Cigarette breaks may soon be completely stubbed out for all council workers, as Nottinghamshire County Council has threatened to discipline workers caught smoking whilst at work.
Although the rule has been in place for some time enforcing it has not been a priority, the council admits.
The idea is to clamp down on council workers caught smoking in uniform or near any council-run precincts to improve the general health of the workforce.
In addition to stopping cigarette break, the authority and the police are working together to enforce a compulsory fine for dropping cigarette ends on the floor in public places.
The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 made a fixed fine of £50, if paid within 10 days, for this offence. The amount can go up if left unpaid. The matter can also be referred to court if the fine is ignored.
Top 7 Facts about smoking
- There are approximately 10.3 million smokers in the UK
- 90% of the price of the cheapest packet of cigarettes in the UK is tax
- 100 million deaths were caused by tobacco in the 20th century
- 80,000 jobs depend on tobacco eg. retailers
- Ammonia is used in cigarettes – it is also found in cleaning fluids
- Tar is deposited in the lungs with every breath of cigarette smoke taken. Tar causes cancer and damages your lungs
- Smoking is the biggest cause of death and illness in the United Kingdom
Jo Marshall, a Public Health Manager working for Nottinghamshire County Council, warns whilst smoking is harmful, passive smoking carries even greater risks.
This is because those inhaling second-hand smoke are often unaware of the damage it causes.
“Second hand smoke has 4000 chemicals in it like arsenic and cynide”
Brian Fitzpatrick, a service conditions officer at the Nottingham branch of Unison, supports all staff and members of the trade union. As the ban falls under his jurisdiction he carried out some research to find how Unison members would react.
Following these results, it now seems likely a stronger ban will be put in place within Nottingham and soon.