Did you know that second-hand smoke has been proven, scientifically, to put that person at risk of getting lung cancer more than someone who has never been exposed to it, by up to 25%? According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the majority of this exposure occurs either at the workplace or in the home.
People can also be affected by the majority of the public places such as bars, restaurants, casinos, parks and even in vehicles, their website has some further information about how to avoid this happening to you.
Often people don’t notice when they are smoking next to someone else who is a non-smoker, so it may not be entirely their fault, but those who smoke need to be wary of where they are doing it and if there are children around. However, this is something that may or may not be able to be implemented in most places especially offices, but not everyone will necessarily do it proactively.
The Smoke-Free Law
Because people may or may not be considerate enough when smoking around others in public areas, why take the chance? This is why there has been a nation-wide solution that has been implemented in the UK, that of the “smoke-free law”. This is a law that was implemented in the UK after having seen the results or research regarding secondhand smoke and the negative effects it has on those around smokers especially in workplaces.
The law, which was introduced in 2007, made it illegal to smoke in any public enclosure not meant for smoking, including a ban on smoking in public transport, inside restaurants and bars unless in a designated area, and also the placing of no-smoking signs all over public buildings. If the law is broken there can be hefty fines of up to £2500. As a smoker, or even a non-smoker, it is good to abide by the rules laid out by this law and if you’re not sure what they are, you can find them here: http://www.smokefreeengland.co.uk/what-do-i-do/quick-guide/#
Other Solutions That Buildings Can Implements
Besides the Smoke-Free Law solution, there are other things that building management or those in the construction or architecture industry can encourage in their designs, and this is the inclusion of a designated smoking area outside their building. If you cannot stop people from smoking, at least you can confine them to one space.
Having something as efficient as a smoking shelter where smokers can go to puff their tobacco or vapes, can keep it confined to one area and not affect those who dislike it. The good news is that many office buildings have been implementing those and they have so far been working successfully, even encouraging people not to smoke due to the hassle of going inside one and coming out smelling of tobacco.
There are tons of suppliers now that have mushroomed up because of the positive results seen by these structures, for example, Langley Design, which creates and supplies them to any space where necessary. They can also be made using different materials from wood to metal with polycarbonate roofing and glass panes around it. It looks like a bicycle shelter but for people and partly enclosed.
There can be many types depending on the aesthetics of the buildings, some of the options are mentioned below:
Malford Smoking Shelter – made of polycarbonate roofing and metal or steel framework stilts with a few glass panes around it. The glass can be powder coated or left clear depending on preference.
The Sheldon Hexagonal Shelter – These are much bigger than most because they include a proper seating area with a canopy on the top and a treated red wooden exterior frame, all the materials used are typically weatherproof and sizes can get up to 6000mm widths.
Sheldon buggy – This is a very simple structure that looks almost like a bus stop shelter, open in the front and closed on all three sides. These were initially created for schools that needed space for a ‘buggy’, hence the name. but it works perfectly as a smoking shelter now too.
Sheldon Canopy – This is also another popular choice because it is simple, and effective, and easy to put up. One can also add tables and chairs below it and can accommodate either a smoking area or an eating space for workers. Usually made of 6 legs, and 3 posts which allow for clear space underneath and are not covered on the sides.
There you have it, a few options to choose from if you’re looking for a way to accommodate those employees that need a bit of time to relax and enjoy their cigarettes.