Implementing a smoking policy could not be simpler. All the information required to implement an effective policy is in this document. By following the simple step by step approach, the process is broken down into manageable sections.
If you are unsure or require assistance at any point, Health@Work will provide additional free guidance.
What are the benefits of implementing a policy?
Many of the benefits have already been mentioned in the ‘Why implement a smoking policy’ section.
Making your workplace a cleaner, healthier environment will not only improve the health of your employees and visitors, it will reduce the amount of smoke related damage to furniture, carpets and interior decorations.
This in turn will lead to a better business image, reduce potential frictions between smokers and non-smokers (due to equal work breaks) and will ensure that legal, health and safety, duties are upheld.
9 simple steps to implementing your policy
1) Set up a working group
Setting up and enrolling the correct people to the work group is essential to the success of the policy planning and implementation.
The working group should include a variety of employees, union/ staff representatives, health and safety staff and senior management to provide balanced representation. The group should aim to include a mixture of smokers and non-smokers. In a very small workplace a workgroup may not be practical but you should always consult with your employees.
2) Consulting with employees
It is important to consult employees about how the policy will be implemented, timescales, assistance offered etc. at several stages throughout the development and implementation stages (As the smoking policy could be seen as a change to terms and conditions). There are many different ways that this can be done and will vary between workplaces. Some examples are:
Surveys/ Questionnaires (see download below)
You can download a copy of a sample workplace smoking questionnaire devised by Health@Work in Adobe PDF format:
Sample Workplace Smoking Questionnaire
3) Devise a draft policy
The working group should work on producing the draft policy using the information gathered from the staff consultation (discussion, survey etc.). This information will be used to decide on policy details and contents. The policy will differ from workplace to workplace and will need to consider workplace facilities, whether smoking will be allowed in a certain area, where smoking is not allowed, disciplinary procedures and assistance/ support available for people wishing to quit smoking.
Health@Work can provide further assistance, if required, in the production of your policy. Contact this email address for further details.
Sample Workplace Smoking Policy
4) Circulate draft policy
The policy should be circulated to all staff members and a reasonable deadline given for the staff to comment on the contents. Consideration of those on leave or sick should be made.
5) Revise policy
At this stage the policy should be amended having taken into consideration the comments and input from the staff.
6) Policy Implementation date
Once the policy has been amended and agreed, an implementation date must be given. This is usually 12 weeks but can be amended for a stepped approach. (i.e. smoking allowed in designated room only for a further 12 weeks, then disallow after this time) or for a shorter time period.
7) Promote implementation date
Prior to the policy implementation date it is important to promote the day. Some methods of promoting the date could be using posters, signage, displaying a smoking policy, leaflets, health promotion, emails and attachments to pay slips.
8) Offer smokers help to stop smoking
Asking people to stop smoking or change their smoking routine with Snus Nicotine can be difficult for some people. It is important to provide as much support for these people as possible to assist in the transition. Some businesses offer time off for staff to attend smoking cessation group meetings (amount of time to be negotiated), arrange for smoking cessation workers to visit the workplace (free service) and/or pay prescription charges for nicotine replacement treatments (patches, gum, etc.)
9) Monitor and Review policy
Having taken all the time and effort to get to this stage it is essential to keep the momentum and make the policy work. The staff responsible for monitoring the policy must ensure all parties work to the policy, at all times. The smoking issue should continue to be discussed and promoted. Enrolling onto ‘NO Smoking Day : 10th March’ and using the free pack is one method for continuing promotion.
It is good practice to review the smoking policy at 2 yearly intervals or if a reasonable request is made by an employee or representative.