More than half of Danes (52 percent) believe that work time shouldn’t include smoking breaks, according to a survey undertaken by Norstat for business advocate organization Dansk Erhverv.
The news comes just a few months after the telecommunications company TDC announced that it would begin docking its employees pay if they smoke during working hours.
“There’s no doubt that people are more aware of the time that smokers spend smoking, and that has impacted on tolerance regarding extra breaks for smoking,” Rikke B Ørum, the head of HR at Dansk Erhverv, told Avisen.dk
A dying breed
Lifestyle expert Henrik Byager argued that a ‘no mercy’ mentality towards smokers has evolved in recent times, and that has rubbed off on workplaces.
“That tunnel of smokers standing outside the main entrance at work will disappear soon too,” Byager said. “There is a zero-tolerance. Smoking is damaging to health, and people don’t think it should be tolerated. It’s over.”
The local union organization LO maintained that to avoid conflict among Danish smokers it was important for employers to have individual workplace agreements in place clearly conveying the rules in the area of smoking.
In related news, from tomorrow, all smoking on train platforms will be banned, according to the national railway operator DSB.
DSB contends that the decision is a result of complaints from its customers. A survey from 2012 showed that 70 percent of non-smokers wanted a complete smoking ban or special smoking zones, while smokers were not as opposed to bans as they have been previously.