There is no safe level of secondhand smoke for employees, and no safe period of time for exposure. When employees breathe secondhand smoke, it is as if they are smoking. Breathing secondhand smoke at work increases chances of getting lung cancer by 20 – 30% and it damages the lining of blood vessels, changes which can cause a heart attack. Workers who smoke have more accidents than nonsmokers on the job, and smoking contributes to the risk of fire and explosion.
Smoking contributes toward absenteeism and lost productivity. Employees who smoke are absent from work 50% more often than those who don’t smoke. Because smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, smoking affects insurance costs, and some fire and casualty companies cut their premiums by 50% for smoke-free companies.
Maine’s Workplace Smoking Law requires:
24% of Maine adults smoke, 59% are overweight or obese, and 26% do not participate in any leisure time physical activity. Yet, the majority of employers do not offer health promotion and disease prevention programs to support employee health, despite the many low-cost strategies that exist for creating policies that promote health and wellness.
Policies that promote disease prevention, healthy eating, and access to physical activity have been created around the state, and many Maine workplaces have shared their success stories. Implementing a tough smoking cessation policy at your workplace contributes to the health of your employees, creates a safer, more productive workplace, and means you are taking the lead in creating a community that is smoke-free.
Create your own success story. Find out how to implement a smoke-free policy.
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Maine Law about Smoking in the Workplace
Maine law about Secondhand Smoke