While the Smoking in Public Places Law helps protect our health in all indoor public and workplaces, some areas continue to put people at risk for the toxic effects of secondhand smoke. In these cases, communities, businesses and organizations often choose to adopt more comprehensive no-smoking rules to protect everyone’s health, both indoors and out.
Due to the small interior space of a car, an increased concentration of toxic secondhand smoke can be produced quickly. That’s why some states – including California, Louisiana, and Arkansas – have already passed laws banning smoking in cars with children present. The Washington State Legislature has considered a similar law as well. Visit the Washington State Legislature’s Web site to find updates on current bills under consideration.
Children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of secondhand smoke in such a small space. Read more to learn about the harmful effects of smoking in cars.
Around Washington state, many local communities have made public parks smoke-free. Parks are natural places to seek no-smoking rules, as they are community centers where people gather to enjoy the benefits of "clean and healthy" air.
Read more to find out what communities have done to clean up the air in their public parks and to see a list of smoke-free parks in the state.
Though the Smoking in Public Places Law is already in place in Washington state, some workplaces have expanded on the smoke-free law with a more comprehensive tobacco-free policy. We all know that eliminating tobacco consumption improves public health and saves lives, but from a business standpoint, studies have shown that healthier employees suffer less absenteeism and file fewer workers’ compensation claims. These employees also cost less to insure and reduce turnover rates.
In January of 2008, the Boeing Company announced that it would be making its U.S.-based operations 100 percent tobacco-free. The policy includes a ban on products such as pipes, cigars, cigarettes, chew, snuff, snus (spitless tobacco) and clove cigarettes. By adopting a tobacco-free workplace policy, Boeing demonstrated its commitment to the health and well being of all its employees.
Here are a few tips for businesses interested in establishing a tobacco-free policy:
- Incorporate feedback from across the company before implementing a tobacco-free policy. Conduct focus groups comprised of both smokers and nonsmokers.
- Several months before implementing the tobacco-free policy, offer tobacco cessation support for employees who choose to quit. Visit www.quitline.com to learn more about tobacco cessation or to find a local quit resource.
- Promote your business going tobacco-free, and inform employees of the change well in advance of implementation.
- Make changes to facilitate a tobacco-free environment. Remove ashtrays, matches, "Smoking Section" signs, and other smoking paraphernalia.
- For local assistance going tobacco-free, contact your county health department.
Last Updated: 09/25/12
This Web site contains information on the revised Clean Indoor Air Act (RCW 70.160). It is not legal advice. This information cannot be considered as a substitute for legal advice from and representation by a qualified attorney.
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