What kind of a workplace is tobacco-free?

The most asked questions about tobacco-free workplaces.

Can you use nicotine replacement products (gum, patches, etc.) at a tobacco-free workplace?

You can. Nicotine replacement products are medical self-care products. They are intended for short-term use by gradually reducing the nicotine dosage. In order to achieve the best results, they are recommended to be used, for example, as a part of the occupational health care’s support for quitting smoking.

If a workplace is tobacco-free, can tobacco products be sold at its canteen?

Based on the tobacco-free workplace criteria set by the Tobacco-free Finland 2030 network, tobacco products may not be sold on premises governed by the workplace.

Can you use snus, a smokeless tobacco, at a tobacco-free workplace? How about smoking electronic cigarettes with or without nicotine?

Non-smoking is also important because of our line of business.

Smoking bans laid down in the Tobacco Act concern the use of electronic cigarettes and herbal products for smoking, but not snus. According to the Tobacco Act, however, smoke-free tobacco products may not be used in the indoor or outdoor areas of day-care centres or facilities providing pre-primary, comprehensive, vocational or secondary school education.

The employer has the power to decide on the practices used at the workplace.

Do you have to go to the smoking area to use snus, smokeless tobacco?

The Tobacco Act or the Tobacco-free Finland 2030 network’s criteria for a tobacco-free workplace do not require this. The employer makes the final decision regarding workplace practices.

What are the consequences if employees do no observe the smoking ban during work hours or within the workplace grounds?

Monitoring the observance of smoking bans is the employer’s responsibility. If the smoking ban is violated, the employer must discuss the matter with the employee. If this does not help, the employee can be issued with a warning. Continuous violation of the smoking ban may lead to termination of employment, but all other means must be exhausted first.

The monitoring of smoking bans and restrictions within the working community are laid down in the Act on Occupational Safety and Health Enforcement and Cooperation on Occupational Safety and Health at Workplaces (44/2006).

How can an employee promote a tobacco-free workplace if his/her supervisor is a smoker and is not interested in the subject?

Employers are responsible for looking after their employees’ health and safety at the workplace. If management is not interested in promoting a non-smoking work culture, an employee may turn to occupational health care or the occupational safety personnel, for example.

Anybody can propose turning the workplace tobacco-free. When making the proposal, you can communicate to your employer the benefits of having a tobacco-free workplace: non-smoking benefits both the employee and the employer. The employees’ health improves and, as a result, the employer’s costs are reduced.

We have a smoke-free workplace, but subcontractors visiting the area regularly smoke. What can we do?

Explain to subcontractors and other people visiting the workplace the rules and practices observed at the workplace. You can also communicate the fact that the workplace is tobacco-free at the entrance to the workplace using, for example, tobacco-free workplace stickers.

Smoking is prohibited at the workplace grounds, but employees smoke outside the gates. Entrance to the company area is covered with cigarette butts and looks untidy. What should be done?

The employer should encourage the employees to keep the grounds tidy also in areas surrounding the workplace. The best way to reduce the number of cigarette butts is to encourage the employees to quit smoking.

Does a workplace have to meet all the criteria in order to become a tobacco-free workplace?

Yes, but it is common that the tobacco-free nature of the workplace is achieved in stages and not all of the criteria are met immediately. It is enough if the workplace has a plan regarding meeting the criteria.