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Exposed: The health risks of letting your employees smoke flavoured cigarettes

by , 25 April 2013
Does the smoke wafting around your designated smoking area suddenly smell good? It could mean your employees are now smoking vanilla, chocolate or cherry flavoured cigarettes. While they smell better, they actually put your employees at an even higher health risk than smoking normal cigarettes due to their chromium levels. Here's how to protect your employees' health if they smoke in a designated smoking area.

Worried about air pollution affecting your health? You should be. 
Some of the highest levels of poisonous gases in the air are found above Witbank, in Mpumalanga, and the surrounds, says The TimesLive. 
The levels of chromium were so high that a European Union research team's instruments were unable to take accurate measurements.
And excessive chromium inhalation or oral exposure can produce effects on the liver and kidney as well as increase the risk of lung cancer, says the United States' Environmental Protection Agency.
But if you allow your employees to smoke in designated areas, their health's at just as much risk.
Flavoured cigarettes expose your employees to chromium!
Because while you can ban your employees from smoking in the workplace to ensure smokers don't affect the health and safety of the rest of your employees, most employees set up a designated smoking areas instead.
And certain flavoured cigarettes, which are now becoming more popular, also contain chromium, putting your employees' health at more risk than before.
You're legally obliged to tell your employees they're putting their health at risk by smoking in a designated smoking area
That's why you have to let your employees know they're putting their health at risk by displaying the message: 'Smoking of tobacco products is harmful to your health and to the health of children, pregnant or breastfeeding women and non-smokers. For help to quit, phone (011) 720 3145' (the number for National Council Against Smoking) at the entrance to your designated smoking area, written in black letters, at least 2cm in height, 1.5cm in breadth, on a white background, says The Health and Safety Bulletin
The easiest way to protect your company's non-smokers from chromium exposure
And to protect your non-smokers, proposed changes to the Tobacco Products Control Act (TPCA) will mean you need to ensure your designated smoking area is NOT in a partially enclosed area or within 10m of a window, ventilation inlet, doorway or entrance to a public place. 
If you don't comply, your employees' health could suffer and you could be faced with a R50,000 fine, says Kerusha Narothan on FSPBusiness.
Make sure your designated smoking area complies to limit the health risk of chromium exposure in your workplace today.

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