Workplace smoking bans: Do the pros outweigh the cons?
September 3, 2009 by Jared Bilski
Is a smoking ban on company grounds really an effective tactic? And is it worth the employee backlash?
According to a recent study by the Journal of Tobacco Policy & Research, that all depends on how far you are willing to go to help employees stay smoke-free.
The study did find that smokers take more sick days than their non-smoking co-workers.
It also found that even if a smoker is in relatively good health (isn’t obese, doesn’t have chronic health conditions like diabetes, etc.), there’s a good chance he or she will still have higher medical costs than a comparable non-smoker over the last three years.
So, based on this study, is a smoking ban worthwhile?
Only if smokers at your company quit for good. If the smoker quits permanently, the costs usually even out.
If, however, your smoking ban only deters smokers at work — and they smoke away as soon as they get home — it’s not an effective cost-cutting tactic.