SANTA CRUZ COUNTY SMOKING POLICY
October 18, 1994
Per County Code Chapter 7.88, Smoking Pollution Control, the County of Santa Cruz must provide all employees with a copy or notice of the County Smoking Policy yearly.
COUNTY OF SANTA CRUZ SMOKING POLICY
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
The U.S. Surgeon General has named smoking as the leading cause of premature death and disability in our country. Passive (secondhand) smoke has recently been named as the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Because of the health hazards imposed by secondhand smoke, the Surgeon General's 1982 report recommends that non-smokers avoid exposure to tobacco smoke whenever possible. Since that time, a number of other scientific studies have been done that link passive smoking not only to deaths of non-smokers due to lung cancer, but also to heart disease. For example, a 1991 study at the University of California, San Francisco, states that environmental tobacco smoke kills an estimated 53,000 non-smoking Americans each year. Of these deaths, 37,000 are linked to heart disease and 3,700 are linked to lung cancer. Researchers point out that the risk is even greater in the workplace than at home because the density of smokers is generally higher at work. In addition, the "Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986" lists secondhand smoke as a chemical that causes cancer and requires that warning signs be post-ed in areas where smoking is allowed on the premises, such as businesses that employ more than ten people. These examples reflect increasing documentation and recognition of the health hazards caused by environmental tobacco smoke. Because of this recognition, many businesses and industries are now instituting smoke-free facility policies.
Aside from the health reasons for initiating a County wide smoking policy, there are legal reasons as well. On June 4, 1985, the County of Santa Cruz enacted legislation, County Smoking Pollution Control Ordinance No. 3650, which prohibited smoking in public areas and places of employment except in designated smoking areas. It went on to allow the employers, if they wish, to ban all smoking in their environment.
The County is committed to providing a dedicated, comfortable, and productive work environment for all its employees. This goal can best be achieved through concerted efforts to protect non-smokers and to help all employees adjust to restrictions on smoking.
Since its adoption the County smoking policy has been modified so that it now provides as follows: smoking is prohibited at all times in all areas of County owned, leased or operated facilities and vehicles, including the atrium area of the Administrative Center and former smoking areas of lounges and cafeterias on County property.
The County Administrative Officer has appointed members from County employee bargaining units and appropriate County staff to a task force to advise the County Administrative Officer regarding policy content and implementation.
That task force is known as the County Smoking Policy Task Force. The County Smoking Policy Task Force will continue to monitor the implementation of this program. Any concerns raised by the workforce must be made in writing to the County Smoking Policy Task Force, and should be forwarded through the department head. Requests should be mailed to County Smoking Policy Task Force c/o County Personnel, 701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.
The success of this program will depend upon the thoughtfulness, cooperation and consideration by smokers and non-smokers. All employees can share in the responsibility of adhering to and enforcing this policy. Clarification of the policy and/ or problems with the compliance should be brought to the attention of the appropriate supervising personnel, up to and including the department head. Employees are requested to report any violation of this policy to their immediate supervisor. An employee or supervisor may submit complaint/compliance problems which are not resolved at the department level to the Smoking Policy Task Force.
The County will purchase and post "no smoking" signs for all entrances of buildings that are owned, leased, or operated by the County. Please note, violations and penalties of this policy may result in penalties pursuant to 7.88.120.
The County Training Task Force will work with the County Health Services Agency to provide periodic smoking cessation classes to assist employees with smoking cessation. Certain health plans offered to employees through the County also provide smoking cessation programs or support.
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