Friday, Historic City News was informed of a new policy went into effect at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office; prohibiting employees from smoking tobacco, or any synthetic tobacco product, snuff, or chewing tobacco, while on-duty or while attending any agency-authorized training seminar or school.
The policy now creates a tobacco-free environment at all Sheriff’s Office facilities and agency vehicles.
“This policy was announced in April so that our employees would have sufficient time to adjust to a smoke free work environment,” Sheriff James L. Manfre. “The research has shown that people who use tobacco products, or are exposed to secondary smoke, run a higher risk of developing medical problems in the future; and, in the workplace, this drives up the cost of health care to our employees — and eventually the taxpayer.”
Visitors to any Sheriff’s Office facility, or riding in any agency vehicle, will be required to comply with the “tobacco-free” policy. As a condition of employment, newly hired employees will be tested and must successfully pass a tobacco-free test as a part of the hiring process. Employees must remain tobacco free as a condition of their employment.
According to Lt. Robert Weber, the purpose of the policy is to create a healthy environment for all employees by limiting their exposure to the hazards of tobacco smoke and tobacco related products.
The Sheriff’s Office and County employee health clinic provided free smoking cessation programs as well as nicotine patches, lozenges or gum for those employees looking to kick the tobacco habit.