The Yakima City Council is considering some kind of partial ban on smoking in parks and around playgrounds—which got us to thinking about money and cigarettes.

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As you consider your position on the issue, consider that there's a new reason to give up that smoking habit, one that affects your income. According to a group of economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, smokers earn 20 percent less than non-smokers, on average. Twenty percent! That's no laughing matter.

And it gets even more interesting: Their research found that the wages of both people who smoke a pack a day and social smokers are around equal. You know what that means? It's the fact that a person smokes, not how much, that is important. Some suggest the reasoning behind this is that non-smokers are more educated than smokers. Higher level of education = smarter decision-makers in the job market.