Nicotine abuse is an issue affecting the profitability of businesses and the environment at workplaces. Employers are insisting on measures that will help them make the workplaces free from smoking of tobacco so as to make their businesses more productive.
Employers in US imposing ban on smokers:
Increasing numbers of employers in US are rejecting the applications of candidates who smoke. They are abiding by the laws framed by the government for the purpose and are not hiring who they find to be smokers. To know whether the prospective hired is smoker, they conduct tests. Those who are found positive for smoking are not offered employment.
Nicotine test helps them to detect smokers – instantly:
Employers apply different techniques to tackle the issue of smoking. These include testing for tobacco (nicotine) by different methods. These tests are helpful to identify if the applicant really smokes tobacco or not. Generally, a nicotine test can be conducted using urine, saliva or hair follicle samples. Employers use any or a combination of these techniques.
Benefits of establishing smoke-free environment:
A smoke-free environment improves productivity of the employees and reduces health insurance costs. Employers find smoke-free workplace beneficial on the following grounds.
Increased productive hours:
A no-smoking environment results in higher number of productive hours than in a smoking permitted one. Employees not used to smoking concentrate better on work and hence there is greater number of productive hours. They are healthy and take few sick leaves.
Whereas, smoking employees take unauthorized breaks to smoke, which is waste of productive time.
As healthy employees are more focused on productivity, there is cordial relation between employees as well as employers. Such workplaces boost the employees’ morale and work potential and encourage talented workforce to work for more number of hours. Employers too reciprocate and get prompted to take positive action on any issue.
Shows professional approach of the business:
A smoke-free workplace, places the employer’s image in a positive view among the employees, peers, government, and social groups. The welfare measures taken serve as an example for professional approach taken by the employer. This will enhance mutual trust between the employer and employees.
Reduces healthcare costs:
Following a no-smoking policy at workplace would result in less healthcare costs. This is because, the employees are healthy and need lower health maintenance expenses – be it insurance premium or medical emergencies. These factors are known to cause increased medical expenses to employers in case of employees habituated to smoking. Studies show that, post non-smoking policy there is remarkable decline in the tobacco caused heart attacks, making current smokers to quit (Source: Forbes, 12 June, 2015).
Taking up nicotine tests to enforce a smoking-free environment at workplace is beneficial. The measures, of course, entail costs to the employers.