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Gold Standard Articles of Interest for Tobacco-Free Workplace

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.

kahn, Tamar. "Michael Bloomberg and STOP have Big Tobacco in their sights." Business Day, March 7, 2018.

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is putting $20m into countering the tobacco industry’s attempts to undermine tobacco control measures, with the creation of a new global watchdog called Stopping Tobacco Organisations and Products (STOP) that will be run by his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Eighteen colleges and universities were awarded grants from Truth Initiative® to adopt a 100 percent tobacco-free campus policy, a move that will protect more than 100,000 students and employees across 17 states.

Associated Press. "Anti-smoking plan may kill cigarettes — and save Big Tobacco." STAT, January 19, 2018.

Imagine if cigarettes were no longer addictive and smoking itself became almost obsolete; only a tiny segment of Americans still lit up. That’s the goal of an unprecedented anti-smoking plan being carefully fashioned by U.S. health officials.

Myers, Mathew L., and Robin Koval. "Commentary: Philip Morris Says It Wants to Quit Cigarettes. But It’s Just Blowing Smoke.." Fortune, January 5, 2018.

Philip Morris International (PMI)—the giant cigarette manufacturer operating in most countries excluding the U.S.—claims it wants a smoke-free future, placing advertisements in major United Kingdom newspapers earlier this week with a New Year’s resolution: “We’re trying to give up cigarettes.”

2017

"First Generation." The Rhode Island Spotlight, December 7, 2014.

Although smoking rates among college students have decreased dramatically over the past 15 years, other forms of tobacco have grown in popularity. The University of Rhode Island is one of more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide working toward becoming totally tobacco-free, getting help from Rhode Island-based non-profit CVS Health Foundation, along with The American Cancer Society. This month Jim Hummel travels to ACS headquarters in Atlanta to learn more about the program- and to Kingston, where he finds out about what’s going on locally.

Communities with strong smoke-free workplace laws have lower lung cancer rates than those with no smoke-free laws, researchers report. The new study was conducted in Kentucky, which has one of the highest lung cancer rates in the United States.

Croyle, Robert, PhD: Michele Bloch, MD, PhD. "An Important Moment in Tobacco Control." National Cancer Institute, November 28, 2017.

This past Sunday, November 26, 2017, marked a unique moment in the history of public health in the United States. On this day, in major newspapers (online and print), the three major US tobacco companies issued the first in what will be a series of five "corrective statements" about their products.

"tobacco nation: the deadly state of smoking disparity in the u.s.." The Truth Initiative, October 4, 2017.

Smoking in the U.S. has dramatically declined in the last two decades, particularly among the country’s youngest residents. In 2000, 23 percent of teens smoked cigarettes. By 2016, the number had fallen to just 6 percent. While there is much to celebrate in the reduction, the average national rate hides a significant variation found within the country. A collection of 12 contiguous states stretching from the upper Midwest to the South undermines this national achievement. In the region of the country we’ve termed “Tobacco Nation,” smoking prevalence exceeds not only the national average, but that of many of the most tobacco-dependent countries in the world.

A.W. "Smoking rooms are disappearing from hotels." The Economist, November 2, 2017.

To the list of endangered travel facilities—which includes pay phones, communal aeroplane screens and concierges—there is one more to add: smoking rooms. Even a few years ago, guests were routinely asked whether they would prefer a smoking room or not. But today fewer hotels are offering smoking rooms and those that do have a vanishingly small supply.

Close to 33 million working adults in the United States -- or roughly 20% -- regularly smoke cigarettes, vape, or use some other tobacco product, the CDC reported.

Treible, Amanda. "Temple studying how to be a tobacco-free campus." The Temple News, October 17, 2017.

The university is partnering with Thomas Jefferson University, which has been tobacco-free since 2014.

CVS Health. "By the Numbers: Addressing Tobacco Use on College Campuses." CVS Health, September 18, 2017.
Wan, William. "New ads accuse Big Tobacco of targeting soldiers and people with mental illness." Washington Post, August 24, 2017.

Truth Initiative, a leading tobacco-control nonprofit, has bought TV ads to run this Sunday during MTV’s Music Awards that accuse tobacco companies of purposely targeting mentally ill people and U.S. soldiers.

Smoking, and tobacco use of any kind, continues to be an issue of focus due to its detriment on health and the well-being of any community. This impact can be felt throughout every facet of life up to and including the cost of healthcare as a result of tobacco use. And, despite great strides in lowering the rate of tobacco use and its health consequences, certain groups have not benefitted from this progress. Chief among them have been persons with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders, collectively known as the behavioral health population.

Agency to pursue lowering nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels and create more predictability in tobacco regulation

Public Law Center. "Tobacco use as a Health Equity Issue." Public Law Center, Legal Update, Spring Issue.

Despite a decline in tobacco use among U.S. adults over the past several decades, tobacco-related health disparities in both cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke have increased. This Legal Update highlights the disproportionate impact of tobacco use on vulnerable populations, including individuals suffering from behavioral health and substance use disorders, low socioeconomic populations, and other groups.

Purdy, J. McAvoy, H. Cotter, N. and Mitchell, E. "Smoke-free spaces on the the island of Ireland." The Institute of Public Health in Ireland., March 2017.

Reducing second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure has become a central component of tobacco control policies across the island of Ireland. The expansion of smoke-free spaces directly reduces exposure of children and adults and further denormalises tobacco use in a variety of social contexts. 

The decision by CVS Health CVS to stop selling cigarettes contributed to a drop in tobacco purchases for all retailers, new data from the drugstore giant shows.

2016

Haigh, Gideon. "Why Big Tobacco has reason to fear the waking divestment giant." The Conversation, August 2, 2016.

Haigh’s report details the recent decision of AXA, the world’s second biggest insurance company to sell €200m of tobacco shares and to start divesting €1.6 billion worth of tobacco bonds after interaction with King. She now heads an International Union Against Cancer project to spread it globally, and her work has all the momentum of a brakeless train.

 Representatives from each of The University of Texas System’s 14 institutions met last week at the “Eliminate Tobacco Use Summit” to discuss creating a system-wide tobacco-free culture.

MchPerson, Susan. "Two Years After The Ban: How CVS Continues To Take On Tobacco." Forbes, July 6, 2016.

When CVS announced its plans to ban cigarette sales in 2014, the media took note. It was one of the most widely covered corporate social responsibility stories in recent memory – and for good reason. CVS’s choice was bold, risky and scrutinized by many. Two years later, CVS’s commitment to curbing tobacco use hasn’t wavered – quite the contrary, in fact. The company recently launched Be The First, a $50 million initiative to help deliver the first tobacco-free generation.

Nather, David; Dylan Scott. "FDA issues sweeping regulations for e-cigarettes for first time." STAT, May 5, 2016.

The FDA issued a sweeping set of tobacco rules that would regulate e-cigarettes for the first time.

2015

Benz, Edward J., Jr., MD. "How We Can Reduce Cancer Risk and Lower Health Costs." Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: Insight, December 18, 2015 | Updated May 22, 2017.

Yesterday, the Boston Board of Health approved a policy raising the minimum age for buying tobacco from 18 to 21. This is great news. As a former smoker, I know how easy it was to pick up the habit at age 18. I know how quickly nicotine becomes addictive, and I know how hard it was to finally quit smoking at age 37. As a physician and president of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, I see daily the heartbreak and havoc that tobacco wreaks on patients, families and health care costs.

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today marked the first anniversary of ending tobacco sales at CVS/pharmacy by releasing new data showing a measurable reduction in cigarette purchases over the past year. The company also announced it is renewing its commitment to creating a tobacco-free generation througha joint initiative between CVS Health, its Foundation and Scholastic to launch a schoolbased tobacco-prevention program.

Implementing comprehensive tobacco policies in the workplace can rapidly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, gradually reduce the additional risk for cancers, improve worker productivity and therefore reduce the direct and indirect medical costs of tobacco use.

2014

Viehbacher, Christopher; Martin Murphy, DMedSc, PhD, FASCO. "Colorado has taken a bold step." The Gazette, March 23, 2014.

Personal lifestyle is usually risky territory for leaders even when there is compelling medical evidence supporting public action and policy. Eliminating tobacco use and promoting physical activity and healthy nutrition are important ways to prevent disease and improve health - it is evidence based.

The bad news for smokers goes well beyond CVS’s CVS, +1.06%   announcement Wednesday that it will stop selling all tobacco products. It turns out smoking cigarettes can be even deadlier than previously thought. And, according to a report released by the U.S. surgeon general, smokers could be paying for the added risks in more ways than one.

2009

Daily, Linda. "Creating a Tobacco-Free Campus." National Association of College and University Business Officers, August 2009.

Banning tobacco use on campus is gaining momentum. In Pennsylvania, such a ban has taken the form of a law, which took effect in September 2008, prohibiting smoking anywhere on state-owned higher education campuses. According to the American Lung Association of Oregon, 146 colleges and universities in other states, including the University of North Dakota (UND), Grand Forks, have instituted policies calling for 100 percent tobacco-free campuses.

While the time may have come for prohibiting tobacco use on U.S. campuses, adopting effective policies requires considerable effort, wide outreach, and ongoing oversight, as UND's journey illustrates. The university adopted a formal policy in October 2007, but its efforts to support a tobacco-free environment began in 2000.

2007

Min, Shirley. "Tobacco Free Company a Big Hit." WNCN-TV, August 6, 2007.

Since going totally tobacco-free last month, Quintiles says its new policy has actually helped scores of employees put cigarettes out for good.