With the drive for increased fitness, improved diets and healthy lifestyles being given a big push at national level, the introduction of smoke free workplaces is a natural extension of these initiatives. Many workplaces are choosing to be smoke free, and supporting their teams with smoke free programs in an effort to improve the health and well-being of all employees. Being smoke free can also reduce the risk of fires, improve housekeeping and encourage a positive perception of the organization, to both staff and customers. Smoking, these days, is increasingly viewed as unacceptable in many social forums and giving your team the support they need to quit can have a positive impact for them both inside and outside of work.
So what are the main steps to consider if you want to introduce a smoke-free workplace? Whilst there is no perfect blueprint, the main vehicle to introducing a smoke free workplace is a smoke free policy. Introducing this in a way which engages and promotes employee involvement is essential to its success and the following represents some of the steps that may be appropriate in your workplace to help make your policy work:
- Start by engaging as many people in the organization as possible, both smokers and non-smokers, in the development of the policy.
- Establish how many smokers there are in the business and who of them wishes to quit
- Survey everyone to gauge the reaction that they might have to a smoke free policy.
- Holding of meetings and focus groups where discussion and the swapping of viewpoints can take place
- Formulate a written policy which spells out the purpose of its introduction, details the education available to employees, the signage that will be displayed and support available. Don’t forget to include company vehicles, contractors and visitors.
- Communicate the policy to all employees
- Communicate the avenues available for support and referral to those who wish to quit. The company’s internal communication should appropriately promote smoke free lifestyles and smoking cessation
- Provide stop smoking pamphlets and posters in staff rooms and on notice boards and arrange the regular turnover of signage in all public areas within the business, including lunchrooms and notice boards
- Display the Quitline numbers and website address prominently on notice boards
- Keep the topic alive at all Health & Safety meetings
And finally, hold the faith and persevere!
A Smoke Free workplace is possible. You will be doing the right thing to encourage your staff to improve the quality and longevity of their lives.
If we can help with this, please call Alan or Toni at Positive People on 445-1077