Workers quit smoking - with canine assistance

Feb 28 2006 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Hard on the heels of a U.S. survey which found that two-thirds of dog owners would work longer hours and a third would take a pay cut if they could bring their pet to the office, we've come across another big benefit of having dogs at work.

According to the BBC, smokers at an office in West Yorkshire have kicked the habit thanks to a new canine colleague - Rupert the cocker spaniel.

The nine-month-old dog was brought in by managers at Relay Recruitment in Bradford in January to help staff beat the post-Christmas blues.

But the move had an unexpected bonus as four of the firm's 12 smokers gave up cigarettes by substituting fag breaks for a 10-minute walk with the dog.

The firm's bosses now plan to provide dogs for their staff in Leeds, Halifax and York.

Relay Recruitment spokesman David Gatehouse said: "We're delighted with the effect Rupert has had on staff health and morale.

"We initially brought him in because we'd seen research which said that having a pet reduces stress and increases a feeling of well-being.

"Then somebody suggested instead of having a fag break they'd take him for a 10-minute walk round the block.

"The idea caught on and now four or five people have given up smoking altogether and others are cutting down.

"They're also losing weight because of all the exercise they're getting."

BBC Online | Dog ends habit for office smokers