Businesses also suffer from the effects of tobacco. Tobacco use causes employees to miss work more often due to sickness, and makes them more expensive to insure. Each year, smoking deaths cost businesses $97 billion nationwide. The Surgeon General has said that smoke-free workplace policies are the only way to eliminate secondhand smoke exposure at work. Separating smokers from non-smokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating a building cannot prevent exposure if there are still people smoking inside the building. Workplace smoking restrictions, which are legal, can also encourage smokers to smoke less, or even quit.
Tobacco free workplace policies not only protect workers from the health dangers of secondhand smoke, but they result in a more efficient work environment. Using the Worksite Tobacco Policy Index to provide technical assistance to worksites and for pre-post assessment of policies, we can identify strengths and weaknesses in existing worksite tobacco policies and identify steps needed to strengthen policies.
Tobacco Free Southwest can assist your worksite with: