Smoking ban fuels action from employers

Employers are using the smoking ban, which has now come into force in England, to encourage more of their employees to kick the habit.

Throughout June, British Airways held stop-smoking seminars twice a day and motivational talks in the workplace, working with provider Icas. It also enlisted the support of the NHS, whose representatives handed out nicotine patches and chewing gum onsite.

Claire Lillywhite-Pinch, customer services duty manager at British Airways, said: “A lot of employees are saying that with the ban [in place] they want to quit, so we are offering extra support.”

Surrey County Council has held two workshops to help staff understand the benefits of stopping smoking and plans to hold more sessions if it receives positive employee feedback. The workshops, which were provided by Employee Advisory Resource, included advice on topics such as hypnotherapy. Post-session support was also available.

Sarah Donnelly, HR business partner, employment practice at the council, said: “We want to be in a position where we can help staff who want to give up.”