Iowa’s Smoke Free Air Act, which will celebrate its 11th anniversary in 2019, prohibits smoking in places of employment; however, the prohibition does not extend to smokeless tobacco. That means products like chewing tobacco or e-cigarettes are legal to use unless a business implements a tobacco and nicotine free policy.
According to the journal Tobacco Control, smokers miss about 2.6 more days of work each year than non-smokers. Additionally, the American Cancer Society estimates tobacco-related health care costs and lost work productivity equal $289 billion dollars in the U.S.
The decision by an employer to become a tobacco and nicotine free workplace benefits both the company and its employees. “Tobacco users who want to quit have more of a reason to do so in a supportive environment,” said Andrea Corcoran, Wellness and Benefits Coordinator for Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI). “A study by the Society for Human Resource Management also found employee engagement and morale is improved by a healthy workforce.”
LSI is the most recent organization to adopt a complete and comprehensive tobacco and nicotine free policy. LSI currently provides services to all 99 counties in Iowa from 28 office locations. This new policy includes each location across the state as well as the vehicles used for business purposes. LSI’s updated policy also includes e-cigarettes and nicotine products not approved by the FDA for tobacco cessation.
ASAC congratulates LSI in updating their tobacco and nicotine policy to assist in improving the health and well-being of their employees and visitors. ASAC can assist with implementing a tobacco and nicotine free policy at other area businesses as well. Free resources and signage are available.
In Clinton and Jackson Counties, contact Candace Seitz at ASAC at 563-243-2124 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.