Tips for Working with Management

Here are some tips on how employees can approach management about becoming smoke free.

Have management survey the customers about whether they prefer a smoke-free environment. If the customers or employees overwhelmingly prefer a smoke-free environment, the management will be more likely to consider making a change. For work places exempt from local or state laws, you might discuss a phase in approach where certain days of the week are smoke-free.

Ask management how much money is spent on stocking and cleaning ashtrays, repainting, washing windows and walls, repairing burn holes, and other maintenance costs related to smoking. Insurance costs may be lowered as well when the establishment becomes smoke-free.

Educate management on how secondhand smoke affects workers and others, leading to increased healthcare costs and increased absenteeism. Visit the education center at

The Centers for Disease Control has produced an excellent booklet for businesses called "Save Lives, Save Money, Make Your Business Smoke-Free." You can download a pdf or see the CDC's tips on taking action in the workplace at

Sample Letter

I am writing to tell you what it is like to work in a smoke-filled environment. I work an average of eight-hour shifts in a smoke-filled workplace and all the toxic chemicals I breathe all day from tobacco smoke. It is taking a toll on my health and I have been experiencing breathing difficulties since I started working here. In addition, my clothes smell and my laundry and dry cleaning bills are higher than ever.

Sincerely, Your name

Working towards creating a safe and healthy workplace free of tobacco smoke.