A newly released study suggests that cigarette smokers light up more frequently when work stress affects their home lives.
The study, conducted by the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, also found that women smoke more often when stress at home affects their work.
"There's growing evidence that work-family conflict is related to a range of negative health behaviors, and it's something for workplace wellness programs to take into consideration when they're trying to get employees to engage in healthier behaviors, whether it's physical activity, nutrition or quitting smoking," said Jon Macy, lead author of the study and assistant professor in the Department of Applied Health Science at the School of Public Health-Bloomington.
The study, "The Association Between Work-Family Conflict and Smoking Quantity Among Daily Smokers," involved 423 adult Midwesterners who smoked daily.
The study also found that employees who reported more lenient workplace-smoking restrictions smoked more.
"It's another intervention that seems to work," Macy said. "We know from lots and lots of research that smoke-free air policies in the workplace result in reduced smoking either in the form of quitting or smoking fewer cigarettes per day."
A second study led by Macy, which looked at the health habits of nearly 4,000 men and women before and after the recession, found that most people were able to maintain healthy habits during the recession.
However, that was not the case for those experiencing financial struggles.
"When you look at the entire sample, health behaviors improved during a period that included a major recession," Macy said. "However, those most affected by the recession, those with the most financial strain, were least likely to abstain from smoking, to exercise or to engage in healthy eating behaviors."