Why should I address smoking in my workplace?

Why should I address smoking in my workplace?

A smoke-free worksite can bring many positive benefits, for both employers and employees.

 

For employers, benefits include:

  • increasing productivity through reduced absenteeism from smoking-related health problems, and reduced presenteeism (employees performing poorly due to attending work when they’re not well)
  • meeting ‘duty of care’ responsibilities towards employees, clients and visitors
  • generating a positive corporate health image
  • reducing the risk of litigation from non-smokers who may develop health problems related to passive smoking
  • lowering the risk of workers compensation claims from smoking-related health problems
  • potentially reducing fire risks, resulting in lower insurance costs.

For employees (both smokers trying to quit and non-smokers), benefits include:

  • being able to work in a smoke-free environment, which helps to reduce the number of cigarettes employees consume daily and lowers the overall rate of smoking in the workplace
  • having access to a support program, known to help people cut down or stop smoking while improving health, life expectancy and financial wellbeing
  • a more pleasant and safer working environment for non-smokers, with protection from the harmful effects of environmental tobacco smoke (the chemicals and toxins released whenever someone smokes a cigarette)
  • potentially creating fair working conditions for both smokers and non-smokers, as it is generally perceived that smokers take more work breaks than non-smokers.

Fact sheet 1: Health effects of smoking

 

Legal requirements

In Tasmania, there are laws to make sure that employees are protected from the effects of environmental tobacco smoke. Organisations must comply with the requirements of the Public Health Act 1997, which prohibits smoking in all indoor and some adjacent outdoor areas. In addition, the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 requires employers to provide a safe working environment for employees.

 

Fact sheet 2: Smoke-free legislative requirements