Council touts work at home smoking ban

Landskrona municipality in southern Sweden is mulling introducing a ban on staff smoking during working hours, even if they are working from home.

Council touts work at home smoking ban

The initiative, which will not apply to politicians in the municipality, has been criticised by the health and safety officer, according to the local Helsingborgs Dagblad daily.

“Moralistic and ridiculous,” said Högni Hansson.

Several municipalities in Sweden have already introduced a blanket smoking ban on employees during working hours, covering breaks and often lunch. Landskrona is the latest to consider introducing the measure.

The ban under consideration by Landskrona will mean that staff are not allowed to go outside onto the street during, for example, the group coffee breaks in the morning and afternoon which are common practice in many Swedish workplaces.

Causing further controversy is that the ban is set to cover those working in open spaces and even staff working from home.

Högni Hansson represents the environmental committee at Landskrona council, one of the bodies which have expressed criticism of the policy under consideration.

“Smoking is dangerous but I wonder just how far an employer’s powers stretch,” he said.

The committee writes in its submission on the danger of mixing up how an individual manages their own health and the need to protect others from the damaging effects of passive smoking.

The proposed policy has received support from some quarters however, with the education committee keen for the ban to be extended to the smokeless tobacco products “snus”.

“We think that working hours should be completely free of tobacco and should also include snus. The most important thing is that adults set a good example,” said the education committee chairperson Lisa Flinth to the newspaper.

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