South Africa’s new proposed smoking laws will entail smoking at least 10 metres away from public entrances and a zero-tolerance policy on in-door smoking.
BusinessTech reports that while many offices in the country already has a zero-tolerance rule for smoking, its not uncommon for employees to ‘pop out’ for a minute or two to have a quick cigarette, while others continue to work at their desks.
This can lead to some conflict, and a recent case in Japan saw a company award non-smoking employees with six extra vacation days as a way of making amends and incentivising those who continue to smoke.
Researchers in the USA recently estimated that smoking-related illnesses cost over $156 billion in lost productivity, including $5.6 billion as a result of secondhand smoke exposure.
E-cigarette company Halocigs surveyed over 1,000 Americans in various industries as to how they feel about smoke breaks in the workplace, and whether that time should be given to other employees as extra vacation days.
Over 81% of smokers said smoke breaks were fair, while only a quarter of non-smokers agreed. Perceptions of these breaks varied by industry, as well. Over 17% of medical and health care professionals who smoked, themselves, believed smoke breaks were fair.
Other industries with a more favourable opinion toward smoke breaks included wholesale and retail (nearly 15%), hotel, food services, and hospitality (about 12%), and education (over 11%).
More than 38% of smokers and nearly 20% of nonsmokers didn’t think nonsmokers deserved any additional vacation days. While roughly 1 in 4 nonsmokers suggested one or two extra vacation days was fair, nearly 42% said nonsmokers should be given between three and five additional vacation days each year.
More smokers (over 16%) than nonsmokers (nearly 14%) indicated nonsmokers should receive seven days or more of additional vacation time.