It's something that's been around for as long as we've been able to smoke. Every once in a while, those who do smoke take a quick five minutes to light up before going back to work.

And in most industries, taking a smoke break isn't an issue whatsoever. As long as it's done within a reasonable amount of time, your boss probably wouldn't care.

In fact, the boss might even join you for a quick five-minute smoke. And if that's you, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Of course, some non-smokers don't take those breaks and might feel that's unfair. Not because of the fact that they don't smoke, but because they don't take the same amount of breaks since they don't light up.


As a nonsmoker myself, let me just say anyone who has a problem with co-workers taking smoke breaks needs to get over themselves. Let them do what they have to do, it's not a big deal.

I've always considered those short breaks for nonsmokers to be air breaks. Essentially, we still could take the same break, but just not use it for smoking. At least, that's how I always viewed it.

But there is something to be said depending on the type of establishment one works at. If you take a smoke break at a place where you have lots of customers, then this message is for you.

Now before we dive into it, let me just first say this story isn't against anyone who smokes whatsoever. It's merely more of an observation of what some do while taking a smoke break at work.

Vintage open for business sign

Here's a perfect example that can help explain this. Picture a retail location that's open during regular business hours.

Let's say this is a food market of some sort. It could be a local mom-and-pop-type store or a big box location. A place that generally gets a decent amount of customers per day.

Now let's say a couple of the employees that work there are smokers. Clearly, they can't smoke while working so you won't have to worry about that while shopping.

Woman shopping at the supermarket
Minerva Studio ThinkStock

But at some point, they decide to take a quick five-minute smoke break. They let their boss know and head outside to light up.

It's here where the problem arises. If those employees are courteous to their customers, they'll have their smoke break away from the main entrance.

However, not all smokers do that, and will light up right there where customers enter and exit. Or they do it in a location known to have many customers, and that is where the problem is.

Rustic Open Sign

Simply put, that's not the place for it. But yet, some smokers insist on parking it right where they know much of the general public will be.

Not all smokers do this, but a few do. And if you're one of those who do, here's a friendly message for you.

Please move away from that space before lighting up. Just simply make sure you're not where anyone in the public frequently goes.

Stop & Shop in Highland Park
Stop & Shop in Highland Park (Highland Park, New Jersey

Again, this message is only targeted to those very few who do this. The vast majority of employees that smoke in public places are courteous and aware of their surroundings before lighting up.

This also happens a decent amount of times at convenience stores. Same thing as above, please don't do it right by the main entrance of the establishment.

Nobody wants to walk through that second-hand smoke while trying to get into the store. Even more, some might change their mind to shop if they feel they need to go through that cloud.

And it's not just non-smokers who take issue with these select individuals. Many courteous smokers do as well.

Getty Stock / ThinkStock
Getty Stock / ThinkStock

As mentioned earlier, there are many smokers out there who understand the importance of this and will take their smoke breaks at more appropriate locations.

It's just a matter of being aware of your surroundings and the current situation.

Just please be courteous and don't be rude to the customers. Before lighting up, please make sure it's at a respectful location away from where the vast majority of customers tend to be.

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The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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