Textile Workers and Smoking – Staying Smoke-Free
Although most businesses ensure and enforce a smoke-free workplace, it does not always include regulations concerning those who smoke during breaks. Many textile companies have a designated room for smoke breaks, or an area outside that employees may retire to light up. These businesses are still under the assumption that as long as no one is actively smoking inside the building, or remaining in the designated area, that the workplace is safe from the dangers of tobacco smoke. This could not be further from the truth.
Second-hand smoke is the byproduct of smoking cigarettes. It carries the same dangers of smoking directly. Second-hand smoke is considered to be an airborne contaminant. It contains thousands of toxic chemicals. Smoking does not only affect the individual that is smoking directly, but its byproduct, second-hand smoke, is also unsafe for anyone in the near vicinity. Smoking is the culprit behind numerous physical illnesses – from asthma and chronic bronchitis, to blood and lung cancer. When second-hand smoke is unleashed into the air of an indoor break room, compounded daily, everyone in the building is eventually exposed. In addition, fabric will also be affected.
Third-hand smoke is the name given to the residue of smoke. This forms every time cigarette smoke is exhaled, as well as every time a cigarette is even lit. While second-hand smoke exposure is usually granted more exposure, third-hand smoke can be just as dangerous. Third-hand smoke clings to skin, hair, and clothing. This is a detriment, especially for textile companies. As someone who smoked enters the building, these chemicals can reenter the air, making their way around a room and settling on surfaces and fabrics. This can lead to a chemical contamination of all products. This residue also compounds over time. This causes a buildup, which may lead to staining or scent contamination of fabrics and other materials.
Smoking also leads to more sick days. According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, “Smoking showed a large positive effect on the annual number of sick leaves. Hence, the results suggest that the gains to preventing and/or reducing smoking, in terms of reduced production losses, may be large.” This study asserts that putting forth efforts to smoking cessation in the workplace can save money, and increase the production value of those who smoke. What is left unsaid, is that sick days are also taken by those who do not smoke. The outcome of second and third-hand smoke may also lead those who do not smoke to be sicker more often.
Increasing Your Company’s Productivity and Saving Money
Smoking cessation campaigns in the workplace can lead to savings in materials, savings due to less sick days, and will increase productivity. This will lead to more revenue, and increasing profit margins. There are many products available without a prescription, and can be used safely during working hours. Nicotine gums can be used effectively to curb cravings, and patches can be worn to the same effect. It would be less expensive for textile companies to make these products available to employees in the long run, rather than providing smoking areas.
For more motivation to quit smoking once and for all, visit The Real Cost of Smoking.
Read more about the effects cigarette smoke has on the human body at The Effects of Smoking.
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