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Tobacco-free Living

Literature Review: Tobacco-Free Living


Tobacco is mostly used in the form of cigarettes. The term tobacco-free is, however, used in tobacco awareness to include all the tobacco products. Some scholars argue that adopting tobacco-free living approach in the workplace is associated with increased productivity. However, other studies dispute this claim based on the limitations exhibited on the various researches conducted in different areas. Thus, the geographical location should be factored in while assessing the implications of tobacco-free living in the workplace.

Literature Review: Tobacco-Free Living

Baker (2017) notes that smokers take more sick leaves than non-smokers in the US and China. However, Baker indicates that the smokers in Europe showed a higher percentage of presenteeism than absenteeism. Those employees who use tobacco are also likely to go on retirement earlier due to persistent health problems (Gladwell, 2007). Secondly, productivity is increased in a workplace where tobacco-free living is promoted (Bruce, 2017). The tobacco-users often take breaks during working hours, which has detrimental impacts to the productivity of the organization (Baker, 2017). Nevertheless, there is a legal requirement that workers should take breaks of ten minutes particularly if they work for more than six hours. Therefore, whether it is a smoke break or not, it is legally acceptable in the workplace[ CITATION Fin17 l 1033 ]. However, a study conducted in Canada on tobacco demand reduction strategy indicates that smokers embrace the smoking cessations offered by their organizations (Schmidt, 2013). However, smoking cessations at workplace can only be effective if it is a personal decision by the smoker[CITATION Fis13 l 1033 ]. World Health Organization (2014) in its report shows that both smokers and non-smokers appreciate working in a smoke-free job place. Additionally, Watson (2013) argues that tobacco-free living leads to better compliance with the law, such as the Smoke-Free Ontario Act which became enforced in 2006 to regulate smoking in public spaces and the enclosed areas (Watson, 2013).

Fujishiro (2013) notes that Baker’s study is generalized and does not categorize the smokers according to their positions. It is also found that smoking in the workplace is affected by the level of education, income, and occupation as these factors indicate the status of a person in the society. In the United States, blue collar workers smoke more than white collar professionals[ CITATION Kao13 l 1033 ]. Also, Bogdanivica et. al (2011) relates prevalence of smoking at the workplace with the level of corruption. Therefore, countries with the highest level of corruption experience the highest population of smokers. However, although this study is based on ecological data, it leaves out the evaluation of the casual relationships between different regions and the involved tobacco control policies[ CITATION IBo11 l 1033 ].


The research aim tries to find the relevance of geographical location as relates to the productivity of workers of two categories, smokers and non-smokers. Thus, study gap arises from the earlier analysis to look into the relationship between smoking and job productivity based on the geographical region of the subjects under study. Different localities appear to be affected differently by the tobacco use in the workplace and, therefore, the measure employed towards tobacco-free living should be relevant to the region.


Baker, C. L. (2017). Benefits of quitting snoking on work productivity and activity impairment in the United States, the European Union and China. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 3.

Bogdanovica, I. (2011). What Factors Influence Smoking Prevalence and Smoke Free Policy Enactment across the European Union Member States. PLOS One Journals, 3.

Bruce, G. (2017, June 29). Benefits of a Smoke-Free Workplace. Retrieved July 30, 2017, from Public Health:

FindLaw. (2017, March 22). Smoking at Work. Retrieved July 31, 2017, from FindLaw New Zealand:

Fishwick, D. (2013). Smoking Cessation in the Workplace. Occupational Medicine, 5.

Fujishiro, K. (2013). Occupational Gradients in Smoking Behavior and Exposure to workplace environmental tobacco smoke: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atheroscelerosis (MESA). Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 1-20.

Gladwell, H. (2007). The Disadvantages Of Tobacco Smoking. Healthy Living, 1-5.

Schmidt, L. (2013). Benefits From Quitting Tobacco Use. Benefits of Tobacco Cessation, 3.

Watson, S. (2013). Tobacco-Free Living. Region of Waterloo Public Health, 12.

WHO. (2014). A guide for tobacco users. World Health Organization, 5.