The usage of traditional cigarettes, cigars or pipes will be banned at employee desks or offices, conference rooms, hallways and elevators beginning next year as informed by the nation’s second biggest tobacco company to its employees on Wednesday.
Though factory floors, cafeterias and fitness centres are already under prohibition for lighting up cigarettes, this new no-smoking policy is expected to go into effect once Reynolds builds indoor smoking areas for those still wanting to light up indoors, spokesman David Howard said.
“We believe it’s the right thing to do and the right time to do it because updating our tobacco use policies will better accommodate both nonsmokers and smokers who work in and visit our facilities,” Howard said. “We’re just better aligning our tobacco use policies with the realities of what you’re seeing in society today.”
However the usage of smokeless tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, moist stuff and pouches of finely milled tobacco called snus (pronounced ‘snoose’) will be allowed by Reynolds.
The use of Eclipse, a cigarette made by Reynolds that uses a carbon tip and heats tobacco after being lit by a lighter will be allowed by the company. Eclipse, which is one of the top-selling brands in the cafeteria at the company’s Winston-Salem, North Carolina, headquarters was first released in the mid 1990s and is in limited distribution.
According to the federal Centres of Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of Reynolds’ 5200 employees that smoke is in line with the smoking rate in the US that is about 18 percent of adults.
Pall Mall cigarettes, Grizzly smokeless tobacco and Vuse branded electronic cigarettes are the subsidiaries of Reynolds American make.
Altria Group Inc., the Richmond, Virginia-based owner of the nation’s biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, doesn’t allow smoking on factory floors and in places like elevators or hallways, said spokesman David Sylvia. Employees with separate offices can smoke in them, but otherwise the company has designated smoking areas in office buildings, conference areas and cafeterias, he said.