Smoking law likely to lead to cigarette break bans in workplace

Employers are set to use this month’s ban on smoking in workplaces in England to launch a crackdown on workers who take cigarette breaks, research has suggested.

A survey of 257 companies by employment law firm Consult GEE has suggested that following the 1 July ban, more than a third now planned to ban smoking breaks altogether.

The ban in England means that smoking in enclosed spaces is now outlawed across the whole of the UK, as bans in Wales and Northern Ireland came into effect in April and Scotland took the plunge last year.

The Consult GEE poll also found that seven out of 10 employers planned to stop staff smoking at the front of their premises.

Smokers could over time even find it much harder to get a foothold on the career ladder, it warned.

North Wales Police’s road policing unit recently published an internal advertisement saying smokers should not apply, while the European Union ruling said an advert by an Irish call centre for non-smokers only did not breach EU discrimination laws.

GPs have been urged to do more to help patients quit smoking, after more than a quarter of smokers polled by Developing Patient Partnerships said they would now smoke even more cigarettes outside of work time and away from banned places

However, a third of smokers said they would also use the 1 July ban as an impetus to quit altogether.

And cancer charity Cancer Research UK has launched a new website to help people to give up.

The site allows would-be-quitters’ family and friends to sponsor their efforts, with all money raised going to the charity.

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