Workplace stress is something that affects everyone differently, but according to new research, Estate Agents are the ones most likely to reach for the cigarettes after a hard day at work.

The study, by online retailer Haypp, was carried out to uncover the correlation between workplace stress and smoking and found that a quarter (24%) of Brits are more likely to smoke after a hard day at work.

When it comes to industries most affected by smoking, Estate Agents and those working in the property sector are the most prolific smokers in the UK, with 55% of those surveyed admitting to smoking every day. The 10 most addicted professions, whose workers admit to smoking on a daily basis, are:

  • Estate Agents & property 55%
  • Builders & construction 48%
  • Social Care 47%
  • Hospitality 44%
  • Management 44%
  • Sales 42%
  • Retail 40%
  • Environment 39%
  • Tourism 38%
  • Leisure 36%

Looking at their reasons for smoking, the UK workforce listed stress (60%), anxiety (43%), and being annoyed or irritated (33%), as the three main factors that influence how much they smoke. Interestingly, five of the top ten causes of smoking were work related with 25% smoking to release tension, 24% smoking after a hard day at work, 22% smoking to go on a break, 21% smoking when they’re under pressure, and an additional 21% smoke more often when they are dealing with an increased workload.

Three-quarters (75%) of the surveyed smokers working in law enforcement also admitted they smoke more when they’re under pressure, compared to the national average of 21%.

Shockingly 6% of Brits believe smoking has helped them to get ahead in their career. This is particularly noticeable by those working in science and pharmaceuticals, where a third of workers think smoking has given them a leg up.

Markus Lindblad, from Haypp, said:

The UK government has made great strides in reducing smoking but it’s clear that more can be done. The research clearly shows a connection between workplace stress and smoking, so employers now have a role to play when it comes to reducing smoking rates.

Markus Lindblad, Haypp

The connection between an increase in smoking, and workplace stress is clear, but the data also shows that income has a factor to play in this too. Workplace stress leads to an increase in smoking for those at both ends of the income scale with people earning above £85K and below £25k needing a stress relieving cigarette the most.

Additionally, only 28% of those surveyed believe that habit and addiction is a key factor contributing to their smoking habits and only 29% blamed it on alcohol or other social situations.

Haypp has created an online tool showing how smoking rates differ based on industry, to find out how your profession stacks up, visit

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.