It has been nearly two decades since the first state enacted a statewide smoking ban for enclosed public places and workplaces in 1995. Now, a smoking ban is coming to a very unlikely place: America’s second-largest cigarette producer.
Reynolds American, best known for the brand Camel, has announced that, starting in 2015, the company will be banning smoking in its offices, except for a few designated smoking areas. As one commenter joked, “What’s next?? Hanes adopting a no underwear policy??”
Not that employees are chain smoking away at their desks. In a figure that might surprise some, the Winston-Salem Journal reports that the company’s “overall workforce of 5,200 ‘closely mirrors’ the percentage of adults—20 percent—who smoke in the United States.”
Anti-smoking advocates were quick to both praise the ban and point out its inherent hypocrisy. For its part, a Reynolds’ spokesman spun the news as a way to “better accommodate nonsmokers and visitors to our facilities” and “better [align] our tobacco use policies with those we’re seeing in the general public.”
Whoever thought we’d see the day when legally grabbing a marijuana-infused coffee would be easier than smoking a Camel in the Reynolds office?