Why employers should celebrate “no smoking day”

By March, New Year’s resolutions are often long forgotten.  The gym is starting to get a little quieter.  The calories counted a little less frequently.  More smokers are appearing outside doorways.

The British Heart Foundation is running its 32nd “No Smoking Day”.  This year it falls on 11th March 2015.  Perfect timing for anyone who wants to try again.


Why would you want to help your employees stop smoking?stop smoking

According to a survey in 2013, 10% of smokers take at least 5 smoking breaks per day.  Each break takes, on average, 11 minutes.  That’s 55 minutes per day or 4 1/2 hours per week.  That’s 2 days per month lost to smoking breaks and 2 days per month their colleagues are covering for them.

We all know about the health risks of smoking.  Offering support and information for those that want to quit can only be a good thing. The NHS Smokefree service offers a wide range of help too.  People are far more likely to give up if they have the backing of other people around them.

It’s illegal to smoke in a confined public space.  That includes company cars that are ever used for work purposes by anyone else (including passengers or other drivers).

What about how it affects your customers?  Smokers gathering outside your workplace.  The smell on their clothes.  The mess it can create.  None of these are good for business.


But what about vaping?vaping

Vaping has become increasing popular as a way to help stop smoking.  Businesses have been taken a little unaware with it.  It’s not technically smoking but it still gives that impression to your customers.

A recent tribunal case shows why this matters.  The lady concerned was a school catering assistant.  She had used an e-cigarette in full view of students.  The school’s smoking policy banned smoking in front of pupils.

She was called to a disciplinary hearing but resigned before the hearing.  There was no mention of using e-cigarettes in the school’s smoking policy.  The tribunal found that had she been dismissed, she may have been able to argue that this was unfair as it was not specifically prohibited.

What does your smoking policy say?  If you haven’t got a smoking policy or need help updating it, please do contact us.  In the meantime, best of luck to all the new non-smokers on No Smoking Day.

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