Businesses See Benefits of Smoke- Free Campuses

When you go to work in Nebraska, you work in a no-smoking zone. Nebraska’s Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking in workplaces. But it doesn’t prohibit smoking outside of businesses—which can lead to gatherings of smokers near building entrances, in parking lots or even in vehicles during breaks. The resulting secondhand smoke is annoying and unhealthy for customers, clients and coworkers.
In Sarpy County, more than 40 businesses and organizations have adopted tobacco-free outdoor policies. Tobacco Free Sarpy (TFS) assists businesses that want to establish tobacco-free campuses by providing educational materials for employees and sample policies that can be adapted.
McKinsey Mulroy, Coordinator for TFS, says a tobacco-free campus is good for a business’s bottom line. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lost productivity due to smoking costs more than $500 million annually in Nebraska. “We know that there is no safe amount of secondhand smoke,” said Mulroy. “By eliminating exposure to smoke on workplace campuses we can improve worker health and reduce costs associated with smoking.”
The SAC Federal Credit Union adopted a tobacco-free campus policy in 2012. Human Resources Manager, Allison Malone, says the policy encouraged some employees to quit smoking and they have a cessation program in place to support them. Nelson says a tobacco-free campus is also a visible sign of their commitment to wellness. “It shows our members and the community that we care about their health and the health of our employees,” said Nelson.
At Papillion Manor, Marketing and Admissions Director, Jenny Janovich, says a tobacco-free campus creates a better environment for residents and their families. “Our caregivers work closely with residents and family members who don’t want to smell smoke,” said Janovich. “A smoke-free campus shows respect for our patrons.”
To learn more about Tobacco Free Sarpy and how to encourage or adopt tobacco-free policies for your business, visit TobaccoFreeSarpy.org.

Reprinted with permission by Tobacco Free Sarpy