Smoking Kills (Your Earnings)

Tyler Durden's picture

"Even one cigarette is enough to trigger a smoking wage differential," is among the findings of a new (Federal Reserve sponsored) research study that shows smokers on average earn 19% less than non-smokers ($13.101 vs $16.261). Perhaps most interestingly, the researchers note that once you have been a smoker, you may as well smoke a pack a day as the differential is little affected by frequency. Once again, taxpayer money well-spent by the researchers at the Fed... Given these findings (and PhD logic) we suspect the Fed will introduce Quantitative Wheezing - aimed at 'rebalancing' the smoking imbalances... and boosting smokers' income by 24%...




It is well known that smoking leads to lower wages. However, the mechanism of this negative relationship is not well understood. This analysis includes a decomposition of the wage gap between smokers and nonsmokers, with a variety of definitions of smoking status designed to reflect differences in smoking intensity. This paper finds that nearly two-thirds of the 24 percent selectivity-corrected smoking/nonsmoking wage differential derives from differences in characteristics between smokers and nonsmokers. These results suggest that it is not differences in productivity that drive the smoking wage gap. Rather, it is differences in the endowments smokers bring to the market along with unmeasured factors, such as baseline employer tolerance. In addition, we also determine that even one cigarette per day is enough to trigger the smoking wage gap and that this gap does not vary by smoking intensity.


Full paper below...

Smoking Costs

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One And Only's picture

I'm seeing discrimination here.

Smoker and non-smoker wages should be equal.

SIOP's picture



I didnt know ZH was a smoke free web site.  huh, I must of missed the memo.

Thomas's picture

I can't stomach reading it: somebody please tell me the Fed economists didn't conclude that smoking causes poverty. Of course it correlates with it and it ain't cheap, but causes it? Nope. It's a great example of a lurking variable. Did they say it was causal?

12ToothAssassin's picture

Based on working smokers I see at my place of employ, they work about 24% less though so thats seems about right.

noless's picture

Lol, exactly as i stated below.

Even if/when i was the hardest most skilled worker in a shop the only thing management would ever notice was me on a smoke break.

NoDebt's picture

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

economics9698's picture

Smoking is a symptom, the cause is low IQ. 

nmewn's picture


Mark Twain would have objected and so would Keith Richards ;-)

bonin006's picture

There are always exceptions

Skateboarder's picture

I put in an 8 hour minimum, usually 9, and my smoke breaks are my own fucking time. Deal with it.

Umh's picture

If you have the kind of job or boss where the depth of the butt prints in your chair determines work done you should really just go ahead and shoot yourself.

noless's picture

I've been "let go" from a job because the owner quit and couldn't stand the smell.

It's pretty strait forward, if the majority At a place don't smoke, especially those in management positions, it counts against you, experienced this across the board.

Smoking is seen as low class, it brings down the reputation of a business.

It doesn't help that nicotine is the go to carcinogen to hate on, even though there are a myriad of other pollutants that will kill you just the same, especially in manufacturing.

Smokers are viewed as unintelligent, dirty, low class, cynical and disrespectful, no matter their actual attributes, it's societaly self reinforcing.

One And Only's picture

I've been "let go" from a job because the owner quit and couldn't stand the smell.

I've quit my job because the owner smelled like a rotten fish sandwhich that was farted on and I could smell him over the cig I was smoking.

SilverRhino's picture

Nicotine does NOT cause cancer it's an akaloid stimulant like caffeine and theobromine

CPL's picture

Not sure what anyone is bitching about.  If you want tabacco in North America it grows everywhere.  It's a weed and a really good pest repellant.  

The lurking varible is tax btw.  Why do you think Native smokes can be sold at $20 a carton (with a very tidy profit), versus $80-90 for a carton (Canuck bux).  A pack of smokes is 11-12 bucks here.  Doesn't stop anyone from smoking though.   

El Oregonian's picture

Hmm, I paid .25 Cents a pack in 1974 while stationed in Germany.  I quit in 1986 when the stupid things reached .90 a pack.

Blammo's picture

Prison inmates have a higher rate of smoking than people at large....Ergo Smoking causes crime!

ACP's picture

Depends on what you're smoking:

Tobacco = BAD (evil smoker)

Greenbud = GOOD (poor victim of injustice)

One And Only's picture

Life choices should not influence your wage which is what the fed is suggesting.

I want this injustice righted.

This is the equivalent of the lynchings of African Americans (paraphrasing Al Sharpton on just about any topic)

Dey be sendin smokas to da back a da bus

McMolotov's picture

Discrimination against those who smoke is why I choose to huff paint thinner instead.

One And Only's picture

And people who huff paint thinners are entitled to the same wages as those who don't smoke as well.

Why discriminate against paint huffers?


max2205's picture

This is so fucked collar maybe...white collar would be +50%

infinity8's picture

Well, I'm sure as hell not in the mood to read 32 pages to see if there's a nut. But, same goes for fatties and bad credit scores anymore. "you DO realize we're paying a whole EIGHT dollars an hour, right?"

RockyRacoon's picture

I'm always suspicious about "correlation presupposes causation" articles.  Way too many other factors involved.   Sure, reading the entire paper would be fine, but I'd rather sit on the front porch and watch my grass grow.   Even if the paper drew a different conclusion, the title of the ZH article did not.

Clayton Bigsby's picture

Poor people more likely to smoke than wealthy people.  They should have just called me instead...

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Well, they would have just spent the money buying more bonds, so maybe it was well spent.

tom a taxpayer's picture

On a positive note, another Federal Reserve report shows that Federal Reserve officials who can swallow Wall Street bankers come without gagging can be expected to earn $10 million more over their post-Fed Reserve careers than Federal Reserve come-gaggers.


nmewn's picture

Next up, the wine vs tapwater wage gap.

ACP's picture

Or better yet, wine vs beer.

Wine = Liberal fiat investor

Beer = Barbaric gold owner


Just a generalization...I like a good wine (or whine) on occasion...

nmewn's picture

Yes, the barbarians at the

My wife drinks wine (Merlot...akkk, pffft) I'm more of a beer/liquor guy.

This may be a good thread to break out the 1800 Silver, its raining, who'll do a shot with me? ;-)

mofreedom's picture

took a half day been dribking jack and rolling cigs since 1 in between changing diapers and running through the spinkler with my younger son...drinkers, smokers, make better workers...welfare mothers make obama president.

I am Jobe's picture

Hookers vs Housewives

Incubus's picture

Hookers are cheaper in the long run. And you can get a new one everytime.



DosZap's picture

"Even one cigarette is enough to trigger a smoking wage differential," is among the findings of a new (Federal Reserve sponsored) research study that shows smokers on average earn 19% less than non-smokers ($13.101 vs $16.261).


Simple explanation for this, the smokers who are still going at it are lower class, and do not give a whit.Middle/Upper Middle income folks that USED to smoke, are more educated.The reason for the earnings discrepancy is obvious.

I am Jobe's picture

Beer vs Hard Liquor

I am Jobe's picture

Why do Lesbians drink excessively

Worthy of a paper and a couple fo million dollars

nmewn's picture

Butch-type lesbians or the sleek stripper-type lesbians?

Dave Thomas's picture

nmewn the preferred nomenclature is lipstick lesbians.

nmewn's picture

Áhah, thanks.

Just sayin, if I'm forced to finance an artistic something I'd at least like to be able to appreciate the finer points of the end product.

Warthogs in flannel just doesn't do much for me ;-)


Sudden Debt's picture

I have a fuckface boss that first decided we couldn't drink beer at work anymore.... than that motherf.. decided we couldn't drink during breaks either AND NOW HE'S LIMITING OUR SMOKE BREAKS DOWN TO ONLY 5 A DAY!

this shit is getting pretty racist if you tell me... even jews never had it this bad...

One And Only's picture

Smoking gives babies cancer. Ban it.

Chump's picture

Faux liberal counterpoint: dead babies are good.  Encourage smoking.

Harbanger's picture

It was the progressives who gave us Prohibition. They're societys nazis, obsessed with controlling every aspect of your life.  Bloomy and moochele are modern examples of progressive nazi's. Wait until they connect any behavior that they don't like to our national Obamacare costs. There's nothing they can't justify banning.

nmewn's picture

And salt can kill, if you don't get enough of it.

Doc!...gimme a saline drip, I've been sweatin alot ;-)


One And Only's picture

Water can kill (hyponatremia) and you can also drown. Children drown regularly, often while being innocent and playful around pools.

Ban it. Save the lives of our future children by banning water everywhere.

According to European Union officials water doesn't prevent dehydration anyway.

Ban water, it kills, and is a menace to society,


nmewn's picture

Ban five gallon buckets!

How many more toddlers have to die?

If we can save just one, it will have been worth it ;-)