Worker health and wellness

NIOSH releases draft document on workplace tobacco policies

Washington – NIOSH has issued a draft document on improving workplace health and safety through tobacco policies, and the agency is requesting stakeholder feedback.

Stakeholders are invited to comment on whether the draft provides useful information and recommendations, is comprehensible, lacks any critical information, and has any technical or factual inaccuracies.

“Millions of workers still use tobacco products and smoking is still permitted in many workplaces,” NIOSH Director John Howard said in a press release. “This draft document is aimed not just at preventing occupational injury and illness related to tobacco use, but also at improving the general health and well-being of workers.”

As many as 10 percent of non-smoking U.S. employees are exposed to secondhand smoke at work at least twice a week, according to the document, and secondhand smoke causes about 41,000 deaths annually.

Studies have shown smoke-free workplace policies lead to decreased secondhand smoke exposure, increased smoking cessation and fewer smoke breaks being taken throughout the day, the document states. Comments on the draft are due Sept. 15.