As a follow up to an article in our May newsletter about e-cigarettes, I wanted to share an update with you from the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH). They recently released new recommendations that employers maintain completely smoke-free workplaces. This means treating e-cigarettes just like those made with tobacco. The recommendation comes in an attempt to protect workers from the occupational hazards of tobacco and secondhand smoke or emissions from e-cigarettes.
It has been 50 years since the first Surgeon General’s Report on the health consequences of smoking. “While cigarette smoking in the U.S. has declined more than 50% among all U.S. adults since then, about 20% of all U.S. workers still smoke and far too many nonsmoking workers are still exposed to secondhand smoke at work,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “These new recommendations are an important step in reducing the number workers who still face the risks associated with tobacco while on the job.”
NIOSH’s primary recommendation for employers is that they “establish and maintain smoke-free workplaces that protect those in workplaces from involuntary, secondhand exposures to tobacco smoke and airborne emissions from e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems.” They propose that smoke-free workplaces should be created in addition to tobacco cessation support programs. For more actions recommended by NIOSH, please go to http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-04-02-15.html.
For more information about NIOSH visit http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/. For help developing your company’s smoking and/or smoke-free workplace policy, call MarathonHR at 678-208-2802.