Good Works: Smoke-Free Business Toolkit Common Questions and Answers What makes secondhand smoke so dangerous? Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, 50 of which cause cancer. Ammonia, acetone, arsenic, benzene, carbon monoxide, cyanide, formaldehyde, methane, nicotine, and tar are all in secondhand smoke. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Do people have the “right” to use tobacco? Smoking is a privilege. “Right to smoke” claims have been consistently rejected by the courts. Smoke-free policies respect the basic right to breathe smoke-free air for smokers and non-smokers alike. This is a pro-health issue, not an anti-smoker issue. Won’t a ventilation system work to remove secondhand smoke? Don’t waste your money on ventilation systems. They simply do not work. The U.S. Surgeon General concluded that no ventilation system has ever been designed that can protect the public from the death and disease caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. Why should this policy include smokeless tobacco? There is no safe tobacco product. The spitting involved with smokeless products is unsanitary and messy. Tobacco policies are most effective when they prohibit the use of all forms of tobacco. Will a smoke-free policy result in the loss of employees who smoke? Very few employees leave a company because of implementation of smoke-free policies. How can we help our employees to quit smoking? • Implement a smoke-free workplace policy. • Provide insurance benefits designed to help employees quit smoking. • Promote New Hampshire’s free quit line: 1-800-Try-To-STOP or 1-800-879-8678. • Go to www.breathenh.org to learn more about quit smoking resources. • Allow workers to participate in on-site, community, Internet, or telephone- based quit smoking programs during work hours. Good Works Smoke-Free Business Toolkit Regardless of the size of your business, you can This kit will help you create a smoke-free policy for take steps to provide a safe and healthy work your business in six simple steps. You will find environment for your employees. By making information about creating and implementing a your business smoke-free, you will protect one smoke-free workplace policy, as well as how to help of your most valuable resources – your workers’ your employees quit smoking. You may find that good health. creating a smoke-free workplace is one of the best business moves you ever make. A smoke-free policy can benefit your business in a number of ways, including: Please note: although the term “smoke-free” is • Reducing costs (maintenance, healthcare, used throughout this kit, this refers to all tobacco insurance, etc.) use (smokeless tobacco, cigars, etc.). • Improving the environment and productivity of employees Tobacco-related healthcare costs can • Improving the health of your employees be reduced significantly by taking two simple steps: 1. Implement a smoke-free workplace policy 2. Help your employees quit smoking This tool kit will help you do both. Contents The Cost of Tobacco Use to Your Business . . . . . . . .page 4 Why should you care about smoking? . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 4 Why is a smoke-free workplace a good idea? . . . . . . . .page 5 What is the purpose of a smoke-free policy? . . . . . . . .page 5 Creating a Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 6 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 10 Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 10 Reducing the number of employees who smoke saves money and lives. 3 The Cost of Tobacco Use to Your Business Why should you care about smoking? Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and sickness in New Hampshire.1 • 1,800 NH adults die from smoking each year.2 • Approximately 1 in 5 NH adults smoke.3 • $608 million in annual health care costs in NH are directly caused by smoking.4 • $405 million in smoking-caused productivity losses are seen in NH.5 How much does smoking and secondhand smoke cost your business? $3,400 a year.6 That’s how much you lose Whether or not you choose to address smoking in healthcare costs, lost work days, and in your workplace, you pay for it. Tobacco use time off for smoke-breaks for every employee results in: who doesn’t quit. • Increased absenteeism (sick days) • Decreased productivity To calculate how much smoking costs your • Employee exposure to secondhand smoke business, go to www.breathenh.org. • Higher healthcare costs to employees who contribute to employee health benefits • Higher life insurance premium costs to employers who contribute to employee health benefits • Higher maintenance and cleaning costs It costs your business • Increased risk of fire damage • Increased level of early retirement due to disability $3,400 a year • Increased legal liability for failing to provide a safe workplace for each employee who smokes. Learn more about the cost of tobacco at these websites: www.cdc.org www.no-smoke.org Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights 4 Costs Why is a smoke-free workplace What is the purpose of a a good idea? smoke-free policy? It’s safer A written smoke-free policy: Secondhand smoke is a serious health risk. • Outlines what it means for your workplace According to the 2006 Surgeon General’s Report, to be smoke-free and explains why the policy The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure was created. to Tobacco Smoke, there is no safe level of second- hand smoke exposure and even brief exposure • Provides a document that all employees, can cause harm. Secondhand smoke can cause managers, contractors, etc. can refer to many serious health problems, such as asthma, as needed. heart disease, cancer, and COPD, which is some- times called emphysema or chronic bronchitis. • Prevents miscommunication that may occur when there is no written or visable smoke-free View the 2006 Surgeon General’s Report and policy in place. a complete list of ingredients found in tobacco smoke at www.breathenh.org. • Ensures that your workplace will stay smoke-free. As staff change, new staff may It’s good for business not know of the policy unless it is in writing. Smoke-free policies save money. Going • Demonstrates your commitment to the health smoke-free will reduce maintenance and cleaning of everyone at the workplace. costs, insurance premiums, absenteeism, and lost productivity. It’s the law Read New Hampshire’s Indoor Smoking Act and the He-P 1900 Administrative Rules for defining and enforcing the law at www.breathenh.org or call the New Hampshire Tobacco Prevention and Control Program at 603-271-6891. To learn about: 1. Ingredients in tobacco 2. Cost of smoking in the workplace 3. Law information visit www.cdc.org Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 5 Creating a Policy Step 1: Get people involved. Step 2: Assess your current smoking policy. • Tell your employees why you plan to create a smoke-free workplace. If you do not have a policy, this checklist can help. • Organize a workgroup with representatives from all areas within your company: employees (both Current Smoking Policy Checklist smokers and non-smokers), management, and unions (if appropriate). Our current policy allows smoking by employees • Determine who will be responsible for imple- and visitors: mentation, enforcement, and maintenance of the policy. ❍ in offices ❍ in designated smoking rooms ❍ other places inside (list) __________________ _________________________________________ ❍ just outside the front door ❍ in the parking lot ❍ in designated smoking areas outside ❍ in vehicles ❍ other places outside (list)_________________ ________________________________________ Employees and visitors currently smoke: ❍ in offices ❍ in designated smoking rooms ❍ other places inside (list)___________________ ________________________________________ ❍ just outside the front door ❍ in the parking lot ❍ in designated smoking areas outside ❍ in vehicles ❍ other places outside (list)_________________ ________________________________________ There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. 6 Implement Step 3: Help employees quit smoking. Reducing the number of employees • Go to www.breathenh.org to learn more about: who smoke saves money and lives. ~ Quit smoking resources available to New Hampshire residents. • Paying for quit smoking resources is the ~ Free posters, signs, and brochures available single most cost-effective health insurance to businesses. benefit that can be provided to employees.7 ~ Nicotine replacement therapy, medications, • Review your health insurance policy to make and other tools that can help smokers to quit. sure it provides employees with the help they need to quit smoking. Keep the message positive! ~ Which quit smoking resources and tools are offered? • Don’t let the message of “smoke-free” become ~ How often are quit smoking resources covered “anti-smoker.” each year and for what period of time? • Nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive and it ~ Which quit smoking medications are covered? is hard to quit. ~ Is there a reimbursement benefit for • Smokers, who receive help in quitting, have over-the-counter medications such a better chance of quitting and staying quit. as nicotine patches? Encourage employees to see their doctors • If these benefits are not covered, consider for help. It works! changing your policy or providing these options to your workers at no cost. Step 4: Create a plan to develop To access a return on investment (ROI) or change your policy. calculator, visit www.breathenh.org. This calculator will help you determine the costs • Develop a timeline for carrying out your new and savings in providing different levels policy (allow at least four months from of quit smoking assistance to employees. announcement to implementation). • Decide between a 100% smoke-free campus Offer quit smoking support before, policy and a policy that allows smoking on during, and after the new policy workplace grounds. goes into place. • Consider how to handle other tobacco products, such as spit tobacco or snuff. It is reasonable to • Promote New Hampshire’s free quit line: handle all tobacco products at the same time and 1-800-Try-To-STOP or 1-800-879-8678. in the same manner. • Allow workers to participate in on-site, • Confirm that all policy decision makers within community, Internet, or telephone-based quit the company are in complete agreement before smoking programs during work hours. you create or change your policy. • Allow family members of employees to take advantage of quit smoking resources at your business. • Provide “quit kits” to employees. Include sugar-free gum, hard candy, toothpicks, and information about quit smoking resources. 7 Below is a sample policy that can help you create your company’s smoke-free policy. More sample policies, including 100% smoke-free campus policies, can be found at www.breathenh.org. Step 5: Write your policy. ABC Company Smoke-Free Policy A smoke-free policy does not have to ABC Company is dedicated to providing a healthy, be long or complicated. It should be comfortable and productive work environment for direct and clear. Consider including our employees, clients, contractors, and visitors. the following: Secondhand smoke is a workplace health hazard. • State the purpose of the policy (improve According to the 2006 Surgeon General’s Report, air quality and reduce the harmful effects there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure of secondhand smoke). and even brief exposure can be dangerous. • Cite the fact that New Hampshire has an Indoor Smoking Act. Smoke-filled workplaces result in higher worker • Show the tie between the policy and your absenteeism due to illness, lower productivity, higher company’s focus on keeping employees cleaning and maintenance costs, increased health healthy and safe. insurance rates, and increased liability claims for • State where smoking is not allowed. Be diseases related to exposure to secondhand smoke. specific about possible problem areas, such as immediately outside doorways, lunchrooms, In light of these findings, ABC Company shall vehicles, outside areas, parking lots, etc. be entirely smoke-free effective (date.) This • Designate where smoking is allowed, if policy covers the smoking of any tobacco product and any place. applies to employees, clients, contractors, and visitors. • State when employees are allowed to smoke (e.g., during scheduled breaks). Smoking shall not be permitted in any enclosed company • Explain who will enforce the policy, under what facility or vehicle. Smoking shall be permitted only circumstances, and what the consequences will at a distance of 20 feet outside entrances and windows. be for employees or visitors who violate it. Employees are allowed to smoke during breaks as • Describe support to be provided for employees outlined in the company’s employee policies handbook. who smoke. • Include contact information of an employee Copies of this smoke-free policy shall be distributed who can answer questions about the policy. to all employees. No Smoking signs shall be posted at entrances to all company facilities. All staff are required to follow this policy. Disciplinary actions will be taken if this policy is not followed. This policy is being announced three months in advance in order to give smokers time to adapt to its restrictions and to facilitate a smooth transition to a smoke-free environment.Those employees who smoke and would like to take this opportunity to quit are invited to take part in the quit smoking programs being offered by the company. Contact (name/department) with any questions or concerns about this policy. 8 Step 6: Share the policy. • Announce the policy and its start date to all employees and customers. • Promote the policy and show that management is in support. • Train managers to respond to employees’ questions and concerns. • Use an informal meeting to answer questions about the policy. Step 7: Implement, enforce, and review the policy. • Before the policy goes into effect, make sure If you still have questions support materials and resources are available. • Post highly visible, clear, and positive signage. after looking through this kit, there is If smoking is prohibited everywhere, signage should be placed in clear view at the entrance(s) more help available.The New Hampshire of the driveway and parking areas. • Remove ashtrays in smoking-prohibited areas. Tobacco Prevention and Control Program • Watch employees and visitors to see if the policy is being followed and to highlight can help you develop a written policy. situations that need to be addressed. • Enforce the policy as any other workplace Additional toolkits are also available. Call policy would be enforced. • Review the policy after several months. How the New Hampshire Tobacco Prevention is it working? What changes are needed? and Control Program at 603-271-6891 or Breathe New Hampshire at 603-669-2411. This toolkit may also be downloaded at www.breathenh.org. Read about other New Hampshire smoke-free workplaces and campuses at www.breathenh.org. 9 References 1. Citizens Health Initiative. A Pound of Prevention. January 2007. 2. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sustaining State Programs for Tobacco Control. Data Highlights. 2006. 3. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Fact Surveillance System. 2006. 4. Analysis performed by NH DHHS Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Morbidity, and Economic Costs Database. http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/sammec/into.asp. 5. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement Seven Years Later (NH State Report). November, 2005. 6. National Center for Chronic Disease and Prevention and Health Promotion. Annual Smoking Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Economic Costs- United States, 1995–1999. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. JAMA. May 2002. 7. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Coverage for Tobacco Use Treatments. 2007. Visit Breathe New Hampshire’s website at www.breathenh.org for: • Quit smoking resources • Links to helpful websites for additional information • Lung health lending library • Downloadable fact sheets and educational materials 10 Breathe New Hampshire has served the people of New Hampshire for over 90 years. Through education, advocacy, research, and partnerships, we are working to eliminate lung disease and improve the quality of life for those living with lung disease in New Hampshire. We invite you to join us as a volunteer, partner, or donor, so that we can continue to strengthen our efforts. 9 Cedarwood Drive, Unit 12 Bedford, NH 03110 800.835.8647 email@example.com www.breathenh.org We care about the environment. 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