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News - 26 January 2007

Is your Business prepared for the Smoking ban?

Smoking in the workplace becomes illegal on 1 July 2007, and this should benefit your health, your business and save you money – now is the time to ask what steps you can take to ensure a smooth transition for yourself and your staff.

Smoking kills one person every five minutes in the UK. More than 600 people die every year as a result of passive smoking at work – that is more than two employed people per day. Smokers tend to take more sick leave than non-smokers and research for Health Canada suggests that the extra costs of employing a smoker could be as much as £1,400 a year.

Promoting a healthy workplace will not only improve quality of life but can also benefit your business by reducing sickness absence, improve job retention, staff morale and efficiency.

Law firms are already urging businesses to review their workplace smoking policies ahead of the ban and to consult with and inform their staff. The local NHS can provide free advice and assistance to help with smoking policies and procedures, and to help businesses prepare for the ban the local NHS Stop Smoking Services are currently offering free smoking cessation workshops.

The courses are run as group or individal sessions and are available for small to large companies. A course consists of six 75 minute sessions over six weeks and can be held in your place of work and at any time of the day to suit your business. Successful programmes have already been held for several local employers, including EDF Energy, American Express, Brighton & Hove City Council and Brighton and Hove Bus Company, with a success rate of 50-80%.

To find out more about the FREE NHS Stop Smoking programmes, contact Mike Dixon on 01273 267397, or email mike.dixon@southdowns.nhs.uk. For advice on updating your smoking policies and procedures, contact Kate Lawson, Primary Care Trust Tobacco Control Co-ordinator, on 01273 545396 or email kate.lawson@bhcpct.nhs.uk.

To read more about the new law and advice see www.smokefreeengland.co.uk


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