You are here

Articles of Interest: Tobacco-Free Workplace

Having a healthy environment is an important part of both learning and working.
Texas A&M to implement tobacco-free campus policy in January
The Eagle

2020

Reinberg, Steven. "The Sooner Young Smokers Start, the Less Likely they are to Quit ." HealthDay, April 13, 2020.

Kids and teens who take up smoking are more likely to become daily smokers and find it harder to quit by their 40s, a new study finds.

"Based on our data coupled with a variety of other evidence, we found childhood smoking leads to adult smoking," said lead researcher David Jacobs Jr., a professor of public health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. "Cigarette smoking, even experimentally, among children of any age should be strongly discouraged."

Pavlik, MA CTTS, Jim; Chad Morris, PhD. "COVID-19: Tobacco Use and Health Disparities Populations." Behavorial Health & Wellness Program, April 13, 2020.

Smoking and vaping may lead to worse clinical outcomes following respiratory infections, which is particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many groups of Americans, such as persons living in poverty, individuals with behavioral health conditions, and persons involved with the criminal justice system, smoke and use other nicotine products at high rates and are at greater risk after contracting COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. 

Jagat Narula, MD, PhD. "For Every 50 Smokers – One Non-Smoker Dies from Secondhand Smoke Exposure." JAMA Network Open, March 17, 2020.

These results could help policy makers to better understand the scale of harm inflicted by secondhand smoke and develop new measures that will protect non-smokers. This is especially important considering children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, and asthma. Even a low dose of secondhand smoke can damage the cardiovascular system and long-term exposure can lead to a 20-30 percent increase in risk for heart attack and lung cancer. 

Siegel, Rachel. "U-Haul's no-smokers hiring policy tests the boundaries of corporate wellness." The Washington Post, January 22, 2020.

When U-Haul announced it would stop hiring nicotine users in the states where it could, the reactions were decidedly mixed.

“Good for U-Haul! Nicotine is a drug. … It just happens to be legal!” wrote one Facebook commenter.

“I’m not [a] smoker, but I don’t think being a smoker should keep you from employment,” wrote another.

One posted a simple, “Dream on!”

2019

A total smoking ban will be enforced across all hospital grounds by April next year in a bid to make NHS sites smokefree.

The new guidelines, which follow a survey that was carried out as part of Public Health England's (PHE) Smokefree NHS campaign, will see all trusts across the country prohibit anyone from smoking on site.

Rodriguez, Megan. "Texas A&M to implement tobacco-free campus policy in January." The Eagle, October 13, 2019.

Texas A&M University will implement a tobacco-free policy in January, using a $20,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to help fund the effort. 

Saul, Jessie. "Your Boss Doesn’t Support a Smoke-Free Policy…Now What?." ex Program, September 17, 2019.

Not every business leader embraces a smoke-free policy or tobacco-free workplace. Surprised? Don’t be.

Today 20% of indoor workers in the U.S. are not yet covered by a 100% smoke-free policy. And if you work in certain industries, such as construction, agriculture, and transportation, your company is even less likely to have a workplace no-smoking policy.

Jacobs, Megan. "Yes, You Still Have Smokers in Your Workplace." The EX Program, April 10, 2019.

Now that smoking is no longer the employee health issue it once was, companies can turn their attention to other wellness program strategies, right?

Unfortunately not.

Because smoking in the workplace today isn’t always obvious, that’s led some employers to believe this type of addiction isn’t a big issue anymore. Out of sight, out of mind, out of HR planning.

That misperception can be very costly on multiple levels—from direct productivity losses to higher healthcare expenditures. Even worse, it means those who do smoke won’t get the help they need.

Munarriz, Rick. "Disney Bans Smoking at Disney World and Disneyland." The Motley Fool, March 28, 2019.

It's going to be harder to get your smoke on at one of Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) domestic theme parks in a few weeks. Smoking will no longer be permitted inside Disney World and Disneyland theme parks and water parks starting May 1. The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida and Downtown Disney in California will also be participating in the ban. 

 

"Public Health Plagued By Preemption." American for Nonmokers' Rights Foundation, February 14, 2019.

At ANR, we are no strangers to preemption. This tricky tactic was cultivated and perfected by the tobacco industry. We know the industry never quits, so we have never stopped tracking and defending against preemptive strikes.

Reference Refresh

A little rusty on the vocabulary? According to the National Policy and Legal Analysis Network, preemption occurs when a “higher” level of government eliminates or limits the authority of a “lower” level of government to regulate a certain issue. Preemption can take different forms: either explicitly spelled out in a statute, or implied, which is murkier and based on legislative intent. Implied preemption can result in a legal challenge to interpret what the law says, which is why our model language always recommends expressly stating that state laws do not preempt local action. An example of this industry interference trick is in the fact Pittsburgh, PA, Nashville, TN, and Oklahoma City are barred from enacting local smokefree laws.

Facing youth e-cigarette epidemic, American Lung Association calls for federal government, states to put in place proven tobacco control policies to protect kids, save lives.

2018

To mark World Lung Cancer Day on August 1st, Cancer Network spoke with Dr. Alan Blum, Professor and Gerald Leon Wallace, MD, Endowed Chair of Family Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, where he also directs the University’s Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society, which he founded in 1999. Dr. Blum is an expert on the history of tobacco use, tobacco industry marketing, and the anti-smoking movement. He is a renowned pioneer in creative physician-led public advocacy initiatives to counter the promotion of unhealthy products and lethal lifestyles. 

—Interviewed by Anna Azvolinsky

A new study suggests that U.S. businesses pay almost $6,000 per year extra for each employee who smokes compared to the cost to employ a person who has never smoked cigarettes.

Researchers say the study is the first to take a comprehensive look at the financial burden for companies that employ smokers.

"Tobacco-Free Policies on the Rise Across US Colleges and Universities." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 21, 2018.

More than twice as many U.S. college and university campuses were smoke free or tobacco free in 2017 as in 2012, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF), published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Junqian , Xu. "CEOs Pledge to Stub Out Smoking." China Daily, June 21, 2018.

Senior executives of companies in Shanghai’s Lujiazui district, known as the “Wall Street of China”, pledged to create a smoke-free working environment last Wednesday. Initiated by NGO the CEO Roundtable on Cancer-China and supported by the World Health Organization, the national campaign aims to encourage as many enterprises as possible in the country to say no to smoking not only inside their offices, but also in factories, on campuses and other open spaces.

Pages