Study: Smokers have harder time finding jobs, make less

Smokers have a harder time getting jobs, and make less money than their peers who don't smoke, a new study from Stanford University School of Medicine shows. 

A survey of 131 unemployed smokers and 120 unemployed nonsmokers showed nonsmokers were far more likely to find a job in a 12-month period than nonsmokers.

At 12-months, the study showed 27-percent of the 131 smokers found jobs. Meanwhile, 56-percent of the 120 nonsmokers found employment. 

The study also showed smokers who found jobs made an average of $5 less per hour than nonsmokers.  

Researchers said they worked to even out the groups in terms of factors which have been proven to affect employment, like duration of unemployment, race and criminal record.

 A follow-up study was in the works to test unemployed people trying to quit smoking while they search for jobs. Researchers said they believe those who successfully quit will have an easier time finding employment. 

Judith Prochaska, PhD, MPH, associate professor of medicine, was the lead author of study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine April 11.