This may seem like an odd subject for a marketing and advertising blog. And my point of view will probably piss off a couple of people. But smoking is stupid. And I hate working with smokers. So if you’re a smoker, quit.
My first work related experience with a smoker was at my first agency gig and my boss, the COO of the agency. He smoked. He would smoke in the car on the way to meetings. He’d smoke at lunch. And then whenever we’d meet, he would wreak of cigarette smoke. It bothered me. But it wasn’t until I went to pick up my girlfriend after work and her father confronted me that I realized how it was affecting me. He told me that he did not like his daughter dating a smoker. But I wasn’t a smoker. The smell was obviously rubbing off on me.
As time went on and the public’s disapproval of smokers grew, my experience with smokers in the workplace was fewer and fewer. Then a few years ago I hired a person who was a heavy smoker. He wreaked of smoke all the time. Co-workers would ask me to move their desks so they didn’t have to smell it. I confronted the smoker to see if he could make sure to air himself out before returning to the office. Talk about an awkward conversation. Eventually I had to let this employee go because of other issues. But his smoking made the decision much easier.
Despite that little blip, my experience with smokers was few and far between in the workplace. Then I took a consulting gig at a marketing company a few months ago. A large portion of the marketing department smoked. And a large group of the other employees in the connected call center smoked. I was shocked at how many smokers there were. Entering the building from the back door was like hitting a bar in the 80’s. Meeting with the co-workers that smoked was a headache inducing experience. I would avoid meeting in a confined area with the smokers as best I could. I don’t think I have a sensitive nose. I usually don’t smell the same offensive things my wife does. I always have to be reminded to take out the stinky trash – which I never smell. But cigarette and cigar smoke drives me nuts.
We all know the truth about smoking: it’s a nasty habit that turns teeth a disgusting shade of yellow, makes clothes stink, makes people not want to be around you, is expensive, and worst of all causes serious health conditions like lung cancer and heart disease. And it also makes people not want to work with you. So do your career a favor, do your health a favor and quit. I left the marketing agency that had all the smokers and I feel healthier for it.