The importance of a smoke-free workplace



News release from Tobacco Free Allen County:

Tobacco Free Allen County reminds residents on the importance of a smoke-free workplace

(August 28, 2014) – Labor Day is a day filled with fun, family, and friends but what is this day really about? Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. All workers give so much to the community but why do we not show them how much their health means to those in charge. There are too many businesses that won’t protect their own workers from the deadliest killer in the United States and that is tobacco.

Workers give so much to the economy but by not having a smoke-free air policy or ordinance in place are they helping give back as much as they could be. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine determined that healthcare costs for a smoker can be 40% higher than for smokers. According the Center for Disease control the average healthcare cost is $8,680 per capita and that the average smoker spends $3,300 on top of that amount.

So not all smokers get sick frequently or maybe not all employees have health insurance through their employer how else are businesses losing money by not having a smoke-free policy in place, productivity. If someone who is working full time takes five smoke breaks, that’s a loss of one hour of work time every day. It’s what economists would call an opportunity cost, or what you lose in monetary terms by choosing to smoke rather than working. If a smoker is spending a minimum of one hour a day smoking, it’s about 10 days of work lost per year!

“The work that our coalition and staff provide throughout the county is critical to make our community a healthier place to live, work, and play. When employers decide to implement a tobacco free policy, they are creating a healthy workplace for all their staff, colleagues, and guests. We know that policies help people start their quit journey, and stay quit. For that reason alone, tobacco free policies are very effective and powerful,” Jill Leal, executive director, Tobacco Free Allen County.

This is an issue that not only can individual companies do but elected officials can also implement ordinances that would protect everyone in the community as a whole and ensure the well-being of all workers and show them that no job is worth risking your health over.

For more information about making Allen County a healthier place to live with smoke-free air contact Jill Leal at 260.579.8394 or email You can also visit the Tobacco Free Allen County Facebook page for up-to-date information.



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