SEOUL, Jul. 12 (Korea Bizwire) — A new report has claimed that among South Koreans attempting to quit smoking, young male workers in the service industry are most likely to fail due to stress that has been linked to the emotional labor many workers experience.
The findings from a study conducted by a research team led by professors Myung Jun-pyo and Jo Yun-mo at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital revealed on Wednesday that South Koreans in their 20s and 30s working in the sales and service industry face a higher risk of failed smoking cessation attempts, after analyzing a sample of 3,127 male respondents.
During the study, the research team separated respondents into groups by age – from 19 to 40 and 41 and 60 – and by occupation, including office work, service and sales, and manual labor, in an effort to spot differences in smoking cessation patterns among different groups.
It turns out over seven in ten male sales and service workers fail to quit smoking, the highest rate among all respondents, and the researchers believe it is primarily due to their high likelihood of experiencing stress caused by so-called ‘emotional labor’ in the field, as their job requires them to constantly engage in human interaction and put on a presentable look for customers.
Many resort to smoking to either cope with the stress at work or socially engage with customers for business purposes, which explains the high numbers of service workers who attempt to quit smoking.
In contrast, those aged over 41 who work in an office or do manual labor were more likely to succeed at quitting smoking compared to their younger counterparts, with failed smoking cessation rates estimated at 54.1 and 64.5 percent in each industry, respectively.
Middle-aged and senior employed men were more likely to quit smoking successfully as their position at work is typically less stress inducing compared to younger workers, given that stress relief is one of the main perks of smoking.
Professor Myung, who led the study, said, “As we found a link between smoking cessation failure and certain jobs and age groups, the government needs to customize its approach to smoking cessation in order to be more successful.”
According to the research team, some of the most effective methods to quit smoking include drinking water, avoiding alcohol consumption, asking for help from close friends and family, and staying persistent.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)