It surely helped shipping associate Daryle Compton, who had been smoking for 30 years. “It’s good for your health, and I am saving about a $100 per month that I used to buy a cartoon of cigarettes,” Compton said. Compton is aware of the changes in smoking policies at different places in the country and understands the need to protect people from secondhand smoke. Although there were some employees who did not support the policy, Leung said employees have been complying. When visiting Barnhardt Manufacturing, you can see that the company takes the health of its employees seriously as “no smoking” signs dot the campus, reminding everyone that lighting up is not an option.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tips for making your business smoke-free
Set up a task force to oversee the process. Include top management and workers (union representatives, if applicable); include nonsmokers, smokers, and former smokers.
Gather information to educate the task force and, eventually, the entire workforce. Survey your workers about their knowledge and concerns, so you can address them before your policy goes into effect.
Write the policy. Keep it clear and simple; the more straightforward the policy is, the easier it is to understand and enforce. Set up an enforcement policy that is consistent with other personnel policies and disciplinary procedures. The number of allowed breaks should be addressed under your company’s general break policy and should apply to all workers, smokers and nonsmokers alike.
Announce the policy several months before the start date with a letter from the owner or chief executive officer. Train managers on how to handle worker or customer concerns, questions and infractions, if they occur. Educate workers about the reasons for the policy by using resources like paycheck inserts, posters or company newsletters.
Offer help to workers who want to quit smoking. Plan in advance how you will do this.
Get ready for the policy start date. Post “no smoking” signs, remove ashtrays and tobacco vending machines and place receptacles for smoking materials at the designated distance outside entrances (or remove receptacles entirely if you are adopting a smoke-free campus policy). Hold a kick-off event on the day the policy starts.
Monitor the policy. Have a point person in top management who tracks how the policy is going. Managers should report questions, concerns or infractions to this person.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Save Lives, Save Money: Make Your Business Smoke-Free. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, June 2006.