Smoking and the Workplace: Issues and Answers for Human Resources Professionals

Smoking and the Workplace: Issues and Answers for Human Resources Professionals

Smoking and the Workplace: Issues and Answers for Human Resources Professionals

Smoking and the Workplace: Issues and Answers for Human Resources Professionals

Synopsis

"This book provides an overview of the smoking controversy. The full costs of smoking to employers are discussed and documented. Also considered are the changing attitudes of society as a whole and the specific positions of numerous public and private sector agencies. To provide balance, the authors present the Tobacco Institute's position on smoking and health. And for managers who would like to control or eliminate workplace smoking, successful programs, such as the one implemented by U.S. West Communications, are analyzed in depth." Management Review

Excerpt

Dorothy recently celebrated her fiftieth wedding anniversary. Six years ago, she didn't think she'd make it. Dorothy's right lung had to be removed to excise the cancer that had developed during a lifetime of cigarette smoking. The surgery bought Dorothy more time to enjoy her husband, her children, and grandchildren. Today, however, the cancer has metastasized into her remaining lung, and she may not live to celebrate her next anniversary.

Bob used to sing in the choir. He played one of the three kings in the Christmas pageant and walked triumphantly down the church aisle to the manger scene. Today, suffering from emphysema, he can't take a step without breathing oxygen from a portable tank. Bob also smoked for over forty years. Dorothy and Bob are real people. Their stories represent the tragedy facing thousands of American families; smoking is related to 320,000 deaths each year. One special reason to feel sadness for Dorothy and Bob and their families is that smoking was not yet acknowledged to be "hazardous to your health" when they both got hooked.

Today we know better, and the evidence is overwhelming. It is estimated that cigarette smoking is reponsible for 85 percent of all lung cancer among men and 75 percent among women. Research has shown that smoking is linked to cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, and bladder. It is a leading cause of heart disease, and it contributes to gastric ulcers, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.

Since the mid-1960s, the government has tried to educate the American public on the dangers of tobacco use, beginning with the requirement that warning labels appear on all cigarette packages. Moreover, by prohibiting tele-

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