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Smoking and the Work Place Dr Nevin Wilson The Union South East Asia
Secondhand smoke (SHS) • 1986 Surgeon General’s report: SHS identified as a cause of disease in non smokers • Contains over 4000 substances – including 70 known / probable human carcinogens • Health effects in non smoking adults – lung cancer, heart disease • Health effects in children • No safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke
Why should work places be smoke free • Smoking harms health • Also harms non-smokers exposed to SHS • Smoking costs employers money • More employee absenteeism • Decreased productivity on-the-job • Increased early retirement due to ill health • Higher annual health-care costs for smokers and higher health insurance costs • Higher life insurance premiums • Higher maintenance and cleaning costs • Higher risk of fire damage, explosions and other accidents related to smoking • Higher fire insurance premiums. • Employers have a legal responsibility to protect health of employees
These costs add up to significant amounts A 1996 study of Scottish workplaces estimated the total related costs of employee smoking in Scotland at around three quarters of a billion US$ per year (smoking related absence: $60 million; productivity losses: $675 million; losses from fire: $6 million (Parrot et al. , 1996).
What can employers do about workplace smoking? • Smokers are usually the minority. Surveys show that many smokers and almost all non-smokers support clean air policies. • Protect the health of their employees and reduce smoking-related costs by making workplaces smokefree, and implementing programs to encourage and help smokers to quit • Smoke-free workplaces reduce SHS exposure for all workers, reduce employees’ daily tobacco consumption, increase quit rates, and reduce cleaning costs and fire risk.
The goal should be a completely smoke-free workplace. There is no safe level of exposure to SHS. Ventilation cannot “clear the air” and protect workers from exposure.
Main Activities • establish a written policy with active participation of employees and managers • communicate the policy and its rationale clearly and sanctions for non-compliance • implement the policy according to agreed timetable • monitor, enforce and adjust the policy if necessary • for workers who want to quit, ensure access to trained counsellors, cessation support and pharmacological treatments, including nicotine replacement therapy • provide information to all workers on benefits of quitting and how to support colleagues
How to make a work place smoke free • • • Establish a workplace committee Involve employees and workers organisations Formulate a written policy Communicate the policy to employees Provide information and support to smokers Determine disciplinary measures Follow a time table for implementation Provide training Evaluate and monitor implementation
Beneficiaries / Target Groups • all employees (including managers) • customers, visitors and clients • employees who smoke
Indicators • written policy exists that clearly states rationale, time frame • % of employees exposed to SHS at work • % of smokers who attempt to quit each year • % of quitters still not smoking 12 months after quitting • % of employees who smoke (and decreases in this prevalence)
Global companies that lead smokefree initiative The Pioneers All facilities, offices and subsidiaries: Astra. Zeneca, AT&T , BASF Corporation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Coca Cola, Eli Lilly and Company, General Mills (first company to specify outdoor areas and complete premises in 2002), IBM, Johnson & Johnson (Transitioning to tobacco free campus' policy for worldwide locations) Marriot Hotels (all Global facilities declared smokefree), Merck & Co. , Nordstrom, Prudential Financial, Texas Instruments Inc. , Westin Hotels and Resorts Manufacturing Companies Bechtel (tobacco free policy in U. S. facilities only), BF Goodrich, Boeing, Dow Chemical Company (all worldwide facilities, 2004), Du. Pont, Union Pacific Restaurant Chains Baskin & Robbins, Mc. Donald's Corporation (Company-owned restaurants only, franchises encouraged to adopt smokefree policies), Papa John's, Pizza Hut, Starbucks (All locations worldwide), TGIF (in US only, now in India also)