WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Reynolds American Inc., the maker of Camel cigarettes, announced it is banning smoking inside its facilities starting in 2015.
Currently, employees of the second-largest American tobacco company are allowed to smoke traditional cigarettes, cigars and pipes at their desks, and in conference rooms, elevators and hallways. Come Jan. 1, that'll be no more, Reynolds American spokesman David Howard told the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal.
"We will restrict traditional smoking to the designated areas as they are put together in 2015 and 2016," he said. "The bottom line is that we believe it is the right thing to do, updating our tobacco usage policies, at the right time to do it. The policy change will better accommodate nonsmokers and visitors to our facilities."
Employees will still be allowed to use electronic cigarettes, heat-not-burn cigarettes like the Eclipse brand, moist snuff and snus.
The company's Winston-Salem headquarters and manufacturing floors, cafeterias and fitness rooms at all facilities were already smoke-free.
"Recognizing that indoor smoking restrictions are the norm today, and most people expect a smokefree workplace environment, we believe we are better aligning our tobacco use policies with those we're seeing in the general public," Howard said.
Howard didn't specifically cite health concerns as a reason for the new no-smoking policy, but a study conducted in 2013 found that work-place bans on smoking was the most effective way to prevent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The study also found such bans help maintain quality of life for those with COPD.