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Since the smoking ban came into effect in England in July 2007, it has been illegal to smoke in all enclosed work places.

Although individuals working over 6 hours are entitled to an uninterrupted 20-minute rest break during their working day, many employers continue to award additional breaks to smokers in the workplace.

There was a time where when smoking tobacco was a more socially acceptable pastime, but how do people feel about it today?

In order to find out, we have asked 1000 men and women of all ages across Britain to provide us with their thoughts on smoking breaks at work.

The results were very revealing. A staggering 59% of individuals are against smoking breaks at work. Many believe that it should be banned and that the time taken by employees should be deducted from their wage. There were also heated answers stating that smoking breaks are unfair as smokers are getting more breaks compared to non-smokers.

The issue of health was raised. Respondents think that employers are openly giving workers the opportunity to damage their health. Only 7% of the respondents were either unsure or undecided. 34% of people questioned are still in favour of smoking breaks. The majority of these responses suggest that the respondents were smokers themselves, a few commented on the difficulty of quitting smoking.

There were others however that condoned smoking breaks, but only on the condition that non-smokers also have the ability to take extra breaks. Britain and its workforce are becoming increasingly more health conscious, many employers incentivise their roles by offering private healthcare entitlement, ride to work schemes and gym memberships. As smoking is clamped down in public places, should this tradition be revisited and revised? We think so.


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