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No Smoking Policy at Work

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Position Essay- No Smoking Policy at Work

        More and more employee are getting healthy by quitting smoking because of smoke-free policies employers are adopting. Now employers have the right to refuse to hire a potential employee because of their smoking habit. Employers are removing smoke areas on their premises to adhere to the no smoking policy. Employers also are helping current employees decrease their smoking by providing counseling, smoke free gum, and medications. Smoke-free policies are effective in protecting employees from second hand smoke, are helpful in supporting work productivity, and are helpful in supporting employee’s health.

        Tobacco control is effective because it protects nonsmoking employees and clients from the dangers of second hand smoke. According to Careers Magazine, “employees who had never smoked grew increasingly vocal about the smell of smoke and the potential negative affect of second hand smoke on health. So, employers were faced with a dilemma” (Heathfield,n.d. ).” The smoke free policy protects non-smoking employee and customers from the dangers of second hand smoke. Second hand smoke is defined as smoke inhaled involuntarily from tobacco being smoked by others. Second hand smoke can be associated with many different health risks. For example, lung cancer, asthma attacks, and stroke are common health threats associated with second hand smoke. The no smoking at work policy protects nonsmokers and gives legal rights to nonsmokers in case they encounter a smoker. A CNN article stated that “The American Lung Association completed a study that found that people who were exposed to smoke in the workplace were 17 percent more likely to develop lung cancer than those who were not exposed” (Zupek,n.d.).”

         The U.S. Surgeon General’s concluded that a smoke free policy that is 100% is the only effective way to eliminate second hand smoke in the workplace. “Studies have shown “that a New York State’s smoke free law went into effect, the number of hospitality workers who reportedly experienced irritation of the eye, nose, and throat declined by 62%, 34%, and 45%, respectively “(Secondhand Smoke: Worker Health, n.d).” In the United States, the no smoking policy is being adopted as a statewide policy. Since July 2015, the following states have implemented smoke-free policies in all enclosed workplaces and restaurants: Arizona, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, and Oregon.  It is projected by the year 2024, every state in the United States will be under the smoke-free policy. A tobacco free environment creates a safe, healthier workplace and it lowers the risk of on the job fires. Company with the no smoking policy enforce this in company vehicles and on personal breaks. If an employee is caught smoking they risk termination and a fine up to 2,500 dollars. Before the state law went into effect, 59% of hospitality workers reported respiratory symptoms, such as morning cough, shortness of breath, or bringing up phlegm. After the smoke free law took effect, the number of workers who reportedly experienced morning cough dropped by 46%. Another study showed that within three months of implementation of the law, the prevalence of workers reporting sensory symptoms declined by 50%.

        The second reason tobacco control is effective is because it benefits the employee assets and increases work productivity. A CNN article stated, “In contrast, in 2005, Michigan-based health care firm Weyco introduced a policy banning its staff from smoking - even away from the workplace. The firm implemented the ban to keep health costs down. Weyco gave its staff an ultimatum at the end of 2004 - either stop smoking completely or leave their jobs” (Zupek,n.d.).” Employers are seeing a reduction in health insurance cost due to lack of absenteeism.   According to CNN,” Employees that have quit smoking are expanding their life expectancy by four years. Employee and employer medical cost are declining. The cost of insurance premiums is lower due to not having to purchase insurance for smokers. Employees are now able give employees more raises and bonus because they are no paying high insurance cost” (Zupek,n.d.)”.

        The no smoking policies is helping employees meet their deadlines and goals because employees are getting more work completed, and, are using less sick days. CNN also stated that ‘Work policies that reduce and/or prevent smoking may also reduce the number of days of sick leave," Lundborg wrote. He recommends more research into the link between sick leave and smoking, as factors other than tobacco use may play a part in the absences” (Zupek,n.d.).” Companies also noticed that employees are improving on time management. For example, smokers are not returning late from break because they had to finish their tobacco product. Tobacco controls are helping employee make better choices and are helping employees save money. For example, a pack of cigars cost $6 dollars, employee that is a constancy smoker will spend an estimated amount of $300 on tobacco products. This policy is not only improving health, but it is helping employees become financially responsible. This policy is also helping employees to set a positive example for their families. If the children see a parent smoking, they are more likely to smoke.

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