According to the WHO, tobacco causes over five million deaths world wide which is likely to increase to 8.4 million if the situation is not brought under control. (Representative Image)xvaughanx/Flickr

Have you been working an extra hour in office lately? Are you feeling overly stressed after work? This it is quite possible that you have been smoking too many cigarettes.

Some researchers from the UK have found out that the smokers who work long hours end up increasing the amount they smoke, every day, instead of taking a step towards quitting the burning stick, according to a report by The Hindu.

"When smokers increase their hours above a typical 40 hour working week, the chances they will successfully give up smoking fall, and they become progressively less likely to give up as their working hours increase," said Andy Charlwood, Professor at the School of Business and Economics.

The researchers, who conducted the study at the Loughborough University, have found a direct link between the number of hours that a person works, and the number of cigarettes he smokes. They have found that the number of hours that a person works is directly proportional to the number of cigarettes he smokes per day.

This study was based on people who work around 40-60 hours a week. The researchers found that if a person increased his working hours from 40 hours a week to around 60 hours a week, his working hours could prove to have detrimental effect on his health.

This effect is, however, not a direct one. Instead, it is an indirect effect, which would affect only people who are already addicted to cigarettes.

This study was conducted over a period of 19 years, and used data from the reserves of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). In this study, the researchers studied the working and the smoking habits of over 20,000 people.

Thus this makes the study impermeable to changes in lifestyle (which may have affected smoking habits) over these two decades.

"We were interested to find out what happens to the smoking behaviour as working hours change, and have identified a clear link between the hours worked and an individual's likelihood of smoking," said Professor Charlwood.

"Former smokers who start working long hours are also likely to relapse. Even if people like their jobs and choose to work long hours, we tend to experience more stress and less pleasure at work than we do when undertaking most other day to day activities," he explained.

The results of the research have been published in the Social Science & Medicine journal.