Yesterday, Spark Hire covered the story about a company in Texas claiming that it would no longer hire tobacco users of any type. Although Baylor Health Care System’s new claim may seem fitting since their business is in the health care industry, it is discrimination nonetheless.
In light of this company’s claim, the Spark Hire team thought it would be interesting to take a look at what jobs in the U.S. have the most smokers. According to an article from Time, the CDC reported last Thursday that workers in the mining, food service and construction industries were more likely to smoke than adults in other industries or professions. A collection of information from 2004 to 2010 has shown that 30 percent of workers in mining and an equal proportion of workers in hotel and food services reported smoking while 29.7 percent of adults working in construction smoked.
Overall, the percentage of adults smoking in the U.S. is 19.3 percent.
The industries with the lowest rate of smokers included education services with about 10 percent, finance and insurance workers at about 14 percent and business management with 11 percent. What’s most interesting is that the data the CDC collected also showed that this form of “targeted workplace tobacco control” has worked at lowering the number of smokers among working adults. The number of working smokers went down from 27.8 percent in 1987-94 to 24.5 percent in 1997-2004. The article quotes the CDC saying, “Employers should educate all employees about the availability of treatments and encourage their use. Providing coverage for tobacco dependence treatment will increase access to services, which will improve the health of employees and result in lower rates of absenteeism and lower utilization of health care resources.”
Other industries with high smoking rates included waste management at 24.3 percent, real estate at 23.4 percent, manufacturing at 23.2 percent and retail at 23.1 percent.