Smoke-Free Policy: Why Do it?

North Carolina law allows any privately-owned worksite to have a smoke-free policy and many do, according to the 2010 NC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey (BRFSS). The survey found only 92.2 percent of North Carolina workers say they were not exposed to secondhand smoke at work at all during the past week.

The CDC's Save Lives, Save Money - Make Your Business Smoke-Free brochure provides information on exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace and the benefits to employers once a smoke-free workplace has been implemented.

Tobacco-free or smoke-free workplaces are good for health and good for business.

A tobacco-free workplace is one of the most effective and lasting approaches to reducing employee tobacco use and eliminating non-smoking employees' exposure to secondhand smoke. Tobacco-free workplaces save lives and save money by:

  • Protecting the health of all workers;
  • Supporting employees who are trying to quit smoking or smoke less;
  • Reducing maintenance and health care insurance costs;
  • Preventing nonsmokers from starting to smoke; and
  • Attracting nonsmokers to your work force.

Helping smokers quit goes along with the policy decision to make your workplace smoke-free. This will save lives and save the business money.

Most tobacco users want to quit. In 2009, 59 percent of North Carolina adult smokers tried to quit (BRFSS) . But most found they were not successful doing it on their own. You, as an employer, can play an important role in assisting your employees to quit for good.

Research shows that:

  • Businesses can help provide access to the best tools for tobacco cessation - medications and counseling.
  • Medications and counseling are most effective when they are offered together at no cost as a basic covered benefit.
  • People who use a combination of evidence-based behavioral counseling with FDA approved tobacco treatment medications triple their chances of quitting successfully over people who try to quit on their own.