Smokers Found to Make Less Money Than Non-Smokers but Is That Enough to Make Them Quit?

smokerLike money AND cigarettes? Well, seems like there's a new reason to give up that smoking habit, one that affects your income. According to a group of economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, smokers earn 20 percent less than non-smokers, on average. Twenty. Percent! That's no laughing matter!

And it gets even more interesting: Their research found that the wages of both people who smoke a pack a day AND social smokers are around equal. You know what that means? It's the fact that a person smokes, not how much, that is important. The reasoning behind this? NBC suggests that non-smokers are more educated than smokers. Higher level of education = smarter decision-makers in the job market.

Interesting? Sure. Just like any addict, constant smokers lose a part of themselves and their ability to focus because of the continuous pull away from the task at hand. But let's be real -- there is DEFINITELY room for interpretation here.


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Plain and simple: Addiction gets the best of even the most-educated people. That's where, personally, I see a few holes in this one. There have GOT to be tons of top CEOs (and I'm not just talkin' Don Draper) who make great money and have an affinity for nicotine. I'm sure that if any group of people with some sort of vice were polled, from porn addicts to alcoholics, economists would also find some sort of financial discrepancy in their salaries.

I think what I find most interesting, though, is that this study indicates that a habit which is already known to be terrible for your health can also mean you get paid less. One would hope that research like this would deter smoking, right? HA! At the end of the day, it's highly doubtful. I don't know any smoker that's going to toss their packs away because some scientist says they "may" earn less. Plain and simple: it's the smoker who has to make that life-altering decision for themselves, not science.

What do you think about this study?


Image via tela chhe/Flickr

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