Smokefree Workplace Idea Exchange

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Walter Martin writes: I read somewhere on one of your pages that there is a OSHA complaint form I can file, anonymously, about the smoke in my work environment. Can you tell me where I can get hold of this? Thanks.

Dr. Jonathan Cunitz writes: Elliot - I am trying to get in contact with the company that publishes The Maxwell Consumer Report, which publishes annual info on tobacco market share. Do you have a reference for this? Thanks.

Leslie Anderson writes: I work at Target in Lexington, Kentucky, where we proclaimed ourselves a smoke-free workplace about 2 years ago. The extent of our enforcement of our conviction regrettably only carries as far as a lite sneeze, as we have signs posted on the doors entering the store, and on a select few posts throughout the store. I have on countless occasions, approached our guests(customers) who were smoking, notifying them that our store is a "smoke-free zone", and would they please extinguish their smoking material. Many become angry, as if offended(???), and just last week, a couple abandoned a cart-full of merchandise and chose leaving the store with a lit cigarette over shopping without one. Yesterday, while I was having a most productive day amidst the Christmas shopping season, I was overwhelmed by the familiar blanket of smoke. I arose, and tried to pursue it, but to no avail. Naturally, my eyes were watery, and my heart pounding, so I took it upon myself to locate the store leader, and notify him/her of the issue. I had hoped that they might instruct the operator to make an announcement over the loud speaker, reminding guests that we were a smoke-free zone. I shouldn't have been surprised, as both of them(leaders) were smokers, but they basically "blew me off". I told them that other Target stores made such announcements, but they denied such a claim, even though I have been working when such an announcement was made in our store last year. I've decided to tackle this issue from another angle as I see I'm getting nowhere with these people who are supposed to be interested in our overall well-being. I am planning on attending the monthly safety meeting the third Monday of this month, and every meeting following as I wish to make them see this as a safety issue, not just a personal one. My roommate works with me at Target, and has often complained of his asthma being aggravated by inconsiderate smokers. My plea to you is to send any information that might make a dent in this issue. You may/may not have seen television footage of the banners being flown over Fayette Mall across the street from our Lexington Target, discouraging smokers from shopping there when the mall first banned smoking, but I can assure you that this will not be an easy battle. All that I want is for them to concede and to allow an announcement to be made. A small concession as I see it.

Michael McAllister writes: I was curious as to whether you would know what the procedure of eliminating smoking from a public break room is? I just moved to Arizona and I work at a Safeway where smoking is allowed in the poorly venitlated break room. As a result I often get headaches and sore throats from the second hand smoke. i was told that a complaint to the correct office can result in the loss of smoking privelages, but I have no idea who to contact and if you can give me any advice, I would certainly appreciate it.

Mikael Wolfe writes: Dear Mr. Essman, I am working in Japan and am trying to find statistics on smoking here. All I know is it's terrible. There are virtually no restrictions in the workplace, and I've been breathing tons of second-hand smoke. I"ve been trying to do searches on the web for statistics on cigarette use and consumption in Japan, but cannot find anything. Could you suggest anything for me? Mikael Wolfe, Coordinator for International Relations, Himi International Association, Himi, Toyama 935, Japan,

Peter Singer writes: I would greatly appreciate knowing how to receive the January, 1996 Florida court decision Broin vs. Philip Morris concerning the lawsuit by 60,000 flight attendants claiming damages by second hand smoke.

Philippe Guinet writes: I live in France and I write scripts for cartoons . I am looking for "companies" or associations who would like to produce short films against tobacco.

John Flynn writes: One thing I would love to find is a comprehensive list of tobacco industry campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures. If you could help me in any way I would appreciate it.

A Friend in Tennessee writes: The US Supreme Court refused to hear a case involving smokers who were barred from applying for jobs with the City of Miami. On Jan. 8, l996, the denial of the petition for review upheld an April 20, l995, holding of Florida's highest court in favor of Adm. Reg. 1-46--that all job applicants must sign an affidavit stating that they have not used tobacco products for one year before seeking a job with the city. The case is the first to address off-the-job smoking as part of a screening process for picking new employees. The City of Miami argued that smokers pose higher health costs! [taken from an article in the Government Employee Relations Report 1-15-96] If our young people are interested in their future careers, they should not smoke!!!!!!!!!! Thank God our two teenage sons hate smoking. We watch with deep sadness every day as David, my husband/their father, smokes his life away. He has smoke for 36 years, since the age of 12. He tries to stop, but has never made it past three hours! He is extremely thin and we know, if he gets sick, it won't take any time at all. The only silver lining in this cloud is David's addiction made our sons HATE cigarettes at a very early age. Someday all the tobacco executives and supporters should have to face their victims and explain why they supported such a horrible drug. Maybe, someday they will. Thank you for all your good work.

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