10 years after the smoking ban in public places – such as the workplace, schools and restaurants – was imposed in Belgium, Mensura takes stock: what has been the impact of this measure on the smoking habits of Belgian workers?
The harmful effects of smoking on health are well known: non-smokers have a higher life expectancy and are less susceptible to ailments during those years. The smoking ban in public places has therefore been expanded over the past few years, resulting in a slight decrease in smoking behaviour among the working population.
Nevertheless, this downward trend can still be improved. Employers can play an important role in this effort.
Despite the ban, more than a third of workers still smoked in 2017. The younger workers are, the more they smoke (39% among the under 35-year-olds, 27% among the over 55s). Men (38%) also smoke more than women (26%).
In addition, the proportion of smokers differs depending on the sectors: it is highest in the construction and catering sectors (42%) and lowest in the care and chemicals sectors (26%).
The importance of a smart smoking policy
Employers have everything to gain from ensuring that their employees are and remain healthy. Indeed, smokers are more likely than non-smokers to be unexpectedly absent.
Erik Carlier, Director of Health at Mensura: “When developing a health policy, it's important to implement a smart approach to curbing smoking. In your policy, provide lifestyle advice, clear information about the harmful effects of smoking and options to get guidance in quitting smoking.”
Create an effective health policy
Mensura will help you draw up an effective health policy, including ways to curb smoking. Feel free to contact us.