The Latest Workplace To Ban Cigarette Smoking? A Cigarette Company Headquarters

There are very few jobs left in the Unites States where you could probably get away with smoking while on the clock, perhaps as a lounge singer in Reno or a carnival barker, or someone who works at a tobacco company headquarters. Actually, scratch that last one: in a feat of almost colossal irony, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, maker of Camels (and other brands), is now banning smoking in most of its buildings and offices.

Huffington Post reports that roughly 18 percent of Reynolds’ employees smoke, which mirrors the national average of 18.1 percent, down from 24.4 percent in 2005, according to CNN. Reynolds spokesman David Howard that the smoking ban will go into effect next year once indoor smoking areas have been built for the employees that still like to light up at work.

“We believe it’s the right thing to do and the right time to do it because updating our tobacco use policies will better accommodate both non-smokers and smokers who work in and visit our facilities. We’re just better aligning our tobacco use policies with the realities of what you’re seeing in society today.”

The Reynolds smoking ban does not completely ban tobacco from the workplace (because that would cause the universe to implode upon itself, apparently). Workers will still be able to light up E-Cigs, chew tobacco, plug snuff, and also use a sort-of electronic cigarette hybrid that burns actually tobacco called the Eclipse and manufactured by — you guessed it — Reynolds.

Besides Camels, Reynolds also produces Pall Malls, Grizzly smokeless tobacco, and a brand of E-cigarettes called Vuse.

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The nation’s largest tobacco manufacturer, Phillip Morris, still allows tobacco smoking in its facilities — to a point, anyway. According to Huffington Post, Phillip Morris and its subsidiaries’ employees aren’t allowed to smoke on the factory floor or in elevators or hallways. Workers with private offices can smoke in them but those who work in open spaces such as cube farms have to smoke in the cafeteria or the conference room.

As smoking rates in the U.S. decline, so does the country’s attitude towards tobacco in general. Even E-Cigarettes — that is, “electronic cigarettes” which burn nicotine-infused oils and don’t produce smelly secondhand smoke — are being banned in places like New York, according to this Inquisitr report.

Reynolds has already been banning smoking in its cafeterias and fitness centers for several years.

[Image courtesy of John Sterling]