This Is How Much Extra Time Off Work Your Smoking Colleagues Get

Employees aren't actually legally permitted to "smoke if you got 'em".
<strong>Some take as much as 20 minutes out of their days for a cigarette break.</strong>
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Some take as much as 20 minutes out of their days for a cigarette break.

It might kill you, but blasting cigarettes does seem to have one advantage – smokers gain the equivalent of an extra week of holiday each year from stepping outside compared to their abstemious colleagues.

In research likely to fuel workplace tensions, a study by Haypp UK, a company that sells tobacco-free nicotine pouches, found that 52% of smokers and vapers have regular smoke breaks while on the job.

Some take as much as 20 minutes out of their days – but typically it is up to ten. Back-to-back, that equates to roughly 39 hours on smoking breaks in a year.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that more than 13% of people aged 18 and over in the UK smoked cigarettes in 2021 – the equivalent of around 6.6 million people.

Data also shows almost 8% of people in the UK aged over 16 used an e-cigarette daily or occasionally.

Employees are not automatically entitled to take a smoke break during the working day in the UK – unless a worker’s employment contract says so.

Markus Lindblad, from Haypp, said: “Smoking laws in the UK have changed a lot over time and different companies have different rules when it comes to leaving work to smoke, with some being stricter than others.

“It’s interesting to see that a large proportion of UK smokers are still gaining some extra time away from work to enjoy a cigarette, with some wasting 20 minutes or more every day.”

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