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Workplaces clamp down on smokers

26 Jan

Workplaces clamp down on smokers
We in South Africa have been enforcing certain regulations around smoking in the work place as well as in public areas for some time. This has in its own created some problems and irritations within our society. We now have workers heading out of their office buildings and smoking on the pavement. Passer-by’s in turn end up breathing in the second hand smoke as they go by. Not to mention the cigarette butts that litter the area just in front of your business being totally unsightly.
The Tobacco Products Control Act actually goes so far as to empowers employers to ban smoking at the workplace and it has been noticed that more and more companies are now implementing a total smoke-free building policy so as to regulate the use of tobacco products on their premises. In some cases the implementation goes so far as to include all public areas as well such as gardens and walkways which falls within their control.
A few shopping malls have banned all smoking within the mall. This move means that they no longer have to set aside smoking areas in eating establishment/pause areas. The creation of smoking areas within our building (4 per floor) with their fancy double doors, extractor fans etc cost just over R245 000 each to implement, and we have three floors. So work out the costs involved!
I happened on an article by HealthDay News that highlights steps now being taken overseas to reduce the number of smokers. I totally agree with the statement that the many smoking breaks discriminate against non-smokers. We are expected to be productive while in the office yet a smoker is allowed to go stand outside in the sun shine for 15 minutes or so and be paid even though they are totally unproductive for the duration of their breaks .
I have added the article in here in its entirety as it pretty much covers what could possibly be coming here pretty soon.
One step further
HealthDay News reports that the Cleveland Clinic, along with a growing number of other US hospitals, is turning away job applications from people who smoke. This move has flamed debates between workers’ rights organisations and health advocates over whether denying jobs based on tobacco use is just. The former group argues that it equates to employment discrimination, while the anti-tobacco group says that turning away smokers reduces health care costs and absenteeism, and also sets a healthy example. Non-nicotine hiring policies are legal in many US states.
It’s another way to get the message across that smoking is bad for your health, pulmonologist Dr Aditi Satti, director of the smoking cessation program at Temple University Hospital (US) told HealthDay News. But it’s complicated, she said. “I think a pretty fine line runs between public health and personal liberties. Whether or not this is going to be an incentive, time will tell.”
No more smoke breaks
A German business owner has announced that it is banning staff from taking smoking breaks. This move, he argues, will improve productivity and improve the health of staff.
Mario Ohoven, president of the BVMW Federation of Mid-Sized Businesses told the German newspaper Bild that “that smoking breaks cost employers money.”
Ohoven argues that every employee who takes three smoke breaks daily, each five minutes long, costs an employer on average well over 2000 Euros (more than R20 000) annually in lost work.
Another German business owner, Ursula Frerichs told Bild that smoking breaks discriminate against non-smokers who keep working while smokers are unproductive for the duration of their breaks. Frerich maintains that many employers in Scandinavian nations have successfully implemented a “smoke-free work time” policy.
However, representatives from the nation’s trade union denied the economy was hurt by Germany’s smoking minority, adding that more breaks are needed for employees in stressful jobs.
(Health-e News, January 2012)

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5 Comments

Posted by on 26/01/2012 in Uncategorized

 

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5 responses to “Workplaces clamp down on smokers

  1. twolips2

    26/01/2012 at 18:38

    What I don’t understand is that a company or any workplace for that matter has a teabreak and lunchbreak. Smokers can use those two breaks to have their fag somewhere.
    NB I’m a smoker.

     
    • paul

      26/01/2012 at 18:45

      We dont have tea breaks in the strict sense of the word. If you want coffee or tea you just amble over to the vending machines and pour some, then you can sit in the pause area for a few minutes if you want to. Mostly we head straight back to our tables/offices. It is noticable that some smokers actually sit down in the pause area, drink their beverage, THEN, go for a smoke break outside the building! Talk about wasting time.

       
      • twolips2

        26/01/2012 at 18:48

        I agree that that’s not on. Then they can go and have a smoke and drink their beverage while working. A ciggie is smoked in less than 10 mins.

         
      • paul

        26/01/2012 at 20:01

        That’s just their way of stealing time. They know they aren’t supposed to take so much time, but what the hell, nobody is checking.
        Its all just a smoke screen- sorry for the pun 🙂

         
  2. Sarchasm2

    27/01/2012 at 12:32

    As an ex smoker I know how they feel. I’m so glad I stopped some 20 years ago

     

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