Henderson, KY - Sitex and other companies banning tobacco use..

July 13, 2010 - SITEX is in the business of providing outstanding IMAGE programs, and as such, has a special responsibility to set an example for other organizations and the communities we serve. Effective July 6, 2010, SITEX is a tobacco free campus! The movement towards more progressive policies is beginning to gain momentum as a result of heightened awareness surrounding tobacco issues. This effort communicates a consistent pro-health message, and more importantly, can improve community health and reduce tobacco-related health care costs. Evidence has shown that tobacco-free policies in enclosed workplace settings are associated with reduced daily cigarette consumption and increased cessation among employees.

Tobacco use of any kind will be prohibited on all SITEX owned and/or leased locations/premises; all internal and external areas, parking garages and parking lots; all entrances and exits; and all company owned and/or leased vehicles.

Sitex banned smoking inside its plant and offices years ago. Extending the prohibition to tobacco use anywhere on company property is part of an overall framework of improving health, Sitex Director of Human Resources Traci Williams Tyler said. "For the last one-and-a-half years, our main focus has been on the preventative side," Tyler said. Over one year's time, Sitex employees overall showed improvement in 10 of 12 clinical measurements such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels and aerobic activity. Tyler added, "We recognized that tobacco was an area where we needed improvement," with approximately 30 percent of employees smoking as of 2009.

But even without state laws or city ordinances, private employers in Henderson and across the country began banishing smokers outdoors. The trend was codified in 2006 when the city of Henderson passed its ordinance banning smoking in public buildings and indoor workplaces (although bars and taverns were later exempted).

Private employers haven't stopped there. Tobacco use on company property is being banned by a growing number of local employers -- from industries such as Rio Tinto Alcan's Sebree aluminum smelter and the Brenntag Mid-South (went smoke free in 2009) chemical complex to health-care facilities such as Redbanks and Methodist Hospital, which announced that a tobacco ban will go into effect at all of its properties starting Jan. 1, 2011.

References: SITEX Latest News SITEX is Tobacco Free!, SITEX; Growing number of Henderson employers banning tobacco use anywhere on property by Chuck Stinnett, the Gleaner.com, 7/10/2010.