Smokers Worldwide Support Workplace Smoking Bans

Nov. 20, 2009
A new study shows the majority of smokers worldwide support smoking bans in the workplace.

The study, conducted by RTI International and Harris Interactive, surveyed more than 3,500 employees who smoke and more than 1,400 employers (both smokers and nonsmokers) in 14 counties about their attitudes toward workplace smoking and cessation. The results showed that 74 percent of smoking employees and 87 percent of employers felt that the workplace should be smoke-free.

Participating countries included South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, India, United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, France, Germany, Spain, Poland, Turkey and Brazil.

“Although there was widespread variation among countries, overall the results demonstrate global support for workplace smoking bans,” said Michael Halpern, Ph.D., a senior fellow at RTI and the paper’s lead author. “This study shows support for additional programs and policies to increase those bans and assist employees with smoking cessation.”

The greatest support for workplace smoking bans was in India (85 percent) and Japan (75 percent). In contrast, only one-third of employees in Germany (33 percent) and Poland (37 percent) agreed with a workplace smoking ban.

The study also found that overall, employees estimated spending an average of 1 hour per day smoking at work, but most employees (almost 70 percent) did not believe that smoking had a negative financial impact on their employer. However, about half of employers interviewed did believe that smoking had a negative financial impact on their organization.

“Several previous studies indicate that despite the beliefs of smoking employees and some employers in our study, smoking does have a substantial negative impact on a business’s finances,” Halpern said. “More research needs to be done to quantify the economic impacts of workplace smoking and educate both employers and employees on those effects.”

According to the World Health Organization, almost one billion men and 250 million women worldwide smoke some form of tobacco.

The study was published in the International Journal of Public Health online edition.

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Work Safety Tips: 5 Tactics to Build Employee Engagement for Workplace Safety

March 13, 2024
Employee safety engagement strategies have become increasingly key to fostering a safer workplace environment. But, how exactly do you encourage employee buy-in when it comes ...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!