The Smoke Free Air Act, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018, prohibits smoking in places of employment; however, it does not extend to smokeless tobacco. That means products like chewing tobacco or e-cigarettes are legal to use unless a business implements a tobacco and nicotine free policy.
According to the journal Tobacco Control, smokers miss about 2.6 more days of work each year than non-smokers. Additionally, the American Cancer Society estimates tobacco-related health care costs and lost work productivity equal $289 billion dollars in the U.S.
The decision by an employer to become a tobacco and nicotine free workplace benefits both the company and its employees. “Tobacco users who want to quit have more of a reason to do so in a supportive environment,” said Brianda Salamanca, Prevention Specialist at New Horizons. “A study by the Society for Human Resource Management also found employee engagement and morale is improved by a healthy workforce.”
New Horizons can assist with implementing a tobacco and nicotine free policy at any area businesses. Free resources and signage are available. For more information, call 563-264-9409 and ask for prevention.