the opposite side, a non-smoker colleague would stay on his screen for the whole day and leave depressed, with headache and not a working code.

          So all in all, smoking breaks help smokers-workers, calm down, let their mind rest for a few minutes and it works as a beginning of another circle of work.

  3. Sure you do Teri.

    I pair off with a smoker at work & stop what I’m doing every time he steps outside for a smoke. I work at the pace he does. He’s slow and on average he’s outside 2 hours a day. He uses his sick days within the first half of the year. The only good thing about cigarettes is all the tax revenue.

  4. I’m a smoker and I take about 5-6 smoke breaks a day at work, but half of the time I’m out there smoking with my co-workers and talking about work. So essentially I’m still “working” in the sense that I could be doing that inside the office, but I’m just carrying the conversation outside. I have made some work connections in the smoking area that would probably not be possible if I were just sitting at my desk all day. I must add though that I think smoking is a terrible habit and I hope to quit someday.

  5. I’d love the massage break myself. When I did smoke I got a smoke for each 15 minute break (2) per shift, 7 minutes for one cancer stick if you could inhale fast and deep and that’s it. Since being smoke free fourteen years, I eat my lunch (if time allows) for usually 30 minutes that is, when I was employed.

  6. the watercooler is an acceptable alternative for chatting it up with your co-workers. it is not fair to “fresh air breathers”that i continue working while you make your ‘connections’.we have things called cell phones and e-mail.i have almost come to the point of walking outside whenever a co-worker goes out for a smoke break.we all should!

  7. Mona | Oct 30, 2009:
    “I take about 5-6 smoke breaks a day at work … but… I’m talking about work. So essentially I’m still “working”… I have made some work connections in the smoking area that would probably not be possible if I were just sitting at my desk all day.”
    Are you kidding? Only yourself! That is the worst example of justification I have ever seen! Five – Six breaks at 15 to 20 minutes each – you are stealing from the company to the tune of 1 1/2 to 2 hrs a day! That’s, worst case scenario, ten hrs a week. Allow for a half an hour for two fifteen minute breaks a day you can take off 2 1/2 hrs a week. So you have essentially stolen from your employer 7.5 hrs a week. That figures out to 375 hrs a year multiply that by your hourly wage and you can figure out just how much you are costing your employer by your networking breaks.

  8. Give it a break already! I am a smoker and I have seen more non-smokers wasting time, playing on the computer, getting the ever needed drink of water, private phone calls etc. Most of us in the last company I worked for that smoked were very cognizant of the appearance we made by leaving the office, so it was never abused. As far as sick time being taken, the non-smokers have it all over the smokers, they stay home if the little toe on the right foot hurts!

  9. [Teri: "I am a smoker, and yes it relieves the stresses and aggravations of the day. I believe it makes me more able to handle the people I have to go back into the office with for 8 hours. I also notice that the smokers are more productive than the non-smokers. I don’t think non-smokers need a smoke break because they are playing solitaire, e-mailing chain letters and jokes, talking on the phone to family/friends, etc. I smoke, get back to work and get my job done and then some."]

    Aside from your unsubstantiated, anecdotal rationalization about why smokers are more productive employees than their non-smoking counterparts, of course smoking relieves your stress. Do you realize among the chemicals the tobacco companies add to the tobacco paste (which is later cut into the shreds which are packed into the cigarette paper) is a mood elevator.
    You should see what they do to the innocent tobacco leaf before you burn it. It is dried to powder; nearly a dozen chemicals are added to it and it is mixed into a pasty goo. That goo is then poureded out into large sheets which are, once again, baked. Then those sheets are cut into smaller sheets and more chemicals are added before they run the sheets of what used to be tobacco through shredders to produce the bits of stuff that you smoke. You’d be far better off to go to Kentucky or North Carolina, buy the raw leaf, dry it, shred it, and roll your own. What you’re currently smoking is less tobacco and more and more flavored, drugged, brown paper.

  10. A smoker usually takes 5 min. for 1. 20 to 30 is uninformed and stupid. If your taking that much time your probably actually networking.

  11. To Wordsmith – For your information, I roll my own cigarettes because of the cost. And you are very welcome for all the taxes I pay so that you can have a better life. If you want to live in Russia, please go there. This is America! I also want to reitterate that I do get more work done than the so called non-smokers because of the issues I already stated. It is a fact. And the only time I ever had to go to the doctor was when I gave birth. The “non-smokers” are sick, running to to the doctor, making up every excuse why they can’t get their jobs done. (carpal tunnel, bad backs, acid reflux, and on and on). THOUGHT: Ever wonder why all the people who drink diet pop are obese? What is in fake sugar? Why are so many kids diagnosed with Autisim and ADHD now at record numbers? Something else is going on and it is not the cigarette smoke. They want you to be so distracted with the smoking concern that everyone overlooks what else is going on.

  12. How has this turned into [Smokers v. Non-Smokers]? It should be up to the company as to how they want to enforce break time procedures. If smoking has become a major disruption at your work place, then make a formal complaint about the protocol. With the correct approach I’ve found that constructive feedback is appreciated…

    How can you blame your colleague for taking advantage of something that is (obviously) acknowledged and accepted by the employer?

    As for myself, smoking has become a valuable networking tool – Without exception I’ve made enough to cover the habit, increased healthcare premiums, and extra money to pocket… At the end of the day, I admit it is a terrible habit to have. However, we do live in America, and I do believe in free choice (I will blacktar my lungs as I see fit…they are mine afterall).

  13. The debate here isn’t Smokers vs. Non-smokers…that is furthest from the issue. It’s Responsible smokers vs. Irresponsible ones.

    If anyone abuses any privilege, whether it be bathroom, lunch, or coffee breaks, it has a negative conotation on that person and affects the culture of the office overall.

    If a smoker takes the designated time he’s allotted, there should be no issue. The problem is smoking is often used a scapegoat to simply escape from the office (and your troubles to some extent).

    I still smoke, but I haven’t smoked at the office since January, and I’ve been much more productive. It’s not to say that smoking makes you LESS productive (as everyone is different), but for me its important to continue a stream of thought until I finish my work. I find it inefficient to stop what I’m doing to smoke, only to come back and take 5 minutes to pick up where I left off.

    At the end of the day, I go home and smoke however much I want, because that’s my time and I’m off of work.

  14. Is there any evidence to show that smokers are more productive than non-smokers? I highly doubt it. The bottom line is that if a smoker is taking 4 or 5 smoke “breaks” and it’s about 5 minutes off, then the non-smokers should get their time off too. Why should they work while smokers get to take a break?

    • go take your break. i dont think anybody is stopping you. by the way there is very will written document showing that the smokers are more productive then none smoker. but guess what, pharmacutical companies has paid very big amounts of money to remove that doc from all the web sites, so they can sell all anti smoking drugs. and make billions of dollar at your expense. but good luck anyway

  15. I think the real issue has been lost in the smokers versus non smokers debate. I my opinion the fair option would be to allow non smokers 5 to 10 minutes to get away from the desk and shake off the stress ever couple of hours as well.

  16. Matthew, I’m so glad to finally hear a smart comment from an ex-smoker such as yourself! I have always been a non-smoker, and as a child had to endure a CLOSED CAR with my parents both smoking in COLD Buffalo, NY – I had no say in that at all. Then as an adult, always having to breath in that nasty smoke if I was out with friends at a bar. No one could ever tell if I was the smoker or not. Now thank goodness businesses no longer allow their employees to smoke inside. I can remember when it WAS allowed, and boy, did I HATE that too!

    I wish everyone who does smoke would realize how detrimental it is to their health – AND the health of everyone around them – even if they are OUTSIDE. Kudos to all of you who have been able to stop smoking – all of us that do NOT smoke are very happy that you made that smart, healthy choice!!! :^)

  17. I think the bigger problem that smokers will face are that businesses and companies are not hiring smokers. It’s been an increasing trend over the last few years.

  18. Non-smokers do get their time away from their desk. It is called two 15 minutes break and a lunch break during the work day. That is when I smoke. How does it affect productivity or the fairness of non-smokers is beyond me. I also know that it is recommended that if you are at your computer/desk you are supposed to take a couple minute break from the screen and keyboard every hour because of carpal tunnel and vision problems that arise.

  19. I forgot to add a comment about companies not hiring smokers. I also heard that companies will have the say if they hire overweight or obese people, because they have so many health issues. Like I said before, this is still America – lets keep it that way.

  20. So I go outside twice a day to smoke on my breaks. SEVERAL non smokers come with me to leave the cube farm as well. Does that mean since they watch they aren’t productive either? On these breaks thats when I use my Blackberry to check my personal email etc so I’m not using company property or wasting company time at my desk. I also work 10 hour days and get paid for 8 and typically I only take a 1/2 hour lunch. That sounds pretty productive to me. The issue really revolves around people actually taking a break and still putting in their 8 hours. There are non productive people everywhere, smokers or not. Take your breaks if you’re entitled and just be productive when you’re supposed to be.

  21. Wow,
    is it the preception of smokers that makes you feel small, or the fact that non-smokers have finally stood up and said we are not going to take this, that causes such personal attack? Truth is…it is a habit, everyone has annoyances, But to say smokers are more productive assures the non-smokers, that smoking and the drugs eluded to in other posts, do significantly effect ones judgement!

  22. I am a smoker and some how I manage to ONLY take 1 or 2 smoke breaks a day while at work that are 7 minutes each….and I also get to smoke during my 1 hr lunch…if your habit is soooo bad that you cannot abide by the company rules then maybe you should quit…either your job or smoking…one or the other. It is unfair to those who DO abide by company break policies. My partner however takes 6 or more breaks a day ultimately dumping everything on me…and I too am a smoker. Its a problem and I will NOT be taken advantage of. *sorry guys needed to vent my frustrations somewhere…sorry for the rant*.

  23. Guess What Rich – my lungs belong to me too. I chose to keep them clean not poluted by second hand smoke. Stastics indicate that smokers and the obese are unhealthy and cost most companies more in health care benefits & productivity. Several individuals have indicated that they want to quit smoking….what are you waiting for? I am sure that nonsmokers play computer games, etc but I have seen smokers do the same. All work places should be smoke free. When any person has a personal habit that infringes on the rights of others or costs their company money -then it is time to change your habit or accept the consequences.

  24. The company I work for actually bought gazebos and “butt cans” for several areas (5 to be exact) around our property. There are so many folks who take 4-5 breaks per day, including my boss. Unfortunately, a lot of those folks are salaried, and think their work hours are 24/7, so they don’t abide by set break times. It is unfortunate that non-smokers don’t end up with the same treatment in some companies and don’t get the same amount of freedom. Often I end up doing extra work because of a smoking colleague. To make up for it, I play computer games or surf the net each time he goes to smoke….just like I’m doing now.

  25. There are great friendships/networking that arise stepping out on break time with “smokers”. We talk about work, whatelse! We figure out how to solve problems, work on solutions. Bottom line is: Worry about what you are doing, not what other people are doing! If you are so concerned where and what your fellow co-worker is doing, apparently you are not busy enough.

  26. I think a lot of this really depends on the industry you are in and how crucial it is that one person may have stepped out for a smoke break. I worked at Starbucks (years ago), where those employees who smoked, were allowed as many breaks as needed. Some people were good about taking a few while others managed to be gone half their shift! It really isn’t about who smokes and who doesn’t, but rather who REALLY works hard and who’s looking for ways to escape the office. As long as you are being 100% productive and efficient, take as many breaks as you need. For those of us, like myself, who do not smoke – relax! Get up and walk around if you need a break, no one will chide you for it.

  27. Freedom. Capitalism. Rights. What is the issue here? Employers ARE the final determinors of their own policies, save for what Congress or the courts dictate. The bottom line is what matters — productivity and fairness. Smokers cost businesses more than mere whittled work hours; they cost non-smokers in ways not mentioned, such as unfair health insurance burdens, as well as decreased personal health and wellness. Non-smokers suffer the immensely offensive smell of stale tobacco from the users, and then have to fight the urge to hose the smokers down with Febreze. Seriously, employers should choose to not employ drug addicts, which is exactly what tobacco smokers (and chewers) are. Smokers do create an air of unfairness, which breeds contempt, and which simply stinks. Pun is incidental.

  28. I love some of the ways the smokers are showing their narrow-minded defensive justification to their smoke breaks. “I am a smoker and I have seen more non-smokers wasting time, playing on the computer, getting the ever needed drink of water, private phone calls etc.” PLEASE, I see smokers do these things ON TOP of their smoke breaks. I bet if smokers were required to clock out every time they smoked they wouldn’t smoke but once a day. Do you smokers truly believe that people who don’t smoke never get stressed out or need a break throughout the day? Of course we do, but we choose not to kill ourselves over it unlike the weak smokers.

  29. Liz how are you not using company time when you are taking a smoke break on the clock? Maybe you wouldn’t need to work 10 hours a day if you didn’t waste 2 hours thinking about how nice it’d be to smoke a cigarette. I like this topic and I don’t think someone should have to be a smoker to get 5 breaks throughout the day. There shouldn’t be a double standard.

  30. Come on, apparently the people you guys work with are real losers. It is the supervisors of these employees that need to pay attention to how much time someone is taking on breaks. Like I said before, I smoke, but on my designated 15 minute breaks and MY lunch hour. It does not affect my work. I also do NOT play on the computer (that is against company policy), I don’t chat on my cell phone or the company phone (that is also a policy). Regarding my stench from smoking – I have to smell other’s body odor, cologne, hair spray, room freshner/deodorizers, bad breath, bus fumes, car exhaust) just like you, but I’m not looking for a law to forbid hairspray, cologne, etc. There should be a law against ignorance. This is AMERICA!

  31. That made me laugh. I don’t spend 2 hours thinking about smoking…lol. I take 2 unpaid breaks a day not 5 and I stay within my 60 minutes of unpaid time per day as do the non smokers who take breaks with me so it’s NOT on the clock as I said before. I apologize that you have a double standard in your work place. Perhaps you could talk to your organization to see if you can use some of your unpaid time to take breaks too. It’s unfortunate that all companies don’t recognize the value of break (smoking or not).

  32. I agree with the non-smokers in this post. I just had a conversation a few days ago regarding this retail scenario.

    I am a non-smoking retail sales manager who typically works 9am-6pm. My designated 1/2 hour break is from 1:30-2 or 2-2:30, depending on when my relief is scheduled. An associate working a four hour shift, from 12-4, had the nerve to clock out, and “go on break,” before I could take my break! I was furious and explained to her and anyone else who was around that I’ve been at work since 9am, and she had been there for only two hours and already “needed” a cigarette. Chew some Nicorette, because guess what? I go on break first.

    What a ridiculous addiction that only hurts the smoker in the long run with their health, but also the bottom line of the business. I could care less what you do on your own time, or your designated breaks. I suggest smoking five cigarettes on your 1/2 break to take in all the nicotine you can possibly ingest. All that I need to focus on is that I have a business to run, and you are scheduled to work.

  33. Really, I don’t get it. Where does all this hostility come from. You guys (non-smokers) got what you wanted. No smoking inside buildings. You also got tax money to spend on things like ball fields. Now that is not good enough. You just keep nagging and nit picking because apparently there is a void in your unhappy miserable lives. I suggest you light up too and just relax for goodness sakes.

  34. Teri – You’ve posted more comments on this topic than anyone and yet you keep arguing how productive you are. You need to stop ‘nagging and nit picking’ and find some more work to do if you have this much time on your hands.

    You seem to be the one who is the most hot and bothered on this thread so maybe you need to ‘relax for goodness sake’!

  35. To Natasha: I could relax if people minded their own beezewax. If you don’t like it, don’t read it, or comment – Correct! I post it because most of the comments are from non-smokers who think their “breath” don’t stink! You don’t need to smoke to stink, believe me! Also, I post these comments at times when I’m at home, not at work for your nagging nit-picking information. Talk about profiling smokers. All smokers use up the companies time, make insurance costly. Bologne – Overweight sedentary people use up more company time and health insurance. By the way, thanks for noticing my comments. Maybe you should read them again, this time without predjudice and with a cigarette in your mouth ….

  36. How about you take the cigarette out of your mouth and do some research on what you’re exhaling and carrying on your clothes when you pass by me? I give everyone in my office the same damn courtesies, smoker or non. I take my designated breaks on time. I bring non-smelly food. I don’t wear heavy perfume or products. I don’t use air fresheners. I chew with my mouth closed. I buy mints and gum, and those little disposable tooth brushes – out of COURTESY for my coworkers. What burns my behind are people who think they can affect ME and my company because of some “necessary” habit, whatever it may be. I’m a non smoker, and the smell of cigarettes (amongst other things) give me a 12-36 hour vision-impairing migraine. Am I fat? No. Do I have other health issues? No. Did I ask to have odor-triggered headaches for the rest of my life? No. So you can cram that cigarette I asked you to take out of your mouth earlier, and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. Never heard such biased, un-based, ridiculous claims in my life. Being more productive because you’re a smoker … Ridiculous! I work with video game playing, text messaging, fish soup eating high school drop outs that do more work than some smokers in my office. You should kick yourself for being an overly defensive, ignorant air pollutant. I hope you or someone you love dies of cancer. See how you feel then. Idiot.

  37. Ye without sin cast the first stone. To hear some of the comments it seems we don’t care much for each other. This country is so divieded that it seems that all we do is put down each other. Have any of you ever thought of just praying for each other or if you don’t pray just say something kind. Reguardless what any of us do, none of us is perfect so just ride it out because in the end we all are going to die with something. If you have tried to read what’s on back of some food packages you’ll find ingredients that you can’t pronounce or know what it is unless your a chemist, and if you take precriptions drugs if they don’t cure you they may just kill you. So, unless you don’t breath, eat or drink then you may just be visting your nearest funeral home. There is every kind of perservtives and chemicals in our food and water that if you add all of these things together then we would never have time but worry, argue and be misable every day of our lives. I for one will count my blessings that I wasn’t exposed to asbestos that caused lung disease and cancer and don’t forget the young men and women that was exposed to agent orange in desert storm that caused birth defects and all kinds of deadly diseases. Like so many young men and women that have died fighting for our freedom today. I’m sure that if our soldiers have a moment of time durning the day the only thing their thinking of is staying alive and dreaming of being back home with their familys. Please take out some time durning the week to think of all the men and women and their familys that needs your heart felt support. If you have a job and not unemployed or homeless, then you can say you have many blessing to be thankful for and don’t have that much to gripe about other than who or whom hadn’t took a break. If what you do is not illegal and you don’t over do a good thing, then go ahead smoke, drink and eat and do whatever makes you happy, because unless these people pays your bills and provides you with a place to live then they need to mind their own business and use their time wisely to make a diffence where it may count to help someone that’s having a hard time durning this depressioned economy. The next time you feel like complaining put a dollar in a jar at work and at the end of the month give it to a needed family that’s with out work to buy food or pay their house payments or maybe living in their cars, tents, or streets. Get together and start a HOPE SHELTER for your community. Have a nice day don’t forget to love, support and help the needed…and each other. Last note of the day IT’S BREAK TIME I need to go out side and get some fresh air before the smog level goes up…remember smog alerts from pollution from factories and cars. Uh well excuse me that was back in the 20th centery and they say all things get better in time. Oh great day I just did my very first blog…… it’s nice to have the freedom to speak your mind. After you look at the big picture some things look and sound so small compared to what’s on our country plate. Time for a cup of java that’s coffee for some people.

  38. this is from gigi’s daughter….like my mother-n-law told me. “get a oxygen tank and carry it around if the smoke bothers you that much. then your not getting that 2nd hand smoke your complaining about everywhere you go” then you get clean air and i get to smoke….people give it up!!! people who smoke will never stop unless cigarettes are stop being produced….until then just keep your mouth shut or put a cig in it and puff away :)

    take care and dont forget its their choice not yours…so before you pick on a smoker, think about all the crap you do people hate….oh and for those that judge, haha good luck explaining something so pety on judgement day! Let’s see that makes you a HYPOCRITE !!!!!!!!!!!


  39. I have read through all of these comments on this issue. What is wrong with you? The issue is about BREAKS-not smothkers vs. non-smokers! I work in retail management and am an ex-smoker. I see every break issue there is. The fact of the matter is the EMPLOYER is responsible for enforcig the break policy. If you have an issue with a vo-worker taking more thn the federally or corporately manadated breaks, then speak to your supervisor. It doesn’t matter if it’s 15 smoke breaks a day or if its 15 “mental health” (and yes-that has been used)breaks. Unless there is a doctor’s note about making special sccomadations, no one should be taking breaks outside what is mandated. And for anyone wondering-even as a smoker, I only used my approved break to smoke.

    • i bet you wouldnt have commented if you would have still smoked. i dont know why people are so worked over smokers. come on people. its everybody life and its up to them which ever way they want live it. im not a smoker but i think smoker are more productive then none smoker. i manage a team of 40 people and at least half of the team is smoker. but guess what i like them have there smoke breaks because they make the most sales for me. at least 3 4 time more then a none smokers. none smokers always weing and wine over everything, but smokers i dont even hear from them. except when none smokers complain about them. now you tell me which group of ppl i prefer

  40. You have to be kidding. Quit smoking a couple of months ago, but will miss it forever. I took two smoke breaks a day — instead of other breaks that everyone else took. Leave smokers alone…..

  41. Well goody. As a owner of a small company i dont hire meat eaters nor will i hire anyone with diabetes. Both are bloodsucking leaches who drain the system dry with their colon rectal cancer, Bad HDL, and the people with diabetes are a complete drain on the economy with the high costs insureing them. The non smokers did this so live with the results. Lawsuit against me ill close the company. Yes in this ecomony who wants to lose their job.

  42. Wow! It is too bad that there is such debate between smokers and non-smokers when, as co-workers, we are all on the same team. I looked up this article because I was trying to find some discussion regarding the breaks that are permitted by employers, for smokers and non-smokers.

    I live in Illinois and the only government mandated requirement is that we get a 20 minute food break for every 7.5+ hour shift. However, my company permits smoke breaks. If an employee does not smoke, they do not get any breaks other then the 20 minute lunch.This is the companies bad decission making as they are the ones who make and enforce the policies.

    • You “think” co-workers are on the same team?  Look at this discussion topic and see there’s a clear division of smokers / non-smokers.  All employers need to adopt a “no smoking” policy.  Smoking is NOT a “right”.  If you smoke…you smoke before work, ON your lunch and after work…but not “during” work.  (If your smoke breaks consist of smelling like smoke when you “return” from your break then you’re considered “habitually offensive” toward non-smokers to smell your stench…in your hair, clothes and breath).Simply put…my previous post on (12) female employees smoking on Gov’t time for over (12) hrs. per week….I never got a (12) hr. break (per week) and I’m a NON-SMOKER.

  43. Pingback: Up in smoke |

  44. I love this! I just posted on my facebook page that I am sick of smokers getting extra breaks. I even told my co-workers that I am going to start taking ‘fresh air’ breaks.

  45. Get over it is all I have to say. If you have such a problem with smokers getting more breaks than why dont you ask for a quick break so you can go sit outside or something, I work 8 hours a day/ no lunch and only two 3minute breaks. Im so tired of people bitching about smokers. Just get over it.

  46. Please, smokers. Just get off it. You are not being productive by smoking. No one believes that you are out there talking about work. And no one believes that you come back in and blow away the non-smokers with your productivity. The fact is, that these 5 – 10 minute breaks (which are usually closer to 15 – 20, and yes we’ve timed it) are time that should be worked. If employers want to give extra break time, then everyone ought to get it. A co-worker of mine, tired of being reprimanded for her 10 – 15 minute latenesses timed the smokers smoke breaks over the course of several days. 3–yes three–hours total per 8-hour DAY.

    • Amen to that!  My (arrogant) female Supervisor terminated me over “phone calls” in combinination with my work duties making work related calls on the job because she was an (85%) absentee supervisor who just didn’t give a crap about her personnel…ONLY about “her image”.  I’m a (male) NON-Smoker and stuck at the front desk all day multi-tasking my duties with NO help but me.  As I’m working I see (12) female co-workers taking their (3) smoke breaks for (20) min. each smoke break (that’s a total of (12) labor hours to “steal Gov’t time” to smoke?  My work & personal phone calls (averaged) to 15 min. every hour and because I couldn’t take Leave because nobody would do my job…I was stuck trying to resolve home matters “at work” and couldn’t leave.  SO, if (12) female employees can STEAL (3) smoke breaks per day for (1) hr. every day @ 12 hrs. (stealing time) to smoke every week????  Call that Discrimination!  My (female) Supv. claimed “I didn’t know” about “HER” (12) female subordinates were stealing (12) hrs. per wk. to smoke when she’s been a Gov’t employee for over (15) yrs.?  In my work…SMOKING is a RIGHT!  If a (male) doesn’t smoke…he’s expected to WORK (24-7-365) with NO break at all!  So how do you explain (6) female smokers coming back from Lunch and then hear (1) of them say, “I’m going to burn one” right after she gets back from her (30) min. lunch and takes a (20) min. smoke break after returning from lunch….so, (6) female (smokers) are entitled to (50) min “Lunch Break” when I (“male”) only get (30) min. Lunch?YOU BET I filed a Discrimination matter on this one.  I’m FED UP with being bullied by (female) thug tactics in Managment.  FED UP!  Dept. of Navy and other Branches went “smoke free” workplace…why is the Dept. of Army any different?BTW…my female Supv. “forced me” to “get training” with these (3) female smokers who reeked of cigarette smoke was so nauseating it made me want to throw up!  Can you say “Hostile” uninhabitable work conditions????

    • Easy now….smokers just need to have their “Butts” kicked (LoL).  WHY would anyone smoke to waste over $2,000 yr. on cigarettes?  Stupid!

  47. Killed by combination of a regulation forcing them to smoke outside, and horribly unsafe installations. The theoric effects smoking could have on their life expectency didn’t even come into play. This is about as irrational as the anti-pot commercials that go “Just tell your grandma you don’t wanna go see her cause you got high.” I guess the people who waste my tax money making these ads just can’t be arsed with the whole “argument” part… Too hard? ~LISA:)

  48. Idiots, just get off it.  Your not being intelligent by being an idiot.  Smokers DO talk about work while smoking.   DO solve problems over these breaks.  Stepping away from a problem is COMMON SENSE to help solve things – smoking or not. And being forced to stand with someone you don’t sit by or normally work with tends to generate knowledge transfers that wouldn’t otherwise happen. And we’ve observed YOU, surfing on facebook, talking around the water cooler, spending HOURS bitching about how smokers get to go outside every couple of hours, despite the fact that YOU are just as capable of doing the same.  My point is, at the end of the day, most people end up burning about the same proportion “not working”.  Better, at every company i’ve ever worked for, the smokers worked massively more hours than the non-smokers – so whatever time you think they aren’t working they are likely making up for when you aren’t even around to “watch them”

    •  @Gripp Sure…but if (12) female employees smoke for (6o+) hrs./week…and (1) male (non-smoker) uses the phone for MUCH less than what smokers take and fired for phone calls when he’s multi-tasking with his duties….isn’t this a discriminatory practice?

  49. @jimbo i bet you none smoker in you company weing abut smok brake, cuz im no how to spwll vry good an none smoker in my compny is more produces than smokes becuz my gramar is not good but i own company an am good boss becuz i like smoker and all none smoker weing an complain but in my compny my smoker like me cuz im good boss am now how to spell n write. vote obama.

  50. People that don’t smoke and WORK in the office shouldn’t have to bring O2 tanks to breathe.   It’s proven fact that smokers cost comanies millions in unprodutive work because of non-working status while stealing smoke breaks on company time.

  51. I am a smoker.I’m a manager at a sub shop Everyday I work 8 hours minimum I smoke before I go in smoke at the 4 hour mark sometime before sometime after depending how busy. And I don’t have another until I’m done. Now my employees they are annoying every half hour to hour they ask me “can I go smoke” “no” Then they get pissy.I wouldn’t be opposed to making them clock out. But not my call

  52. What a bunch of silly whiners. So typically american to look at other people and whine and complain about the other guy and why something is “not fair.” I used to be a smoker and now I’m a non smoker. I’ve seen both sides of this. People find ways NOT to work, smokers and non smokers alike. Non smokers become social butterflies around the office, hang out on facebook, chat on gchat or many other things that waste time just as much as smokers. How about you just worry about yourself and stop demonizing other people just because their lifestyle is different than yours?!

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