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.


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.