A tobacco-free workplace is in everyone’s best interest
Smoking is the most essential preventable health hazard to the work ability of the working-age population. Tobacco products contain toxic ingredients that cause cellular and genotypic changes, tissue damage and various illnesses.
To safeguard health, coping and well-being at work, it is important that non-smoking is encouraged at workplaces and that support is provided for quitting smoking. Non-smoking improves productivity and ability to work; absences due to illness are reduced and costs related to sick leaves are cut. A tobacco-free workplace is also an excellent branding and image opportunity for companies. A tobacco-free working environment also protects non-smokers from passive smoking.
Quitting smoking on your own can be difficult. The employer’s support is important: One approach is to decide that our workplace is tobacco-free and to promote the concept together with the employees. A tobacco-free workplace shows that the employer values its employees and is looking to promote their health, well-being and coping at work.
For me, the most rewarding aspect has been when individual employees have told me that having a tobacco-free workplace has encouraged them to quit smoking.
Markku Uschanoff, Occupational Health and Safety Manager, Paroc Group Ltd
A workplace is tobacco-free when:
- The employer encourages employees to quit using tobacco and nicotine products;
- Occupational health care supports employees in quitting the use of tobacco and nicotine products;
- Tobacco products and electronic cigarettes are not used in indoor and outdoor areas laid down in the Tobacco Act;
- There are no smoking facilities inside the workplace and any outdoor areas designated for smoking are located in a less visible place and so that cigarette smoke is not carried indoors;
- Smoking is prohibited during work hours with the exception of statutory breaks and breaks listed in the collective agreement;
- All workplace events are tobacco-free;
- Tobacco products and non-medical nicotine products are not sold on workplace premises and
- The fact that the workplace is tobacco-free is clearly indicated at the workplace with, for example, a sticker and also mentioned in job advertisements.
Beauty and cleanliness are not a good match to smoking. Non-smoking is also important because of our line of business.
Terhi Ahvonen, VP Human Resources, Lumene Ltd