Since smoking was previously not allowed inside any county building, presumably employees will go back to smoking in their vehicle or designated smoking area outside.
The Indoor Smoking Act (ISA), New Hampshire’s statewide ban of smoking became effective on September 17, 2007. The ban is applicable to some workplaces, restaurants, bars, hospitals, public educational facilities and a variety of other places.
In 2006, the US Surgeon General released a report entitled The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke. "On the basis of this review, it is clear that banning smoking from the workplace is the only effective way to ensure that exposures are not occurring. Despite reductions in workplace smoking, significant worker safety issues remain that only smoking bans can address. The home remains the most serious venue for secondhand smoke exposure."
My personal opinion, and this is coming from a Respiratory Therapist of 36 years, is that smoking any tobacco product is bad for your health, and there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure. I have known patients with crippling and deadly tobacco related disease who only inhaled second hand smoke from a spouse, and never lit a cigarette in their lives. Most others that made the choice to smoke have experienced extremely severe limitations on their ability to function and perform just about any task that requires any level of exertion. All ultimately succumb to the many smoking related diseases and chronic conditions that smoking tobacco causes. Its not a pretty sight.
Speaking now as a taxpayer, we are providing very generous health insurance benefits to our county employees, better than the vast majority of the taxpayers paying for it. Smoking causes disease and disability and death. The cost to care for these patients is extremely high and in the end, we all end up paying for it. Much of it could be avoided if people would just quit smoking.
So where do I stand on the county smoking policy? No smoking on the county complex. Period. It was a bad decision to rescind the ban and I sense that the new commissioners bowed to some pressure from employees who were not happy about it. You want to work for the county, you don't smoke on county property. The threat of people walking and finding other jobs because they can't smoke on breaks , should not drive making sound and logical decision by the commissioners. There are many private employers that ban smoking on their property and it is time for the public sector to get on board.