The Feds Really Don’t Want You to Smoke at Work
CDC proposes tobacco ban at every workplace in the U.S.
August 21, 2014
BY: Elizabeth Harrington
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking to ban all tobacco use at every work place in the country, including businesses that operate primarily outdoors.
The agency published a Current Intelligence Bulletin (CIB) on Friday that would advise the few workplaces that still allow smoking to end the practice, specifically targeting blue-collar workers in the construction and mining industries.
The document, which will be open to public comment for 30 days, provided multiple recommendations from the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Among them: ban smoking in outdoor work areas and have bosses ask which of their employees smoke so they can “promptly provide encouragement to quit.”
“Establish and maintain tobacco-free workplaces for all employees, allowing no use of any tobacco products, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco products by anyone at any time in the workplace,” the document reads. “Ideally, this should be done in concert with an existing tobacco cessation support program.”
The best scenario, according to the CDC, would be restricting smoking outside.
“At a minimum, the tobacco-free zone should encompass all indoor areas with no exceptions and no indoor smoking areas of any kind (including separately enclosed and/or ventilation areas), as well as areas immediately outside building entrances and air intakes, and all work vehicles,” the bulletin said. “Optimally and whenever feasible, the entire workplace campus, including all outdoor areas, should be established as tobacco-free.”
“All tobacco-related restrictions and prohibitions should be equitably enforced,” it added.
In addition, under the policy employers would have to provide pamphlets on the health risks of smoking to all its workers, including contractors and volunteers.
Businesses would also have to “inform all workers about health risks of tobacco use” and “about health risks of exposure to” second hand smoke (SHS).
The document argues that SHS is equally dangerous to tobacco use, despitestudies that have found no connection between passive smoke and lung cancer. The CDC says there is “no risk-free level of exposure to SHS,” and that ventilation systems and smoking rooms are not sufficient to meet the proposed guidelines.
Employers would be required at a minimum to provide phone numbers for quit lines, “self-help materials,” and “provide employer-sponsored cessation programs at no-cost or subsidize cessation programs for lower wage workers to enhance the likelihood of their participation.”
Another recommendation reads: “Ask about personal tobacco use as part of all occupational health and wellness program interactions with individual workers and promptly provide encouragement to quit and guidance on tobacco cessation to each worker identified as a tobacco user and to any other worker who requests tobacco cessation guidance.”
The CDC also wants employers to provide cessation programs to their workers’ dependents “where feasible.”
Seventy-three percent of all workplaces in the United States are already smoke-free, according to a 2005 survey cited in the proposal. Most major cities have laws prohibiting smoking indoors, in restaurants, and bars, and 26 states and the District of Columbia also have prohibited smoking in workplaces.
There are some exceptions. Members of Congress are allowed to “smoke as much as they would like in their private offices.”
The CDC would like their recommendations to apply to all workplaces, including the Capitol building, casinos, airports with smoking rooms, and Major League Baseball.
“NIOSH recommends that all employers establish and maintain tobacco-free workplaces for all employees—allowing no use of tobacco products including smokeless tobacco—and adopt a Total Worker Health approach which integrates occupational safety with health promotion, such as smoking cessation programs, to prevent worker injury and illness,” said Stephanie Stephens, a health communications specialist at the CDC.
“I want to emphasize that any recommendations that NIOSH includes in the final version of the Current Intelligence Bulletin are only recommendations, not requirements,” she said.
The CDC’s goal is to curb smoking in industries with the highest rates of tobacco use, their main target being male blue-collar workers.
“Over the past several decades, a number of studies have assessed smoking habits among U.S. workers,” the bulletin said. “Consistently, these studies have shown substantially higher smoking prevalence among blue-collar workers compared with white-collar workers, particularly among males.”
The bulletin specifically cited construction (32.1 percent), food service (32.1 percent), and mining (30.2 percent) as industries with the most tobacco use.
A Secret Asthma Miracle
January 22, 2013
Lots of chatter in the comments about a new study, one of whose authors is Our Stan (aka Stantonitis Glands), claiming that there had been a sharp fall in the number of children admitted to hospital with severe asthma after the smoking ban was introduced in England. Both DP and Chris Snowdon are on the case.
The implication is that this is the result of reduced secondhand smoke exposure. Of course, the smoking ban mainly affected places where children don’t go, ie. workplaces, pubs and clubs, so the authors suggest that the smoking ban inspired people to make their own homes “smokefree” of their own volition.
CDC Unveils New Smoking Ad:
Watch the video. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention releases a commercial as part of its quit smoking campaign.
Graphic Ads, Teen Smoking, and The Solution
So they now claim 4,000 kids a day are starting smoking eh?? Back before the smoking bans and the 200% to 500% tax increases on cigarettes they claimed only 3,000 a day were starting.? Using antismoking-type reasoning, one would be forced to say there’s obviously a clear causal relationship? between these things.
The high taxes have made cigarettes socially desirable as kids show off that they can afford to smoke and share their smokes.? The smoking bans have moved smokers out into public where kids now see more people smoking than ever before.
The solution to the teen smoking problem is simple.
1) Despite the screaming from the organized antismoking groups whose jobs will disappear, cigarettes should be taxed at a reasonable rate, say a maximum of a 50% tax (about $1) over their base product price of about $2/pack.? That $1 should include the MSA payments that the government and Big Tobacco worked out in 1998 as an unlegislated nationwide tax levied only on smokers.
2) Widespread mandated government smoking bans should be eliminated and replaced with voluntary bans and reasonable ASHRAE/OSHA standards that were in place in the 1990s and provided the great vast majority of workers with comfortable working atmospheres.? *ALL* workplaces, not just smoking bars and casinos, should be required to meet those standards.? Nonsensical claims about ventilation and air-filtration being helpless in the face of “magical” elements in tobacco smoke should be treated as the pseudo-science that they are and adult smokers will once again return to doing most of their smoking inside of largely adults-only work atmospheres.
Maybe then we’d see teen smoking reduced.
– Michael McFadden
Graphic new smoking campaign designed to shock
In the wake of a new study showing high rates of smoking among teens, the Centers for Disease Control issued a new 12-week ad campaign to get people to stop smoking. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.
The federal government today launched a new ad campaign designed to get people, especially teenagers to stop smoking or avoid starting. the cdc says tobacco-related diseases kill under half a million americans each year. there’s been a disturbing uptick in the rate of teenage smoking. they say these ads are graphics and disturbing because they need to be. our report from nbc’s tom costello.
Reporter: for anyone who hasn’t gotten the message about the dangers of smoking, the government’s new ad campaign is designed to shock and horrify.
Reporter: gruesome testimonials from former stoking living with cancer, heart disease and vascular disease .
Carmichael: First it was my left leg. after my left leg it was my right leg.
Reporter: 31-year-old Brandon Carmichael started smoking when he was 15.
Carmichael: If you’re going to start smoking, it can affect you now, not necessarily woe you’re 70, 80, 90.
Reporter: the ad campaign is targeting those who smoke or haven’t started.
Ads only work if they’re done right. the evidence is clear hard-hitting ads work.
Reporter: it’s a bilingual campaign on tv, online and in print, graphically demonstrating the dangers of smoking. a heart surgery scar, a woman bed-ridden from the effects of a stroke. a young boy suffering the effects of asthma from second-hand smoke. even a former smoker with a stoma so he can breathe. today the majortobacco companies were not objecting to the ads, but in california we found skepticism among the target audience.
Random college type: A lot of people will think that’s not going to happen to me.
Random college type: I don’t see how it relates to a younger person of my generation.
Reporter: with a quarter of all high school seniors smoking every day and 4,000 teenagers starting to smoke every day, this $54 million ad campaign is a drop in the bucket compared to the $10 billion cigarette companies spend on marketing.
– Tom Costello, NBC News, Washington
CDC predicts smoking bans in every state by 2020
April 21, 2011
By 2020, every state may have bans on smoking in restaurants, bars and the workplace, federal health officials predicted Thursday, based on the current pace of adopting anti-smoking laws.
The number of states with comprehensive indoor smoking bans went from zero in 2000 to 26 in 2010.
“It is by no means a foregone conclusion that we’ll get there by 2020,” said Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.
But the success of the smoking ban movement has been astounding, and seems to be accelerating, he added. “I’m relatively bullish we’ll at least get close to that number.”
Nearly half of U.S. residents are covered by comprehensive state or local indoor smoking bans, the CDC estimated, in a new report.
Another 10 states have laws than ban smoking in workplaces, bans or restaurants, but not in all three venues.
Some other states have less restrictive laws, like requiring smoking areas with separate ventilation.
Only seven states have no indoor smoking restrictions, although some of their cities do: Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Gary Nolan, director of a smokers’ rights group, said he wouldn’t be surprised if the CDC’s prediction came true. Public health officials and others have been putting tremendous pressure on bars and businesses to bar smoking, he added.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if they prevailed,” said Nolan, of the Smoker’s Club. “It’s just a little bit more liberty slipping away at the hands of big government.”
Tobacco smoke is an established cause of lung cancer, heart disease and other maladies, and smoking has been called one of the nation’s leading causes of death.
The science on the impact of smoking bans is younger. Because it takes years or even decades for cancers to develop, there’s little information on the impact of bans on cancer rates. But studies have already charted declines in adult heart attack rates and in childhood asthma attacks after smoking bans were adopted in some communities.
The American Heart Association’s chief executive, Nancy Brown, said the CDC report brings good news. But she said advocates have a lot of work ahead of them to make the 2020 prediction come true.
“It’s too soon to rest on our laurels,” she said, in a prepared statement.