Decide on a New Tobacco-Free Workplace Wellness Policy
Use the information you have gathered to help you decide which policy you will implement. Compare the current situation with the options for workplace policies. Use the model policy as a reference.
You should also consider how to handle other tobacco products, such as spit tobacco or snuff, if the employees use these products. It is reasonable and consistent to handle all tobacco products at the same time and in the same manner.
While many possible smoking policies exist, only two are viable in today’s social and scientific environment:
- Tobacco-free environment in company facilities and vehicles; can be extended to include the property or grounds of the employer.
- Separately ventilated areas. Smoking limited to separately ventilated smoking rooms.
The following table compares the two types of smoking:
- Smoking/tobacco use is not allowed inside any building or company vehicle.
- Tobacco use occurs only at designated outdoor locations. Policy can be extended to prohibit tobacco use on company grounds.
- Employees who smoke refrain from smoking throughout the workday or leave company grounds to smoke.
- Complies with all laws and ordinances
- Greatly reduces secondhand smoke exposure for all employees
- Provides best health and safety benefits for employees
- May reduce the number of cigarettes smoked by employees; may encourage employees to quit smoking
- Decreases maintenance costs
- Sends a clear message to employees
- Low cost to implement
- Requires smokers to modify their behavior
- Some costs may be incurred if outside smoking shelters are constructed.
- Employees smoking directly outside building impact image.
- Inconvenience to employees who smoke
- If not properly managed, smokers may be disproportionately absent from their work stations.
Separately Ventilated Areas
- Smoking is allowed only in dedicated smoking rooms. The rooms have separate ventilation systems designed to prevent secondhand smoke from leaking into other areas of the building.
- Complies with most laws and ordinances
- Reduces nonsmokers’ exposure to secondhand smoke
- Allows smokers to stay indoors
- May have adverse effects on smokers’ health
- Requires space
- Ventilation systems may not adequately protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke.
- Building and maintaining separately ventilated lounges is expensive.
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