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How Smoking Can Affect Your Job Prospects?

Updated : August 4th, 2020

The destructive effects of an addiction to Tobacco to your health are well-established facts. Now you have more reason to worry as a study published in California, by JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) Internal Medicine finds that Smoking can affect your financial life severely too. Besides, it also determines that smokers, apart from being more likely to not find a job, are twice more likely to stay unemployed. Habitual smokers hence end up smoking more when they are unemployed and consequently, reduce their future job prospects too. This has untold consequences to individuals, families and the economy, which are yet to be computed in a study. 

Smoking Can Affect Your Job Prospects

The aforementioned study conducted by a team of scientists determined that unemployed non-smokers are 30% more likely to be in jobs within the next year as opposed to unemployed chronic smokers. On an average, these groups also earn $5 more per hour than the smokers.

Also to be noted is that, decades of study hasn’t deterred the smoking population to substantially decrease the number of smokers. From 2008, the year the Government banned smoking in public places, there has been little or no difference in the number of smokers. So, the enforcement of the law really has been a liability as we see no decline in the number of smokers. None of these results bode well, neither to your health nor to your job prospects.

The story of employed smokers looks quite bleak too. The study shows a higher percentage of layoffs among smokers than nonsmokers.  

Some of the reasons why the job prospects of smokers reduce, either part time or full time, is the worry among employers of absenteeism and higher health costs that they might have to incur. Many employers forbid the usage of tobacco and conduct urine tests to deter employees from smoking Tobacco. These trends are on the rise and it is less beneficial for every unemployed smoker in the economy. From the point of view of a job-seeker, the job market only gets increasingly hostile to smoking addicts.

1 Out Of Every 6 Who Are Unemployed Abuse Alcohol Or Are Tobacco Addicts

Despite the looming picture in the labor statistics, and the efforts of the government through enforcing laws, there hasn’t been a telling reduction in the number of smokers between the age-group 25-39. This shouldn’t deter you as an individual smoker from quitting the habit as the enforcement is only going to get more effective – the study conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine suggestive of one. More number of studies carried out on the relationship between smoking and unemployment also indicate towards the concerted effort between the government and employers to check the menace of tobacco addiction.

In addition to all these, a severe smoking habit can cripple your priorities in terms of financial spending. If you ever had to choose between buying provisions/healthy food and cigarettes, it is evident that smoking has got a vice-like grip on you. This will make a smoker both physically and psychologically less equipped to face the grueling job market in the U.S.

Most of these studies now infer to the notion that smokers don’t just stay unemployed because of smoking but also that they smoke because they are unemployed. This has turned out to be a vicious cycle, one which could be hard to break.

Great Way For You To Quit Smoking

Addiction to any type of drug can cause severe withdrawal symptoms, so much so that a person might think he/she is left more damaged than ever for taking the step to quit smoking at all. This is a common conundrum among addicts which is why most smokers end up in rehabilitation or de-addiction centers. If this is a feasible option for you, we very well recommend it, but at times of unemployment and with meager means for living, it is a step to be reconsidered.

With the way cellphones have found their way into every aspect of our lives, there is little doubt you will find any help, given all the wealth of information that is available through the internet. One particular app that we find worth recommending is the ‘QuitGuide’ app. It is designed by the Tobacco Control Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute which is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It keeps a tab on all the instances you craved to smoke, finds the trigger points that induces you to smoke and identifies reasons to quit smoking. It also lets you create journal entries to let you track your improvement apart from monitoring progress.

It is very necessary to feel ‘constantly motivated’ in order to hold back the resurfacing itch to place the roach between your lips! Admitting to your impulsiveness can help you pass through the testing times. To give you a heads up, here is what withdrawal does to your body – nausea, diarrhoea, splitting headache, constipation, anxiety, irritability, and a vague sense of depression.

About 1 in 6 unemployed workers are addicted to tobacco or are alcoholics. This is twice the number for those employed, i.e. while 17% of unemployed had a substance abuse disorder, only 9% of full-time employees had an addiction disorder. All this indicate one thing for sure – if you’re someone staying unemployed and are seeking a job it is prudent to let go of smoking before it sends your job prospects up in smoke!  

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  1. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

          You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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