Different business sectors are becoming more aware of the health and safety practices at the workplace that protect employees. Tobacco cessation is ideally considered to be one of the most cost-effective measures to increase the overall well-being and productivity at the workplace. However, implementing tobacco cessation consumes a lot of times and it may not be practical both as a short- or medium- policy.
For this reason, more and more business sectors are providing smoking areas for their employees in order to protect all individuals from exposure to passive smoke anytime. Among those, smoke cabins are the popular solutions. Effective smoke cabins can capture the smoke before it spreads. They can also filter most of the harmful gases and purify tobacco smoke into clean air. Modular smoke cabins are of particular importance as they can save spaces for the business sectors and follow the changing patterns of the users.
The extended benefit of establishing smoking areas is to attract customers who otherwise would not be interested to visit. Airports, casinos, shopping malls, and restaurants are all typical business sectors that can benefit from having a smoking area.
Compared to the idea of tobacco cessation, the smoking area policy is more result-oriented. It considers the needs of all parties (both smoking and non-smoking employees and customers), and guarantees that the indoor air is constantly kept in a clean and safe level.
The attitude to smoking is always divided. The pro-smoking group insists the relaxation feeling that only cigarettes can bring, while those who it highlight the harmful effects to the body.However, the decision as to whether to smoke or not should be for each individual to make. Banning it as a whole may first be highly impractical, and second, it can bring negative effects to societies (e.g., black markets).
The most direct solution to this issue is to provide smoking area that can handle the needs of smokers while preventing passive smoke. A smoking area with an effective purification system can capture and stop the spread of the cigarette smoke, meanwhile filter all hazardous gases and particles to release pure air for the environment.
Thus,“should smoking be banned” should not be an issue anymore. Instead, we should shift our focus and effort to build up effective smoking areas to satisfy both the needs for smokers and non-smokers, while preventing the spread of passive smoke.
Secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure causes lung cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases in non-smoking adults and children. To combat the issue, there are increasingly strict regulations on public smoking and smoking laws that prohibit smoking in all indoor areas of a venue are fully implemented in most of the European, North American and Australian continents.
For example in the US, the number of states (including DC) with smoking laws that prohibit smoking in indoor areas of work sites, restaurants, and bars increased from zero in 2000 to 26 in 2010. However, regional disparities remain in policy adoption, with no southern state having adopted a smoke-free law that prohibits smoking in all three venues.
Generally, smoking laws that can completely prohibit smoking in private-sector workplaces, restaurants and bars are considered comprehensive. These three venues are selected because they are a major source of SHS exposure for non-smoking employees and the public. On the other hand, some states have adopted a more realistic approach by enacting smoking laws with less stringent restrictions. These include the provisions of restricting smoking to designated areas or to separately ventilated areas.
Employers concerned about their employees may be able to improve their health and help them be more productive by creating tobacco-free workplaces. However, while a smoke-free working area is may help improve the overall well-being of the employees, making the workplace completely tobacco-free can also bring some negative impacts.
Obviously, a smoke-free policy in the workplace requires smokers to modify habits that will cause inconvenience to the smoking employees. Also, if the policy is not properly managed, smokers may be disproportionately absent from work stations that will hamper the general productivity. Additional costs may incur if outside shelters are constructed.
For this reason, many employers prefer to have a compromised smoking policy in the workplace, which is to install indoor separately ventilated area. This solution allows smoking and non-smoking employees to socialize and work together without spreading the passive smoke. Thus, no one will be exposed to any health risks and this helps creates a better social environment in the workplace. In addition, the running times will be shorter with a smoke cabin nearby. The corporate image can also be enhanced since there are no dirty entrances or clusters of smokers outside the workplace.
Facing with increasing stringent smoking policies at the airports, smoking is basically prohibited in most of the terminal buildings. However, an airport that fail to provide smoking facilities may risk itself to a lower international ranking and deficient customer services.
Travelling smoker may go through security too early and find out that there is nowhere to relieve their cravings and end up with several hours without a cigarette. In some cases, they may even have to go for a sneaky smoke in a toilet that can set of the fire alarm and get the airport evacuated.
The fact is around 1/4 to 1/3 of the world’s adult population (i.e. 1 billion people) are smokers and refusing to provide any airport smoking lounge is neglecting the needs of a large amount of its users, by doing so the airport is also providing bad customer service which must reflect on the general standing of the airport.
Generally smoking travelers plan long trips around airports with smoking lounges. It is time for some of the large airports to handle the smoking policy with more considerations and start providing their customers with the facilities they deserve.