Passive Smoking at Work: Implications and Tips to Avoid it

Do you encounter a cloud of smoke when entering a club/restaurant?

Are you frequently stuck in vehicles with smokers?

Do your friends/ family members smoke?

Are you suffering from other’s people habit of inhaling “the silent killer?”

If you answer affirmatively to all this, then you are facing a major health issue by inhaling someone else’s smoke. Nobody would like to suffer from a habit, not being followed by them in the first place. Listed below is a general overview of passive smoking and how it affects your health and your workplace.

Passive Smoking at Work

What is passive smoking?

Also known as, second-hand smoke, or environmental tobacco smoke, passive smoking is when smoke is taken in by people other than the active user. It happens when smoke enters the environment and is inhaled by everyone around, sharing the space.

What does a cigarette constitute?

  • Nicotine: It is the addictive drug that keeps you smoking.
  • Tar: The harmful chemical that causes cancer, it provides flavour to the cigarette.
  • Carbon monoxide: it binds itself to the haemoglobin, severely diminishing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the cells, leading to suffocation.

Is passive smoking bad?

Cigarettes are harmful to both active smokers and second-hand smokers, prompting approximately 7000 toxic chemicals released into the environment, 69 being carcinogenic.

Effects of second-hand smoking

Passive smoking includes smoke from both the smoker and the burning cigarette, with the burning tobacco possessing more harmful substances than the inhaled smoke. This, consequently, asserts that passive smokers might be at a similar, or even greater risk, regarding smoking-related disorders.  Some of the effects are-

  • Premature death.
  • Coronary heart disease.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Respiratory diseases like Asthma, Bronchitis, And Pneumonia.
  • Sore throat/cough.
  • Irritation in eyes/nose.

Do extractors/fans suck away smoke?

They can help clear some of the smoke and make it comfortable for you to breathe, but the harmful chemicals do remain there, causing health-related disorders.

Passive smoking at the workplace

  • Passive smoking causes a large number of deaths, being twice as lethal as other accidents at the workplace.
  • According to a study, smokers have less than average work performance and productivity; they also happen to call in sick, much more than their counterparts.
  • It causes absenteeism.
  • It increases health-care costs for the employer.
  • It reduces efficiency.
  • It bares workers to an entire array of hazardous substances comprising nicotine, benzene, carbon monoxide, ammonia, cyanide and formaldehyde.

Employers or Business owners must read: How to Make a Tobacco-Free Workplace.

How to avoid second-hand smoking?

  • If passive smoking is affecting you at work, you can ask your employer or the HR department to take measures; since, in India, smoking is banned at workplaces.
  • According to a study, less smoking at open places and work; prompted smokers to smoke less at home, too. Therefore, stringent measures should be taken to curb smoking outdoors.
  • Look for smoke-free restaurants, rental cabs, etc.
  • Help your family/friends quit, by making them go for measures, like nicotine patches/gums/spray, etc.
  • Prompt your employer, to create a separate smoking zone, to help curb passive smoking.

Truworth strives for a workplace that’s inclusive and healthy, and let employees work with their utmost efficiency in a progressive backdrop. Let us help in making your workplace smoke-free through our comprehensive range of employee wellness programs.

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