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Should worker be forced to clock out to smoke


Smoking happens to be the greatest cause of diseases and premature deaths in the world. The smoke causes a lot of cancer related deaths per year. The economic cost of smokers includes monetary costs, lost workdays and shortened work lives which is a phenomenal to the society. Many countries try to establish and maintain some smoking control programs which are aimed at reducing the use of tobacco. These countries provide education to their citizens to prevent smoking in the future. Also, measures are taken in public places and work places to reduce smoking and the exposure to second hand smoke which is a health hazard to smokers and other people who share the air supply. This essay discusses on whether the workers should be forced to clock out to smoke.

Should worker be forced to clock out to smoke?

The working places constitutes of different people ranging from smokers to those ones who do not smoke. Sometimes, the smokers clocks out when they nip outside for a cigarette. In Britain, these smoking workers always gather at the foot of their office blocks where they meet and smoke. They are off their work desks for some minutes to go and smoke.  In Scotland, the worker who smoke could gather along the pavements to have their cigarette since the law banned them from smoking in any public place such as offices which is constituted of many people.

In the Breckland Council in Norfolk, the workers were allowed to clock in and out for the smoking breaks. This gave them equal rights as the people in the public and private sectors who have allowed the clocking out and in for smoking. “This all came about when staff contacted our HR team because they were confused about what the policy was on clocking out for smoking breaks. Some of the smokers were concerned because many of them, 54% it turned out, clocked out.” Says Mr. Nunn, the council leader. The council staff had a desire of formalizing the policies that gave the smokers chances to clock out for breaks. The policies were not applied to non smoking worker or those who used coffee as the kitchens are found in the office building unlike to cigarette shops which are outside the office blocks.

Since the smokers take some additional breaks from the work places, they should work for the extra time to compensate for the time they spend in smoking. The researches shows that an average smoker spends fifteen minutes in one day for smoking breaks which makes eight full days in one year. These smokers should compensate for the wasted time because the company or the council is sometimes forced to compensate these smokers when they suffer the consequences of smoking. The ban of smoking in all workplace is a positive act. There are some companies that refuse to hire people who smoke. This is because of the increased healthcare insurance and the workers' compensation insurance which is associated with these smokers. The breaks for smoking bring a lot of conflicts in workplaces as the smokers could go out for a fag. This disrupts the team work as he/she is supposed to participate in carrying out a certain group task. In this situation, the non smoking workers feel that their rights are not respected.

The workers who smoke also need their rights to be respected by allowing them to smoke whenever they feel like doing so. Simon Clarck says, “Clocking off is another example of employers making life as difficult as possible for smokers.” He also says, “There's no evidence that smokers are working fewer hours than non-smokers. They come out with all these statistics but they are based on 'guest mates'. Can non-smokers truthfully say they're not making personal phone calls, browsing the internet or taking coffee breaks? The problem is that when smokers take a break it's very visible because they have to go outside.”


The smokers should be allowed to please themselves through smoking but the employers should take their time to provide the necessary education to them concerning the risks associated with smoking in various life aspects.



NEWS MAGAZINE. Should workers be forced to clock out to smoke? Retrieved from;










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