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Finding Compromise for Smokers and Non-Smokers On the Job

Many of New York businesses have completed outlawed smoking in and around the workplace. Restaurant and bar workers are no longer subjected to secondhand smoke on the job and employees in many businesses must use designated smoking areas far removed from their place of business.

For non-smokers there are still businesses where it is hard to get away from secondhand smoke such as in casinos, bars, and other venues. All employees have a right to work in a smoke-free, non-hazardous environment but it can be difficult to continue working in an environment to earn a living while being exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke.

There are some ways to handle such working conditions, especially when you know for a fact they are adversely affecting your health. If you have been experiencing breathing problems, headaches, nausea or other symptoms related to smoke exposure, you may have to take action to protect your health while still trying to keep your job.

It is important to keep the situation positive when you approach management about your concerns. Taking your employer to task in a rude, unprofessional manner may result in your dismissal rather than an attempt to work out the problem. You should review the employer handbook to find out what the rules are in the area you work to ensure you know what can be accomplished and what you expect.


If you feel that you have health complications resulting from secondhand smoke exposure, it is important to see your doctor right away for treatment. It may help to have the medical documentation of smoke-related health problems to back your complaints to your supervisor. Any diagnosis of related injuries or illness may result in your ability to file for a worker’s compensation claim. You will need the experience of an licensed attorney to help you see your claim through to the end. Schedule a free consultation about your potential workers compensation claim by calling us toll free at 855-614-4351 or using our online contact form.