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Quitting in the Workplace

July 26, 2018 . by Matthew Hern

Support your employees to quit

Employers are not legally obliged to help employees to stop smoking. However, employers that do provide cessation support could reduce the risk of non-compliance with the law, as well as taking advantage of the opportunity it offers to improve people’s health. They will also benefit from reduced sickness absence and increased productivity.

Employees in your workplace may be considering quitting and as an employer you are in a position to help them in conjunction with local support services. Stop smoking services in your area may be able to provide on-site support or alternatively you can direct them to the local support available.

Cost of smoking to employers

According to the London School of Economics smokers cost UK employers £2.1 billion every year. The LSE states that every year it costs employers over £3,000 to employ a smoker. People who smoke are more likely to take smoking related sick days and spend on average 100 working hours away from their desk on smoking breaks.

Public Health responsibility deal

Support to stop smoking is also part of the government’s responsibility deal for employers. To sign up and to find out more, visit the Public Health responsibility deal.

Illegal tobacco (smuggled and fake)

Just because your business doesn’t officially sell tobacco products doesn’t mean your employees and customers aren’t using your premises for illegal sales. It pays to be constantly vigilant.

Employers found guilty of permitting illegal sales on their premises face a criminal prosecution, not to mention severe fines and damaging publicity.

Ensure employees aren’t using your premises to make private, illegal tobacco sales or both you and your employee will face criminal prosecution and heavy fines. For more information on illegal tobacco click here.

Smokefree Policy

From July 2007 it became illegal to smoke in virtually all enclosed and substantially enclosed public places and workplaces. As an employer you may wish to take further measures to protect the health of your staff and the image of your organisation, for example banning smoking on the premises entirely.

Click here for an example policy you may wish to adapt for your organisation.

Nottinghamshire Workplace Health Award Scheme

As part of the qualifying criteria for the Nottinghamshire Workplace Health Award Scheme, employers must sign up and commit to the Nottinghamshire County and Nottingham City Declaration on Tobacco Control. Depending on the level of award, different criteria relating to the Declaration are required. For more information on the award scheme please contact: Nicola North.

Click here to download the overview document

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