For many people, smoking tobacco has become a daily part of their life. Even though smoking claims around 480,000 lives each year in the U.S alone, people still choose to carry on with this destructive habit.
Over the course of this blog post, we’ll take a look at the effect of cigarette smoking at work and how a smoke-free workplace policy can be beneficial for both business owners and employees.
The Dangers of Cigarette Smoking
It’s a commonly known fact that tobacco use impacts different parts of the body and can lead to severe illnesses, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
So, what is it in cigarettes that keeps smokers hooked? Well, that, ladies and gentlemen, is a stimulant drug known as nicotine. When nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream, it causes a surge of adrenaline and triggers the secretion of dopamine, the “pleasure hormone.” This is why smokers find it so difficult to quit—because nicotine brings them a different kind of satisfaction.
While some users of tobacco are only social smokers, others can’t go on for more than a few minutes without lighting one up. Individuals who are addicted to smoking commonly deal with the following issues:
- Not being able to stop despite multiple attempts to quit
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors and clammy hands, when they try to quit
- Feeling an irrepressible urge to smoke after meals
- Needing tobacco to alleviate stress
Dangers of SHS
Contrary to popular belief, exposure to secondhand smoke can be just as harmful as smoking itself. It’s known to cause various illnesses and premature death in non-smokers and children.
- SHS contains various chemicals that can cause cancer
- It can cause cardiovascular diseases as nicotine constricts arteries and blood vessels, impeding normal blood flow.
A Smoke-Free Workplace: The Benefits
Implementing a smoke-free workplace policy offers a multitude of benefits to both business owners and workers. Let’s break them down.
For Business Owners
- Helps create a healthy and safe workplace
- Reduces coverage for health, disability, and life
- Improves corporate image
- Lowers the risk of accidental fire
- Helps comply with local legislation
- Provides peace of mind that they’re working in a safe and healthy environment
- Boosts productivity because of fewer distractions and fewer breaks
- Lowers sick days
- Promotes better relationships with peers
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