How to reduce tobacco use among employees through organizational policies?
Reducing tobacco use among employees is an important step towards healthier staff and cleaner environment. Reducing tobacco use can be best done through organizational policies. Many organizations have adopted smoke-free policies in their organization. To reduce smoking, proper planning, implementation, and monitoring of the smoke-free policy should be done
What is the benefit of reducing tobacco use among Employees?
The following are the benefits of implementing smoke-free policies:
Reduced exposure to secondhand smoke: When an organization reduces tobacco use among employees, it protects non-smokers from secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Non-smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at high risk of diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, asthma etc.
Decreased smoking: According to a 2002 review which observed 26 studies, smoking ban in workplace helps employees to decrease smoking. Moreover, this policy would also help smokers who are trying to quit smoking.
Better health: Smoke-free policies lead to better health among smokers, non-smokers, customers and general public.
What should organizational policy to reduce focus on?
The organizational policy should focus on reducing the secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and its exposure to other employees. It should encourage smokers to decrease or quit smoking. The policy should also respect both smokers and non-smokers’ views and it should be practical.
How to Frame the Organizational Policy to reduce tobacco use among employees? The following steps can be taken to frame the organizational policy:
The organizational policy should be framed with the help of managers, employee representatives and health representatives. This panel should include both smokers and non-smokers to consider both points of view. A healthy discussion should include the following aspects:
- The dangers of secondhand smoking
- The areas where smoking should be restricted
- The launch date of the policy
- The persons responsible for enforcement of the policy
- Disciplinary procedures
- How to communicate this policy among employees
The organizational policy should be clear and it should be in a written form.
Re-assessment of the policy should be done by consulting employees. A draft version should be given to the employees and the motive behind the policy should be explained. The areas where smoking is to be banned should be discussed, the following locations can be considered:
- Outdoor areas
After consulting the employees, the policy should be improved by making necessary changes. After re-assessment the policy to reduce tobacco use among employees should be finally prepared.
The organizational policy to quit smoking should be communicated to all employees through e-mail, pay slips, notice boards, staff meetings, employee memos etc. Smoke-free stickers and literature can be distributed to communicate the policy
To know how effectiveness of the plan, the policy should be monitored every 6 months. If necessary, changes should be done to the policy
While implementing a smoke-free policy, smokers should be encouraged to join a local smoking cessation group. If possible, the organization can have an in-house support group for smoking cessation.
An organizational policy to reduce tobacco use not only improves the health of the employees, but it contributes to cleaner air and fewer risks of fire accidents. A policy properly planned and implemented will help the organization and its employees to a great extent.