A county council has banned its staff from smoking during working hours, even during short breaks.
Around 9000 people who work for Nottinghamshire county council will be affected by the rules, which will be put in place to reduce sick leave, improve overall health and increase time spent working. The rules are planned to extend to all council-owned buildings, vehicles, and land, and staff who do not adhere to the rules will face strict disciplinary action.
During morning and afternoon breaks, smoking will not be allowed. Smoking during lunch breaks will only be permitted if the workers remove their work uniform and are far away from the council property.
Though the ban will also be enforced on the e-cigarette, UK anti-smoking charity ASH has called this a step too far; as e-cigarettes do not cause the same damage as smoking many choose the product as a method for quitting.
The council are however promoting other alternatives to help smoking workers kick the habit such as nicotine patches, though these are falling increasingly out of favour with many using e-cigarettes in their place.