Tobacco Program Overview

Pace’s 24/7 Health & Safety vision is that of providing a safe and healthful workplace that supports positive health behaviors, facilitates opportunities to optimize individual health, organizational health, productivity and minimizes risk and liability. In accordance with this philosophy and due to the overwhelming known and substantial health hazards resulting from exposure to tobacco, it shall be the policy of Pace Industries to provide a tobacco-free environment for all associates and visitors effective September 1,2013. This policy covers the smoking of any tobacco product, the use of oral tobacco products or “spit” tobacco, and the use of any other tobacco product (e-cigarettes, snuff, etc.). This policy applies to associates, contractors, and visitors.

Tobacco Free Campus Policy

• Pace will expand the current smoking policy to become a Tobacco Free campus workplace. There will be no smoking, chewing, or use of any tobacco products within the facilities or on the property owned, rented, or leased by Pace Industries at any time.

• Associates will be informed of this policy through signs posted throughout Pace facilities and vehicles, newsletters, inserts in pay envelopes, the policy manual, and/or orientation and training.

Pace Tobacco Surcharge (does not apply to any collective bargaining agreements)

• Tobacco Surcharge will be in effect January 1, 2014. The surcharge only applies to employees and spouses who are on our medical insurance and are tobacco users.

• All Associates and Spouses covered under Pace health insurance will be required to fill out and turn in a Tobacco Use Certificate

Click here for the full Pace Tobacco Program Overview.

Smoking and Your Health

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. It causes nearly one of every five deaths in the United States each year.

Smoking is a risk factor for several autoimmune diseases, including Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. It may also play a role in periodic flare-ups of signs and symptoms of autoimmune diseases. Smoking doubles your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Recent studies show a direct relationship between tobacco use and decreased bone density. Smoking is one of many factors—including weight, alcohol consumption, and activity level—that increase your risk for osteoporosis, a condition in which bones weaken and become more likely to fracture.

Significant bone loss has been found in older women and men who smoke. Quitting smoking appears to reduce the risk for low bone mass and fractures. However, it may take several years to lower a former smoker’s risk.

In addition, smoking from an early age puts women at even higher risk for osteoporosis. Smoking lowers the level of the hormone estrogen in your body, which can cause you to go through menopause earlier, boosting your risk for osteoporosis.

The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood cells and damage the function of your heart. This damage increases your risk for:

• Atherosclerosis, a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up in your arteries

• Aneurysms, which are bulging blood vessels that can burst and cause death

• Coronary heart disease (CHD), which happens when plaque builds up in the arteries

• Heart attack and damage to your arteries

• Heart disease

• Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the head, organs, and limbs

• Stroke, which is sudden death of brain cells caused by blood clots or bleeding

Breathing tobacco smoke can even change your blood chemistry and damage your blood vessels. As you inhale smoke, cells that line your body’s blood vessels react to its chemicals. Your heart rate and blood pressure go up and your blood vessels thicken and narrow.

Every cigarette you smoke damages your breathing and scars your lungs. Smoking causes:

• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a disease that gets worse over time and causes wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms

• Emphysema, a condition in which the walls between the air sacs in your lungs lose their ability to stretch and shrink back. Your lung tissue is destroyed, making it difficult or impossible to breathe.

• Chronic bronchitis, which causes swelling of the lining of your bronchial tubes. When this happens, less air flows to and from your lungs.

• Pneumonia

People with asthma can suffer severe attacks when around cigarette smoke.

Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. About 70 of them are known to cause cancer. Smoking cigarettes is the number-one risk factor for lung cancer. But, smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body, including your:

• Bladder

• Bone marrow and blood

• Cervix

• Esophagus

• Kidneys and ureters

• Larynx (voice box)

• Lungs

• Mouth, nose, and throat

• Pancreas

• Stomach

• Trachea

Tips From Former Smokers

Bill’s Story

Bill is angry with himself that he ever accepted that first cigarette. “When I was 15, I started smoking. It was a stupid thing I wish I could take back.” Bill has diabetes. He learned the hard way that smoking makes diabetes harder to control. At 37, Bill went blind in his left eye from a detached retina—damage to the inner lining of the eye. He also had kidney failure. Two years later, he had his leg amputated due to poor circulation—made worse from smoking. “I lost my leg, and that’s when I quit,” he says.

His life is very different now. Married and the father of four children, he says he worries that he won’t be able to provide for his family. “Smoking is a nasty addiction,” he says. “It’s not cool, and it doesn’t do anybody any good. Don’t ever start smoking.”

Jamason’s Story

18-year-old Jamason was diagnosed with asthma as an infant. He never really understood the dangers of secondhand smoke until it triggered a severe asthma attack. Jamason never smoked cigarettes. Even when friends tried to talk him into having one cigarette, he would reply, “It’s just not cool to smoke.”

Jamason’s worst attack occurred when he was 16, at a fast food restaurant where he worked. He was sweeping close to some coworkers who were smoking, and he started having trouble breathing. He called his mother, frantic for help. She found him at work gasping for air. He was hospitalized for 4 days.

Click here for more tips from former smokers.

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