Employer Regulation of Off-Duty Smoking: Meeting the Needs of Employers and Employees with Smoking Cessation Programs

Amy H. Moorman

DOI: 10.2190/B3EF-TXW8-AE1V-R0L5


While attempting to reduce costs stemming from debilitative health conditions of their employees, many employers have implemented policies regulating off-duty smoking. Consequently, a majority of the states have passed laws which protect the smoker's right to be free from discrimination. These laws are unsatisfactory due to their uncertain reach and their elevation of smokers to the status of a protected class. Also, employers must have some freedom to strive toward reducing the costs they bear as a result of their employees' smoking habits. However, a tension exists between the needs of employers and the privacy expectations of individuals. Invasive off-duty smoking policies may negatively affect employee attitudes, loyalty, and performance. Smoking cessation programs are a less intrusive means to achieve employers' legitimate goals.

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