Smoke Free Workplace Policy for Your Company

Employees smoking in the outside designated smoking area away from doors according to the smoke free workplace policy.
••• PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty Images

Whereas in earlier years in workplaces, smoking was commonplace in offices, conference rooms, lunch rooms, restrooms, and everywhere else in the workplace, this has changed. People became increasingly aware of the negative impact of smoking on health.

More and more employees quit smoking. The employees who had never smoked grew increasingly vocal about the smell of smoke and the potential negative effect of second-hand smoke on health. So, employers were faced with a dilemma. 

In the early days of employees becoming vocally negative about smoking, in many workplaces more employees, valued employees, smoked than not. Employers started out by building attractive smoking areas for employees or designating one room as a smokers' lounge.

This made no one happy as non-smokers usually felt like they needed to walk through a cloud of smoke to get to work. This was because employers wanted the smoking shelters as close to the job as possible so employees took less time for their smoke breaks.

Employees were also increasingly vocal about the fact that employees who smoke took more breaks than non-smokers. Workplaces became less and less friendly to smoking employees. Areas outside, away from doors and entrances became the designated smoking areas, or employees could smoke in their cars on strictly enforced breaks.

Increasingly though, employees who smoke became a minority in many workplaces. Employers tired of enforcing policies about how far from an entryway employees could smoke. And, state and local legislators decided employees and customers had the right to clean air and smoke-free businesses. 

For example, Michigan residents and visitors became protected from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke in all restaurants, bars, and businesses (including hotels and motels), due to Public Act 188 of 2009, Michigan's Smoke-Free Air Law.

Know and understand your state and local laws when you determine your smoking policy and whether or where employees are allowed to smoke.

This is our policy recommendation.

Smoke Free Workplace Policy

To protect and enhance our indoor air quality and to contribute to the health and well-being of all employees, the (Company Name) shall be entirely smoke-free effective (date). Additionally, effective (date), the use of all tobacco and smoking products, including chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes (E-cigarettes), is banned from the (Company) workplace, except as designated in this policy.

Smoking is prohibited in all of the enclosed areas within the (Company) work sites, without exception. This includes common work areas, the manufacturing facilities, classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, private offices, hallways, the lunchrooms, stairs, restrooms, employer-owned or leased vehicles, and all other enclosed facilities.

The only designated smoking area in (Company) is outdoors, on the far west end of the building, within the fenced-in area. No one may smoke along any pathway or walkway leading to or from the designated smoking area, nor may employees smoke at the picnic tables nor outdoors in any of the grassy areas or the parking lots.

Additionally, employees may smoke in their personal vehicles, but the smoke and tobacco products must be completely contained within the vehicle. It is not acceptable that either smoking or non-smoking employees are subjected to smoke that they must walk through to reach their vehicle or any other destination on the (Company) premises.

While the (Company) makes these areas available to smokers, it in no way has any legal responsibility to do so. Employees who choose to use these smoking areas do so at their own risk.

No additional breaks are allowed to any employee who smokes.

Finally, smokers and users of tobacco products must dispose of the remains in the proper containers. This helps to keep a neat and clean environment for all employees and our visiting partners and customers.

Failure to comply with all of the components of this policy will result in disciplinary action that can lead up to and include employment termination.

I acknowledge receipt of and understanding of the (Your Company) Smoke Free Workplace Policy. The policy is effective (Date) until further notice.


Employee Signature


Employee Name (Please Print)



Date: ___________________________