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Benefits of being smokefree at work
Under the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 (the Amendment Act), all indoor workplaces must be smokefree and as of 11 November 2020 has been extended to include vapefree. This includes offices, restaurants, bars, warehouses, factories, break rooms, taxis, internal areas of trains and ships, prisons and travel terminals and passenger lounges. You can find out more about the prohibition on vaping in workplaces at this link.
Many workplaces have extended their smokefree areas to outdoor areas and work vehicles. It is the right of the employer to set out expectation around smoking in the workplace policy.
There are lots of benefits to being smokefree at work, including:
- healthier workers and fewer sick days – smokers stay sicker longer and take about three times more sick days as non-smokers
- getting more done – a smoker taking four 10-minute breaks each day, which over a year adds up to working one month less than a non-smoker
- people who are bothered by smoke will not be exposed to it at work – there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke and it can exacerbate health conditions like asthma
- it contributes to successful quitting – when colleagues are trying to quit there is not the constant reminder, or trigger, when others are smoking around them
- there will be reduced cleaning and maintenance costs – office equipment, carpets and furniture will last longer.71
Tools and resources
There are many ways workplaces can spread the smokefree message, help people who smoke to quit, and create an environment where others are discouraged from taking up the habit.
See the Wellplace website for tips on how your workplace can support stopping smoking and staying smokefree.
There are easy-to-use policy templates on business.govt, which are especially practical for small and medium sized businesses. The Health and Wellbeing policy template lets you build a smokefree policy for your workplace, and customise it according to your needs.
At Vapingfacts.health.nz you can learn about how vaping can help some people to quit smoking, what the law is in relation to vaping, and what to consider when thinking about your workplace.