While I was working with an organization today I was
surprised to hear cigarette breaks and smoking outside of the door raised as an
employer concern. I guess I’ve been in
more locations where workplace smoking bans have been required by state or
local government since the mid 1990’s. Where
workplace smoking has not been banned by laws it has been restricted by
employers or the smokers must be hiding.
The American Non Smokers Rights Foundation released an
updated compilation of legislative restrictions on smoking today. The information includes a map of the
that indicates the Percent of the Population Covered by Smokefree Workplace
Laws. 21 states require a smoke free
workplace and they will be joined by 2 more on
More than 2,700 municipalities have their own regulations about smoking
in workplaces, bars and/or restaurants.
This employer has every right to restrict where employees
smoke outside of buildings. They can
also maintain consistent policies about breaks.
Non-smokers in the room were not happy about walking through a cloud to
reach their desk. This is exactly the
kind of experience smokefree regulations aim to eliminate. After employees are
told the locations, outside, where smoking is permitted signage and specific
receptacles for ashes will help communicate the policy.
So when that employee lights up as soon as they leave or
smokes right up to the door point them in the right direction for their next
nicotine attack. Better yet direct them
to resources to help them quit.