Smells like team spirit

Smoking is bad for you.  Just putting that out there first off.  This post is not endorsing smoking.  But for those that do smoke, there is an etiquette in the workplace that you need to be aware of.

When I first started work, I was a smoker and asked my graduate employer what the protocol was for smoking breaks. No one knew. In an open plan office of 50, there were no other smokers and this question had never come up. We agreed that I would take my smoking breaks out of my lunch break which seemed sensible. In some offices, they have smoking breaks, in others there are no official rules. In some, smoking is banned all together. The point is that there are no hard and fast rules about your entitlement to smoke. There are, however, some good behaviours you can adopt to reduce the negative feeling towards you as a smoker by your non smoking colleagues.

Smoking stinks

As an ex-smoker, I inhale deeply whilst following smokers, but the smell really isn’t great. Spraying copious amounts of perfume/body spray on you makes you smell horribly of body spray/perfume and cigarettes. It doesn’t help at all.

Have a smoking jumper/coat that you can wear and leave outside of the office. Your clothes, hands, hair and everything will smell, but by removing the clothing, you will reduce the amount of smoke smell you bring into the office. Also, wash your hands and chew gum. The impact of smoke smell on non-smokers is profound and something that you won’t understand until you give up. I have seen friends fall out over it.

Smoke away from windows/the building/the sight of customers or clients

Smoking near the building can make smoke go into office windows, which is annoying. It also looks bad on a company if you are out the front, wearing their lanyard, under their logo. People don’t associate smoking with being cool anymore. It has a negative image and your bosses wont thank you for it. There are usually smoking shelters/pens for you to use.

Manage your time

If you do take smoking breaks, don’t make a big thing out of it. Waiting for friends, inviting the other smokers out. It makes everyone think about the fact that you are off smoking and not working. Whether you are entitled or not. Whether you are taking it out of your lunch break or not. It creates a negative feeling and that type of animosity doesn’t go away. Nor does your reputation as a work shirker.


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