The use of tobacco products at workplaces is dangerous to the health of the employees. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths in users and non-users. Employers are encouraged to adopt tobacco-free worksite policies to promote and protect the health of the employees in the organization. A comprehensive tobacco-free policy at the workplace promotes quitting and eliminates exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is a mixture of smoke exhaled by smokers and the smoke from the burning end of combustible tobacco product. There is no safe amount of secondhand smoke exposure.
Reasons for Tobacco-Free Workplaces
- Eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Reduce the cost associated with cleaning and maintenance of the property.
- Reduce the risk of fire incident.
- Reduce costs associated with smoke damage.
- Increase productivity in the employees by reducing time off due to tobacco-related or tobacco worsening illnesses.
- Reduce the healthcare cost that is associated with tobacco related illnesses and diseases.
- Improve the quality of life and health of the employees.
- Increase revenue for businesses.
Action Steps to Implementing and Enforcing a Tobacco-Free Workplace Policy
- Organizations are encouraged to develop a workgroup or task force to oversee the tobacco-free policy implementation and enforcement plan.
- Provide resources to educate the task force, employees, visitors and vendors.
- Survey the employees to assess their level of knowledge and attitude towards tobacco-free policy.
- Create a communication plan.
- Develop a tobacco-free policy that is concise, clear, simple and comprehensive.
- Develop an enforcement plan that is consistent with other personnel policies and disciplinary procedures.
- Announce the policy several months prior to the implementation date.
- Finally, organizations are encouraged to provide cessation services for the employees and patients to promote quitting among them.
Last Updated 12/21/2022