Removing Smoking in the Workplace Increases Productivity Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Removing Smoking in the Workplace Increases Productivity

The purpose of this proposed study is to determine if removing smoking from the workplace has increased workplace productivity. The writer will explore the question by using a survey study method. The participants will include workers across the nation in varying levels of work and careers. The proposed study is designed to measure whether or not there is an increase in productivity since employers began refusing to allow smoking in the workplace environment. There are several factors involved in the study including a look at five previously published studies regarding smokers and their habits. In addition the writer explores some of the different concerns for productivity that have been studied throughout the years with regards to smokers including secondhand smoke damage, absenteeism and dollars lost. This proposal suggests the direct question of affect on productivity from the time workplaces began to ban smoking on their premises. The study will include smokers as well as non-smokers who are still working as well as retired and include things such as if they smoke and if so what the ban does to their productivity. Nonsmokers will be questioned as to their productivity as well to determine the effect banning of smoking in the work place has any bearing on productivity.

The proposed study will involve several geographic areas as well and different ages, genders and races so that the research has a better chance of being pure and accurate.

The data will be collected through online survey abilities as well as mailed survey packets.



Literature Review-


Limitations of study-

Implications of the study-



For several decades now the American population has been aware of the dangers of smoking. Lung cancer, asthma and chronic disease are just a few of the problems that have been linked to smoking; however millions of Americans continue to smoke each day. It was not that long ago those workers were allowed to smoke in the workplace. Ashtrays graced every desk and the cafeteria was always filled with the haze of smoke from the smokers who were taking their breaks. It was a time of constant exposure. In more recent history virtually every state in the nation has taken a look at the smoking issue and slowly but surely smokers have been banned from performing their habit during work. Whereas smokers used to have ashtrays on their desks they now are relegated to the back parking lot for their relaxation. Smokers crave cigarettes. They must have their fix at certain time intervals or their bodies enter the beginning stages of withdrawal. This can cause unpleasant symptoms which may interfere with the ability to focus and concentrate on the job at hand. Smokers have been reported to have a habit more powerful and addicting than heroine. Refusing to allow smoking in the workplace places added stress on the smokers who begin to feel the cravings between their regularly scheduled break times. Non-smokers, however, are no longer exposed to second hand smoke at the workplace. This study is designed to ask if the ban on smoking in the workplace has increased productivity. The study will answer the question through the questioning of smokers as well as non-smokers and their employers. The hypothesis is that banning smoking in the workplace has in fact increased productivity nationwide.

This study will address the smoking and the desire and whether or not removing the ability to smoke at work has had a positive impact on the productivity of employees.


Workplace: The place of employment for the participants of the study

Secondhand smoke: Exposure to smoke that is gained from people smoking nearby but the actual secondhand smoke person not smoking.

Ban on smoking in the workplace: The refusal to allow smoking on the premises

Participants: Those who answer the survey questions

Method: The way the information is gathered

Data: The actual answers of the participants

Literature review: A review of previously published studies that are relevant to this proposed study

Limitations: Possible shortcomings of the study and the reasons for it being a shortcoming

Variables: Various aspects of the study that can be manipulated and cannot be manipulated. They are not the actual results but are elements that have an impact on the results.


Since the discovery of the dangers of smoking the tobacco
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industry has poured billions of dollars into ads and marketing campaigns to keep its product alive and desired. Anti-tobacco groups have answered by pouring as much money as they can raise into cessation ads and other anti-tobacco advertisements. One study takes a close look at the battle of the ads and the effectiveness of their efforts. This study is relevant to the proposed study because it shows the history of the ads in relation to the banning of smoking in the workplace and the possibility that the ads have helped workers quit smoking which in turn will have an impact on this proposed study result.

Smoking has been the target of community-based cessation and control campaigns in many developed nations because tobacco use is the most preventable source of serious diseases. For three decades, the use of mass media has been demonstrated as a useful addition to community-based smoking cessation campaigns in the U.S., Australia, United Kingdom, and several other Western European nations] Simpkins and Brenner and Warner found initial smoking campaign research presumed that tobacco use was influenced by the information the public received about smoking from the mass media. Initial smoking "information models" linked smoking behavior to misinformation and disinformation, which often was seen as a byproduct of either mass media advertising, the glamorization of smoking in popular entertainment programming, or a controversial disinterest among journalists in reporting evidence about smoking's adverse health affects (Logan, 1999)." The study concluded that advertisements do have an impact on smokers and non-smokers, both in cessation and in promotion of the habit.

Another study that was conducted touched on the issue of smoking at the workplace. It was a study conducted in Spain and it dealt with the incidence of tuberculosis as it is related to labor activity in that area. This study used almost four hundred participants through a descriptive study method of research. The study used case histories of the participants health records over the last few years. All of the participants were adults and all of them answered questions about their health and their previous health. Included in this study were questions about smoking at their places of employment (Gonza, 1999).

The consumption of tobacco and alcohol was significant in several professional sectors. In other studies, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption have been significantly associated with the risk of TB (18). These habits are regarded as predisposing to a number of diseases, including chronic obstructive lung disease and liver pathology, which are in turn frequently associated with TB. Both parameters were observed to have statistically significant associations with TB incidence."

While the above studies can contribute statistical data referring to smokers on the job it was not a main focus of the study. One study however concentrated solely on indoor air quality (Gonza, 1999). This is an important study to the proposed study because many workers are indoors for the majority of their workday and the exposure to second hand smoke as well as the smoking itself has an impact on the quality of the air indoors (Gonza, 1999).

The importance of indoor air quality (IAQ) from an environmental health perspective has become evident, especially due to the fact that most people in the United States spend an average of 90% of their time indoors (Greene, 1996)." This study gathered its data through collection of computerized data bases. The gathered data was then categorized and analyzed for like elements as well as differences.

The results of the study point to the importance of quality indoor air quality to maintain the health and quality of life provided by having health indoor air.

All of the above studies indicate that banning smoking from the workplace can only have a positive affect on the quality and standard of life for the working population but there is no information about how this ban affects productivity of the workers.

The ban on smoking in the workplace was prompted by the public outcry of non-smokers who did not want to be exposed to second hand smoke. Report after report came in about the dangers of secondhand smoke. Some studies concluded that second hand smoke in some cases was more dangerous even than smoking was.

Until this era however smoking was not taboo. "Cigarette smoking has been an acceptable consumption activity since the seventeenth century. However, the relationship between health and cigarette smoking was not investigated to any great extent until the twentieth century. Researchers concluded that the three major smoking-related diseases were cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases (Dardis, 1995). According to the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) smoking-related illnesses were responsible for nearly one in five…

Sources Used in Documents:


Robert A. Logan; Daniel R. Longo, Rethinking Anti-Smoking Media Campaigns: Two Generations of Research and Issues for the Next. Vol. 25, Journal of Health Care Finance, 06-01-1999, pp 77-90.

Gonz-z; M.L. Ballester Calabuig., Tuberculosis Related to Labor Activity in an Area of Valencia, Spain. Vol. 62 no, Journal of Environmental Health, 07-01-1999.

Greene, Robert E.; Williams, Phillip L., Indoor air quality investigation protocols.. Vol. 59, Journal of Environmental Health, 10-01-1996, pp 6(9).

Dardis, Rachel; Keane, Thomas, Risk-benefit analysis of cigarette smoking: public policy implications.. Vol. 29, Journal of Consumer Affairs, 12-01-1995, pp 351(17).

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