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June 19, 2021

Smoking ban at work might help employees butt out

Employees need to quit -- smoking that is.

According to a new Conference Board of Canada report, smoking bans on all company property should be part of a comprehensive non-smoking policy in Canadian workplaces.

The report revealed, as well as prohibiting smoking both indoors and outdoors on company property, that additional measures such as smoking cessation programs would also encourage employees to quit smoking.

Statistics Canada 2012 figures show that 20.3 per cent of Canadians still smoke despite warning labels on cigarette packages, hidden packages behind the counter in stores and even clever advertising by the Ontario Ministry of Health aimed at preventing people from smoking.

The Quit the Denial campaign claims social smoking is as ridiculous as social farting, social nibbling and social earwax picking.

The advertising campaign has been met with some controversy and amusement. It will be interesting to find out if anyone even quits as a result of the marketing campaign.

But even though the truth is out there, Canadians are holding steady on their smoking habits.

The Statistics Canada report revealed that the largest group of smokers is in the 20 to 34 age group.

And smoking isn't getting any cheaper. Depending where you live in Canada, a package of cigarettes can run you $10 and upwards. Smoking can be a hefty toll on your finances and your health.

Karla Thorpe, Director, Leadership and Human Resources Research, Conference Board of Canada, says, "Implementing workplace smoking bans and enforcing these restrictions will help to reduce the likelihood of smoking and shift the organization culture.

"Employers can also do more than setting restrictions -- they can plan a key role in helping smokers to quit. Three-quarters of current smokers are employed and many want to quit. The most effective methods to help smokers quit are to couple access to medication with counseling and support. This can increase success rates by two- to three-fold."

Smoking is banned at many workplaces, restaurants and even in vehicles when you have children on board, depending where you live in Canada.

But there are many workplaces that do not have bans on smoking and it is evident when you see workers on construction sites, landscape and road repair puffing on their cigarettes as they toil.

You wonder just how much time in a workday is going up in smoke with lost productivity.

Even many high school students are spotted smoking (not on school property mind you) but on the sidewalk directly in front of the school.

What starts out to be cool, could up costing you.

By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money

Do you think places of employment should ban smoking on company property and include programs to help encourage employees to quit?




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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...