Numbers of Smokers
1. The highest recorded level of smoking among men: 82% in 1948.
2. Smoking prevalence among women peaked at 45% in 1966.
3. Overall smoking prevalence among adults (16+) has fallen steadily since the early 1970’s, but has been faster among men.
1. This rose steadily among men from 1890 until 1945 when it reached a peak of 12 cigarettes per adult male per day.
2. Male cigarette consumption was measured as 4.6 per day in 1992.
3. Female measurable cigarette consumption rose to a maximum of 7 cigarettes per day in 1974. In 1992 it was measured as 3.9 cigarettes per day.
Cigarette Smoking and Socio-Economic Group
There is a strong link between cigarette smoking and socio-economic group. In 1992: 36% of men and 33% of women in manualoccupation smoked, compared to 22% of men and 23% of women in non manual occupations. There appears to be a slower decline among manual groups.
Attitudes to Smoking
1. 60% of the population do not smoke
2. 77% of people (smokers and non-smokers) support a ban on cigarette advertising.
3. Smokers have been a minority in the population since 1976.
4. Over 80% of smokers agree that smoking a bad for their health.
5. Approximately 70% agree their smoking might cause symptoms in their children.
6. Survey of 10-14 year olds found that 6 out of 10 children asked their mother not to smoke, non asked their father.
7. Over 50% of adults would like a total ban on smoking on public transport and, in public places (WHICH).
8. Over 50% of young people in Sunderland feel that smoking is considered to be an anti-social behaviour.
Legal and Contractual Issues
Employers required by law to protect employees from health hazards. This applied to office workers and office accommodation in schools. Schools and governors have a responsibility to comply with this. The law requires and enables employers to provide employees with a healthy environment.
1974 Health and Safety at Work Act
This is the responsibility of the Local Authority. Section 2 (2) of the Act places a specific duty on an employer: To provide and maintain a safe working environment which is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe, without risks to health and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work. This act could be applied to a situation where an employer fails to take action to protect employees from passive smoking.
1992 Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations
Regulation 25 – place a duty on employers to provide suitable sufficient rest facilities at readily accessible places. Rest rooms and areas must include suitable arrangements to protect non-smokers from discomfort caused by tobacco smoke.
1996 Workplace Regulations
Require that every workroom should be ventilated with adequate supplies of fresh or pure air. Employers have a common law responsibility to provide a safe workplace and system of work. This means that an employee can sue their employer for negligence if exposure to passive smoke at work damages their health.
1. A school policy on smoking can and should be made clear in any job description and discussed at interview.
2. The introduction of a smoking policy should not lead to discrimination which infringes equal opportunities practice.
3. Breaches of a smoking policy need to be kept separate from disciplinary issues relating to a teachers’ performance of professional duties.
Breathing in other people’s smoke is called passive smoking. The non-smoker breathes sidestream smoke from the burning tip of the cigarette and mainstream smoke that has been inhaled and then exhaled by the smoker.
Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals in the form of particles and gases. Many potentially toxic gases are present in higher concentrations in sidestream smoke than in mainstream smoke. Nearly 85% of the smoke in a room results from sidestream smoke.
How are passive smokers affected?
Passive smoking or being in a smoky atmosphere will make hair and clothes smell unpleasant. Passive smoking may also cause eye irritation, headache, cough, sore throat, dizziness and nausea. Adults with asthma can experience a decline in lung function when exposed.
Passive smokers are at increased risk of some smoking-related diseases, including lung cancer and heart disease.
1. Passive smoking is a health hazard. In non-smokers it can cause lung cancer, heart disease, smaller babies in pregnant women and may aggravate respiratory problems and allergies.
2. Section 2 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) states that employers have to ensure, so far as is reasonably practical, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees.
3. Employers must protect employees from the discomfort of smoke in rest-rooms or rest areas from 1993 in new buildings and 1996 in existing buildings. Separate rest facilities for pregnant women are also required from 1993.
4. Passive Smoking is unpleasant and affects non-smokers in many ways. Many non-smokers believe they have a right to a smoke-free environment.
5. The introduction of a smoking policy can be a positive move in terms of a healthier workforce, improved staff communication, lower cleaning and decoration costs and a healthy, up-to-date image for your organisation.