January 19, 2016
Now here’s a thing. It appears that more than half of American workplaces continue to allow smoking in the workplace. That is the possibly surprising finding of a new study from the US based Society for Human Resource Management, in spite of the facts that there are laws prohibiting the practice in many US states, the majority of employers have formal smoking policies and that a 2012 report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention declared a majority of US workplaces to be smoke-free. The report is based on a survey of HR managers working for 376 organisations across the country and found that just over one-half (53 percent) of respondents indicated their firms allowed smoking in the workplace. The study also found that more than four-fifths (85 percent) had a formal, written smoking policy in place while 8 percent had an informal, unwritten smoking policy. Of those with a formal policy, 58 percent have designated smoking spaces.
- 30 percent of employers restrict the number of smoking breaks allowed each day
- 31 percent have a total ban on smoking both inside and outside the main office
- 54 percent offer wellbeing advice to smokers and 18 percent impose a healthcare premium on smokers
- 44 percent of employers have a separate policy on vaping and 33 percent plan to introduce one over the next year
- 53 percent of employers have taken disciplinary action against an employee for a breach of the policy