Manchester smokers dodge a WEEK of work while ‘lingering’ after cigarette breaks

By Sam Richardson

Four in ten smokers in Manchester admit that they knowingly ‘linger’ outside on cigarette breaks to avoid working – dodging more than a week of work each year.

Research commissioned by E-Lites, the UK’s leading e-cigarette brand, found that almost half of smokers in Manchester take extra cigarette breaks, as well as their usual lunch and coffee breaks. 

The study of 2,000 workers revealed that 40% stay outside for almost five minutes longer than necessary, intentionally wasting time to delay returning to their desk.

Adrian Everett, CEO of E-Lites, said: “Cigarette breaks can clearly be a contentious issue between smoking and non-smoking colleagues.

“We must respect a person’s right to smoke but we should ensure that this issue does not cause resentment in the workplace. 

“Some smokers do feel that they are more productive after taking a smoking break but this research highlights that a compromise clearly needs to be reached.” 

The research was commissioned to mark World No Tobacco Day, which took place on Friday, and revealed that the average Manchester smoker takes two cigarette breaks a day, each lasting for approximately five minutes. 

This is equal to being on a smoking break for 42 working hours, or 5.6 days a year. 

As a result of this more than half of non-smokers say they have had to cover for colleagues who are out smoking, 

This has led to one in five non-smokers complaining to their boss about the amount of time their smoking colleagues are out on smoking breaks. 

Because of this a third of managers in Manchester have had to discipline smokers about the amount of time they take.  

Simon Clark, director of Forest, a smoker’s group, said: “People linger over all sorts of things – rest breaks, coffee breaks, personal phone calls, social media. The list is endless so why pick on smokers? 

“Everyone is entitled to a break during the working day and if some people take longer breaks than they should it’s a sign of weak management. 

“People aren’t automatons. Individually we all work at a different pace. Just because you arrive early and work late or spend more time at your desk doesn’t mean you get more done. 

“Rightly or wrongly, many smokers believe that smoking breaks provide thinking time that makes them more not less efficient.

“A good manager will treat each employee on their own merits. They won’t worry about a few lost minutes here and there if the employee does everything and more that is expected of them.” 

For more information about E-Lites visit:

Picture courtesy of Fried Dough, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles