Promoting Health and Preventing Disease and Injury Through Workplace Tobacco Policies
Various NIOSH criteria documents on individual hazardous industrial agents, from asbestos [NIOSH 1972] through hexavalent chromium [NIOSH 2013a], have included specific recommendations relating to tobacco use, along with other recommendations to eliminate or reduce occupational safety and health risks.
In addition, NIOSH has published two Current Intelligence Bulletins focused entirely on the hazards of tobacco use.
CIB 31, Adverse Health Effects of Smoking and the Occupational Environment, outlined how tobacco use – most commonly smoking – can increase risk, sometimes profoundly, of occupational disease and injury [NIOSH 1979].
In that CIB, NIOSH recommended that smoking be curtailed in workplaces where those other hazards are present and that worker exposure to those other occupational hazards be controlled.
CIB 54, Environmental Tobacco Smoke in the Workplace: Lung Cancer and Other Health Effects, presented a determination by NIOSH that secondhand smoke (SHS) causes cancer and cardiovascular disease [NIOSH 1991].
In that CIB, NIOSH recommended that workplace exposures to SHS be reduced to the lowest feasible concentration, emphasizing that eliminating tobacco smoking from the workplace is the best way to achieve that.
This current CIB 67, Promoting Health and Preventing Disease and Injury Through Workplace Tobacco Policies, augments those two earlier NIOSH CIBs.
Consistent with the philosophy embodied in the NIOSH Total Worker Health™ Program [NIOSH 2013b], this CIB is aimed not just at preventing occupational injury and illness related to tobacco use, but also at improving the general health and well-being of workers.