Tobacco Free Workplace

We are considering a tobacco free workplace policy but we also have a lot of customers who smoke....does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle this when the owner of the company doesn't want to restrict the customers only the employees?  Thanks!

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  • If it were 100% no tobacco, it would be easy to just stick it in the drug and alcohol (and now tobacco, too) free workplace policy.

    Since the employer is clearly not concerned about exposing employees to smoke and only concerned about employees smoking, this seems like it is an efficiency issue.  Assuming this is about efficiency and not about health, then address the problem with unauthorized or excessive break taking on its own terms and leave the tobacco issue out of it.  If this is about health, then it's hard to say employees can't smoke anything but the second hand smoke from clients.  Keep in mind that second hand smoke is the exhaled smoke that has been in contact with tissue in the lungs and mucous lined cavities of the eating and breathing apparatus of other human beings.  If it's about health, second hand smoke is at least as bad (some experts say worse) than just smoking.

  • This is actually an employee health concern we are trying to address.  I agree with you....I feel it would be hard to tell employees they can't smoke but then allow customers to do it....the owner is concerned the a customer would drive down the street to a competitor who would allow them to smoke while waiting to have their order filled.....I am not sure this would actually happen but since we are struggling for business I can see why he would be concerned.  Thanks!

  • If you are in Florida, as your name suggests, the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking in indoor workplaces, and not just by employees. There are a few exceptions such as stand alone bars and tobacco retail shops. You don't say what type of business you have. 

    If you go forward with this policy, your employees could complain to the state Department of Health and your company could face fines.

    Better check at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Tobacco/FCIAA.html.

    If you are not in Florida, better check the law for your state and municipality, but it holds true that your employees can file complaints and you could face fines for not complying with smoking prohibitions.

    Also, I bet the majority of your customers don't want to enter a smoke-filled business.

  • [quote user="HRFLDist"]

    This is actually an employee health concern we are trying to address.  I agree with you....I feel it would be hard to tell employees they can't smoke but then allow customers to do it....the owner is concerned the a customer would drive down the street to a competitor who would allow them to smoke while waiting to have their order filled.....I am not sure this would actually happen but since we are struggling for business I can see why he would be concerned.  Thanks!

    [/quote]

     

    Sounds like you need a smoking room for smoking customers to wait in.

  • There is a smoking room for customers--outside.  If need be, put up an awning so they won't get wet.
  • The waiting area is outside and we do not allow smoking inside the building for customers or employees.  We are a distributor and most of our customers come to pick up products that we have in our warehouse.
  • Allowing customers to smoke in the outdoor waiting area, but not employees, would difficult to enforce.  Are you going to have a manager out there or someone watching on a surveillance camera during work hours?

    How are you going to post this area--what would you say on the sign?

    Everyone is used to smoking restrictions; I can't believe in today's climate you would lose a customer over this.

    Go smoke free!

  • OK, you originally asked for info  on having a tobacco free workplace for customers but not employees:

     

    [quote user="HRFLDist"]We are considering a tobacco free workplace policy but we also have a lot of customers who smoke....does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle this when the owner of the company doesn't want to restrict the customers only the employees?  Thanks! [/quote]

    But later clarified that nobody was allwoed to smoke inside the building:

    [quote user="HRFLDist"]The waiting area is outside and we do not allow smoking inside the building for customers or employees.  We are a distributor and most of our customers come to pick up products that we have in our warehouse.[/quote]

    Are you talking about "tobacco free" in the sense that you will not hire people who smoke or you will terminate employment of those who continue to smoke or that people can't have it stored in their vehicles or....?  How "tobacco free" do you mean? 

  • 9 days I think may be a record long wait for turnaround on a post pulled aside for approval by the staff.

    [:S]

  • I guess I never thought about the employees who would continue to smoke even after we prohibited smoking on company property.  I am not sure the owner would go for terminating them because one of our most senior employees is a smoker.  We haven’t pushed this issue recently because she has threatened to quit in the past when they tried this a few years before I started.

  • I hear all of this about "no smoking" to prevent possible health issues... what about smokeless?  They make tobacco products that don't even require spitting (Camel Snus, for example).  There's a difference between a "smoke free" policy and a "tobacco free" policy.

    I just read an article on MSN.com about new dissolvable, flavored tobacco "candy" that's being test-marketed in select states.  Of course, the manufacturer claims, "It's not a candy.  It's a legitimate tobacco product."  Something else to keep in mind.

    And one more thing... check the article under the news section.

    -Justin

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