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1 3132 smokingpolicy.qxd 05/02/ :38 Page 1 S m o k i n g P o l i c y Workplace Development Pack Torbay Smoke Free Alliance

2 Contents Page Introduction, why adopt a smoke free policy 2 Hazards of smoking 3 Employment law, health and safety 3 Contact details for local smoking advice services 5 Step by Step introduction 6 Policy Options 7 Step 1 Setting up a working group 8 Step 2 Raising the issue in the workplace 8 Step 3 Consulting the workforce 8 Step 4 Producing a policy 9 Step 5 Implementing the policy 9 Step 6 Managing and monitoring the policy 9 Appendices 1 Questionnaire on Smoking at Work 10 2 Draft Smoking policy 13 3 Workplan and timetable 15 4 Reading and internet based sources 16 1

3 Introduction This pack has been developed to help employers introduce an effective no smoking policy, which will be acceptable to the workforce. The pack is divided into three parts. The first part details why employers should bring in a no smoking policy. The second part outlines practical steps to take from the initial idea and consulting with your employees through to implementing and monitoring a policy. Finally the third part consists of sample documents for you to use or adapt in your business and sources for more information. Why you should adopt a smoke free policy Advantages of smoke-free workplaces Employee health, productivity and morale are higher. Lower costs: cleaning; redecoration; reduced wear and tear on furniture and equipment; insurance; less chance of fire. Employers can avoid the expected future increase in smoking-related worker compensation claims. Reduces nicotine dependence, helping more workers who are smokers to give up. Eliminate the chance of cigarette smoke chemicals combining with other chemicals in the workplace to increase risks to health. (Source: Chief Medical Officer s (CMO) Report ) For businesses that are visited by the general public, going smoke free should represent an economic opportunity, as 70% of the people in this country are non-smokers and object to people smoking near them. This is particularly relevant for hospitality and leisure outlets. 1 report2002/smoke.htm 2

4 Hazards of Smoking Second hand smoke (SHS), also known as passive smoke or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is the main source of indoor air pollution. For more than a decade, convincing scientific evidence has been available to demonstrate that exposure to SHS both harms health and worsens existing health problems. BMA Standing in the path of a smoker or their cigarette or being in a room in which there are smokers means being exposed to at least 50 agents known to cause cancer and other chemicals that increase blood pressure, damage the lungs and cause abnormal kidney function. (CMO report 2002) Tobacco smoke is made up of over 4,000 chemicals, which are released, into the air as particles and gases. These chemicals include about 40 known cancer-causing agents. Effects on the Smoker: Smoking related illnesses account for 120,000 deaths per year. 1 in 2 smokers will die as a result of their smoking. The most serious killers are heart disease, circulatory problems, cancers and respiratory diseases including asthma and emphysema. Effects of SHS on the non-smoker: There is now conclusive evidence that SHS causes heart disease, lung cancer, asthma attacks and worsening of existing conditions. The most vulnerable are pregnant women, children, people with existing heart or circulatory problems, people with asthma and respiratory disorders and those in lower socio-economic groups. Employment problems related to smoking: Smokers take about twice as much sick leave as non-smokers. Nationally about 50 million working days are lost each year as a consequence of smoking. 15% of all fires in industrial premises arise from smoking materials. Cleaning costs are higher in workplaces where smoking is allowed because of increased litter, dirtier walls and damage to furnishings. Insurance costs are higher where smoking is allowed. Ventilation: Evidence shows that conventional ventilation cannot effectively protect nonsmokers from the health effects of second-hand smoke, it simply removes the smell and irritants. Toxic and carcinogenic properties of SHS would need to be removed by tornado strength air changes to be effective. Employment Law, Health and Safety Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the employer must: Provide and maintain a safe working environment which is, so far as is reasonably practical, safe, without risk to health and adequate as regards to facilities and arrangements for welfare at work The employer has a duty in common law to take responsible care to protect the health of the employees. An employer who receives a complaint about the effects of smoking, but ignores it, could be sued for any resulting damage to health. Equally employers may also find themselves liable for damage to an unborn child if a pregnant employee has been exposed to passive smoking. 2 Towards Smoke-Free Publics Places, British Medical Association vember

5 Employers must be mindful that it is unlawful not to provide means for an employee to complain or to discriminate against them for bringing up a complaint. If an employer adopts a put up with it, or leave attitude either to a request for a smokefree workplace by a nonsmoker or an employee insisting on their right to smoke in the workplace, it could be construed as constructive dismissal if they do leave, unless the correct disciplinary procedure has been taken. one has a right to smoke. Therefore the employer has the right to introduce a smoke free policy without suffering adverse legal consequences from employees. However we would recommend that a consultative process be undertaken as described in the following pages. We would also advise that all changes of policy be introduced gradually to promote compliance. It is vital that the right of the non-smoker comes first. Human beings can only be healthy in a healthy environment. Current Legislation For further guidance on developing the legal case for setting up a smoke free policy you can refer to the following Acts: The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 Employment Tribunals and the Employment Rights Act 1996 The Human Rights Act 1998 The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 Key Recommendation by the Chief Medical Officer 2002 All employers should plan to introduce smoke free workplaces Public view on smoking in public places Public opinion surveys repeatedly show that the majority of smokers as well as non-smokers want to see a wider smoke free environment. All people Current smokers Percentage of people agreeing that smoking should be restricted: At work 86% 70% In restaurants 88% 72% In pubs 54% 28% In other public places 87% 84% Source: Smoking related behaviour and attitudes, 2002, Office for National Statistics 4

6 If you require assistance in developing your own smoking policy please contact: TORBAY SMOKING ADVICE SERVICE Specialist Advisor: Lynne Palmer Tel TORBAY COUNCIL ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT Clean Air Project Officer: Lyn Ware Tel

7 Steps to Implementing a Smoking Policy Step 1 Set up a working group Policy success depends upon commitment from senior level. The group should include senior managers (to prove commitment), smokers, non-smokers and ex-smokers. Step 2 Raise the issue in the workplace Official communication is vital to avoid resentment. Step 3 Consult the workforce Employees should be asked for their views. Step 4 Produce a policy The language should be clear and simple. Step 5 Implement the policy The final policy must be announced to the workforce. Set a date for full implementation. Step 6 Manage & monitor the policy Once implemented commitment is still needed, it won t manage itself! 6

8 Policy Options Smoke Free no smoking anywhere at anytime Becoming increasingly popular with the workforce Easy to manage Does not create demand on space Smoke free Zones smoking only permitted in designated areas Smoke free buildings with smoking shelters outside Smoke free offices / workshops with designated smoking rest rooms Smoking restricted to designated areas at specific times Smoking Only in Single Offices Problem with open-plan offices Smoking Unless Everyone Agrees This should not be an option. It is up to management to resolve this policy and not place the onus on individuals. 7

9 Step 1 Setting up a working group Including a senior manager will show commitment from the organisation. Others could be a HR manager, team leaders, administration/support staff and trade unions or workers representatives. Membership of the group should also include smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers to raise different points of view. Step 2 Raising the issue in the workplace Communication with staff is necessary to keep them informed of progress towards implementing a smoking policy. Any of the following methods or a mix of them may be used to keep staff informed: tice Boards Memos In House Newsletters Staff Meetings tes in Pay Packets Team Meetings Letter from Chief Executive The question Why have a policy? may be raised. Ensure the rationale is transparent and clear. Emphasise to staff that it is not about the person who smokes but about where they smoke. All organisations have different reasons as to why they are introducing a policy; common ones are: Health risks of passive smoking Demands for change from the workforce Change in practice by employers Benefits associated with a smoking policy Reduced absenteeism Reduced sickness and premature death Lower staff turnover Reduced costs insurance premiums, cleaning, ventilation etc Improved morale Enhanced image Step 3 Consulting the workforce Use a staff survey to seek out views (Appendix 1) with the aim of finding out: Employee preferences on smoke-free provision in working areas and all common areas Whether smoking allowed areas are favoured Establish how many staff smoke How a smoking policy will affect them Whether smokers giving up would like assistance from management to help them stop How best smokers who do not want to stop might adapt to the policy This will provide a baseline on which to formulate your policy. 8

10 Step 4 Producing a policy The language should be clear and positive. The following areas should be covered: Reasons why the policy is being introduced Pilot options including a phasing in method e.g. a three month period when smoking limited to certain times before introducing a smoke free policy Identifying areas where smoking is and is not permitted together with the rules for the smoking areas, e.g. labelling and monitoring effectiveness Information on assisting smokers adapt to the change Disciplinary arrangements Identifying who will be monitoring the policy Appendix 2 gives a policy example. Step 5 Implementing the policy The final policy should be announced with a date set for full implementation. A three-month period is recommended as this gives time for adjustments to be made. Arrangements will have to be made for signage and if necessary smoking rooms prepared. The policy will have to be appropriately integrated into: terms and conditions of employment the contract the staff handbook the health and safety handbook any prospectus produced for clients job adverts information sent to prospective employees the interview protocol letters offering employment induction programmes for new staff service specifications with contractors In the time leading up to the implementation, a countdown period is essential to keep up awareness of the policy. Step 6 Managing and monitoring the policy The policy will not manage itself! Key members of staff should be trusted with the policy implementation. Continued publicity, including feedback, should be communicated to all employees. The policy should be reviewed at least bi-annually and should be carried out by a key employee (e.g. HR manager). The review should include how much the smoking areas are used and whether a move to a total ban could be considered. 9

11 Appendix 1 QUESTIONNAIRE ON SMOKING AT WORK The purpose of this survey is to find out your opinions about smoking at work. Your answers, together with those of your colleagues, will be used along with other information to produce a smoking policy, which is best suited to this organisation. Your responses are completely confidential, although you may wish to add your name and/or department/section at the bottom. For further information please contact: (named individual) at (department / room) to whom the completed questionnaire should be returned by (date) Please tick the appropriate boxes. 1. Which of these phrases best describes your view about smoking at your usual work area? Tick one. Smoking should not be allowed There should be separate areas where smoking is permitted Smoking should be allowed in all areas Don t know 2. Which of the following best describes your usual work area? Tick one. Private office Shared office Open plan office Shop floor Vehicle Outside Other (please specify)... 3) Which of the following best describes you? Tick one. A non-smoker An ex-smoker A smoker who wants to give up A smoker who wants to cut down A smoker who doesn t want to give up 4) Do people currently smoke in your usual work area? Yes 5) Are you bothered by tobacco smoke at work? Yes 10

12 6) If you are bothered by tobacco smoke at work, how does it affect you? Tick any that apply. Worry about affecting my long term health Asthma attacks Allergic reaction Breathing difficulties Feel sick Eye irritation Headaches Coughing Stuffy or runny nose Loss of concentration Clothes and hair smell 7) Where do you think that smoking causes problems? Please tick the box on each line that is nearest to your opinion. Corridors Lifts Meeting rooms Open plan offices Private offices Reception areas Restaurant / Canteen Rest rooms Shared offices Shop floor Stairways Toilets Vehicles problem Some problems A lot of problems Don t know 8) Have you ever had, or wanted, to move away from the area in which you were working because of other people s tobacco smoke? Tick one. Frequently Occasionally Never 9) Have you ever taken time off work because passive smoking in the workplace has affected your health? Tick one. Yes 10) Which of the following policy options do you think should be introduced here? Tick one. Smoking not permitted anywhere Smoking allowed everywhere Smoking permitted only in a separate smoking room Other (please specify).. 11

13 Questions are for smokers only. 11) Do you smoke in your work area? Yes 12) Would you smoke less, or try to quit, if you could not smoke in your work area? Yes 13) Do you smoke somewhere other than your work area? Yes If yes, where?. 14) Would you smoke less, or try to quit, if you could not smoke at all during working hours? Yes 15) How would you be able to cope if you could not smoke at all during working hours? Very easy Easy Difficult Very difficult 16) How would you be able to cope if you could only smoke at certain times in a designated smoking room? Very easy Easy Difficult Very difficult 17) Would you use help to quit smoking if it were offered at work? Yes 18) What sort of help would you like? Tick any that apply. Nicotine Replacement Products Telephone Helpline Workplace support groups t sure/need more information Thank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire. Please can you send this back to by. 12

14 DRAFT SMOKING POLICY Appendix 2 Smoking policy for (name of organisation) Effective from (date) Introduction Second hand smoke (SHS) or passive smoking i.e. breathing other people's tobacco smoke - has now been shown to cause lung cancer and heart disease in non-smokers, as well as many other illnesses and minor conditions. Section 2(2)(e) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty on employers to provide a working environment for employees that is: safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work. The employer acknowledges that breathing other people s tobacco smoke is both a public health hazard and a welfare issue. Therefore, the following policy has been adopted concerning smoking in (name of organisation) General principles This smoking policy seeks to guarantee non-smokers the right to work in air free of tobacco smoke, whilst also taking into account the needs of those who smoke. All premises will be designated smoke-free from (date) with a limited number of clearly marked separate smoking rooms. Smoking will only be allowed in the designated rooms, which may not be used for any other purpose. Smoking whilst on duty will only be allowed during official break periods. Common areas Smoking is not permitted in the following areas: Lifts Rest rooms Corridors Meeting Rooms Stairways Toilets Restaurant/Canteen Reception Areas 13 Entrances Car Parks Other areas (specify as necessary) Work areas Smoking is not permitted in any work area. This applies to all offices and work areas, whether occupied by one person, or shared by two or more. Anyone who wishes to smoke must do so during official break periods and only in the designated smoking rooms. Smoking rooms Designated smoking rooms are provided at (locations) The employer will ensure that the smoking rooms are kept clean and are properly ventilated. Contaminated air from the smoking rooms will not enter the general air circulating in the rest of the building. Vehicles Smoking is not permitted in company vehicles. The policy of no smoking will apply to the car park.

15 Unions / Health & Safety representative This policy has been devised in full consultation with all of those employees who are concerned with health and safety in this workplace. It enjoys the support of the relevant representatives. Informing staff of the policy The employer has informed staff 90 days in advance and will provide all members of staff with a copy of this policy upon their request. Visitors and temporary staff Visitors and temporary staff are expected to abide by the terms of this policy. The following arrangements have been made for informing them of its existence: Signage Receptionist / person greeting will inform visitors of the policy, to be reinforced via the invitation letter or if required. Recruitment procedures, job advertisements, job descriptions and interviews will include reference to this policy. On their appointment, all new staff members will be given a copy of this policy. Help for those who smoke This policy recognises that second hand smoke adversely affects the health of all employees. It is not concerned with whether anyone smokes, but with where they smoke, and the effect that this has on non-smoking colleagues. However, it is recognised that the smoking policy will impact on smokers working lives. In an effort to help individuals adjust to this change, the following help is being provided: Up to six hours off to attend any course that will help smokers to quit with the provision of smoking cessation treatments for 6 weeks. Smoking Cessation support provided by.. Enforcement of the policy Breaches of this policy will be subject to the normal disciplinary procedures. Implementation, monitoring and review Responsibility for implementing and monitoring this policy rests with senior managers. Twelve weeks notice will be given of the introduction of this policy. Monitoring this policy will be carried out by at three, six and twelve months following implementation. A formal review of the policy will be conducted after twelve months. Trade unions and health and safety representatives will be consulted over the results of the monitoring and review. Changes to the policy Twelve weeks notice will be given of any changes made to the policy. Trade unions and health and safety representatives will be consulted about any proposed changes. 14

16 WORKPLAN AND TIMETABLE Appendix 3 The table below illustrates the actions and timings taken by the Plymouth branch of the UK Land Registry during 2001 in adopting a smoking policy. ACTION RESPONSIBLE WHEN COMMENTS Steering group to consider points for NW, RC, CW, SW Feb 2001 inclusion in negotiations Negotiations with trades unions CW, SB, PB Commenced Draft office notice agreed, discussions ongoing Feb 2001 Publication of Office tice CW Feb 2001 Liaison with steering group members Consider responses to Office tice CW March 2001 Positive feedback from responses received Liaise with management, CSO London HQ, on health initiatives CW, JS March 2001 Personnel to contact and arrange meeting with Plymouth smoking service Meeting with trades unions to discuss proposals CW, SB, PB March 2001 Copy of proposals provided to local trades unions for consideration Trades unions to recommend proposals to SB, CW May 2001 membership Members meeting/vote on proposals SB, PB June 2001 Confirmation of results - members meeting SB, PB June 2001 Proposals agreed Meeting with personnel CW, JS, PB July 2001 Agreed action next steps Publication of new policy Aug 2001 Announces policy will start January 2002 but three-month lead in period. Three month lead in period Oct 2001 Smokers given time off to attend local quit smoking groups and financial help with medically approved treatments. New policy commences Jan 2002 Staff can only smoke in designated smoking rooms outside core times ( and ) and must electronically record all such breaks with a swipe card. smoking applies at all times during meetings, training lectures or when dealing with members of the public. Source: Plymouth Land Registry 15

17 Bibliography Appendix 4 Chief Medical Officer's Annual Report 2002, published July 2003 A Killer on the Loose. A special investigation into the threat of passive smoking to the UK workforce. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) April 2003 Smoke Screen, TUC sponsored study April 2003 Towards Smoke-free Public Places, BMA vember 2002 Smoking in the Workplace. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), vember 2002 Internet based help Website Function Linked to NHS smoking helpline. Information on effects of second hand smoke Action on Smoking and Health facts, figures and useful information on how to quit A UK charity that helps people give up smoking Online chat site for people giving up smoking Health and safety section for smoking issues Register for weekly Hazards newsletters EU funded project on passive smoking at work Plymouth smoking advice service lots of practical tips on how to succeed in giving up Download questionnaires, policies and other material for employers. Search for smoke free hospitality venues in your area. Members of the Smoke Free Devon Alliance have compiled this booklet. 16

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