Cigarette at work

Smoking in the workplace

Since May 1, 2010, a new law has come into force to protect health against the harmful effects of passive smoking. Almost all companies are concerned.

Health protection

The employer must protect his employees against health problems in the workplace. He is obliged to ban smoking in common areas of the company, including shared offices. The installation of smoking rooms remains possible but is subject to numerous conditions.

However, the employer must not stigmatize smokers. The balance between protecting the health of non-smokers and protecting the personality of smokers is delicate to find.

People at risk

These arrangements to protect the health of non-smoking employees are sometimes difficult to put in place in some companies. This can be the case for terraces and smoking rooms in restaurants, bars or discotheques.

This is particularly problematic when at-risk people, such as pregnant or breast-feeding women, are employed there. The employer risks incurring liability if he does not take adequate measures to protect their health.

Smoking breaks

The employer is obliged to respect the equal treatment of all employees. When some employees regularly take time off to smoke, the issue of equal time off for employees arises. The employer must regulate this delicate issue in a company regulation.

Electronic Cigarettes

The appearance of electronic cigarettes is relatively recent. If it does not contain tobacco, its effects on health are not yet clearly established. Some studies tend to say that some electronic cigarettes would contain carcinogenic substances.

However, the employer is required to protect the health of its employees. It is imperative to issue guidelines on the use of electronic cigarettes in the workplace. 

Top Articles

1 Mar, 2010 byMarianne Favre Moreillon