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Here's what you need to know about smoking in the workplace

by , 05 August 2015
The opposing viewpoints around smoking have sparked debate for decades. But it doesn't matter what your personal viewpoint is. Here is what you need to know, from a legal point of view, about smoking in the workplace...

Legislation around smoking in the workplace:

As mentioned in Health & Safety Advisor, smoking in the workplace is not regulated by labour law, but rather by the Tobacco Products Control Act (TPCA). It is in place to protect the health of non-smoking staff and offers no protection to smoking staff members. Through this act, you are obliged to take necessary steps in protecting your non-smoking staff. 

Catering for smoking employees:

You are under no obligation, whatsoever, to cater for smokers in the workplace. 

However, if you so wish, you can designate an area for smoking. But keep in mind that there are very specific criteria that must be met when doing so. 

Changes to the TPCA:

A number of important changes have been made to the Tobacco Products Control Act that make restrictions even tighter for public places and designated smoking areas.

These restrictions even include an increase in penalties for non-compliance!

So don't wait to be caught out! Learn more about them.
Is your designated smoking area at least 5m away from non-smoking employees? If not, then you better get R50,000  ready to pay a non-compliance penalty

Your obligations under the TPCA:

There are seven vital regulations – under section 7 of the Tobacco Products Control Act – that you and your employees must comply with when it comes to smoking in the workplace. Click here to find out what they are.

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