The short answer is because it’s the law. Around the world many governments have passed legislation making it illegal to smoke in most public places including workplaces. Employers are obliged to inform all employees of the law. Signage must be visible and the company policy circulated to all current and new workers. The message is clear – Smoking is banned in the workplace. The reason governments have banned smoking is because of the health risks. Not only is smoking linked directly to premature death but absenteeism, sick leave and incomplete work practices are all linked to the effects of smoking. The whole issue of smoking is seen as an issue of public health. In the current language, smoking has become a matter of health and safety in the workplace. The penalties for non-compliance can apply to the smoker and to their employer. It is an offence to smoke, to not have appropriate signage and to allow smoking to take place in the workplace. Another major reason for banning workplace smoking is to provide all workers, and especially non-smokers, with a smoke-free environment.
While the law does provide for penalties, employers are encouraged to offer employees who smoke advice and opportunity to quit. The good health of all workers is in everyone’s interest.