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Q: Smoking outside an entrace to a work place. ( Answered,   4 Comments )
Subject: Smoking outside an entrace to a work place.
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: petesampras-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 02 Aug 2005 12:02 PDT
Expires: 01 Sep 2005 12:02 PDT
Question ID: 550893
On nice sunny 70 degree days we have 5 to 10 people outside the back
entrance smoking cigarettes.  I am sure from the first sentence you
can tell where I am going with this.  Anyway, one of these smokers
feels it is right to blow smoke in my face every time I walk by.  Even
though I told him not to and have spoken to facilities about the
issue, he continues to do so.  Facilities, says they do not have a
designated spot for the smokers and there fore can not ask them to
move.  Furthermore, the "rude" guy is just a "jerk", they told me. 
So, I believe that OSHA mandates that no smoking can be done within 30
feet of an entrace.  I would like to present this information to my
company so that they are presured into taking the correct action
before I take an action.  Like kicking someone's ass.  Sorry about
that.  Anyway, can you please provide the OSHA information on the
subject and/or equivalent?  Or tell me if I am incorrect.  Thanks.
Subject: Re: Smoking outside an entrace to a work place.
Answered By: landog-ga on 02 Aug 2005 13:07 PDT
Thanks for the question.

From the OSHA ( archives:
"Because the organic material in tobacco doesn't burn completely,
cigarette smoke contains more than 4,700 chemical compounds.
Currently, OSHA has no regulation which specifically addresses tobacco
smoke as a whole because it is such a complex mixture. OSHA does,
however, have standards which limit employee exposure to several of
the main chemical components found in tobacco smoke..."

See this link for the details of PELs levels:

"A work-related exposure to tobacco smoke would be an exposure a
nonsmoking employee receives because tobacco smoke exists in the
location where the employee is has been OSHA's
experience that the exposures to the carbon monoxide or the other
toxic substances in the tobacco smoke rarely exceed current OSHA

In a nutshell OSHA could not find the real world science to make it
credible to ban smoking in workplaces.
Read this encompassing article:

Though repetition has little to do with "the truth," we're repeatedly
told that there's "no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke."
OSHA begs to differ. 
OSHA has established PELs (Permissible Exposure Levels) for all the 
measurable chemicals, including the 40 alleged carcinogens, in
secondhand smoke.  PELs are levels of exposure for an 8-hour workday
from which, according to OSHA, no harm will result.
Of course the idea of "thousands of chemicals" can itself sound
spooky.  Perhaps it would help to note that coffee contains over 1000
chemicals, 19 of which are known to be rat carcinogens.
-"Rodent Carcinogens: Setting Priorities" Gold Et Al., Science, 258: 261-65 (1992) 
There. Feel better? 
As for secondhand smoke in the air, OSHA has stated outright that: 
"Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under
normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below
existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air
Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to
find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be

A positive trend can be found here on the American Lung Association website:
Smoking Policies in the Workplace Fact Sheet (November 2004)
"Workplaces nationwide are going smoke-free to provide clean indoor
air and protect employees from the harmful, life-threatening effects
of secondhand smoke. According to a Gallup poll, 95 percent of
Americans, smokers and nonsmokers, now believe companies should either
ban smoking totally in the workplace or restrict it to separately
ventilated areas."

I also suggest to find out what your state laws regarding smoking in
the wrokplace are.

Subject: Re: Smoking outside an entrace to a work place.
From: myoarin-ga on 02 Aug 2005 13:55 PDT
What about harrassment:
Just from the repeated obnoxious behavior ...?
OR with sexual overtones.  I imagine that smokers still may consider
blowing smoke in someone's face suggests wanting to kiss.

I am not suggesting anything about anyone's sexual orientation, just
that you could (underlined) infer that he is implying something that

Someone closer to the subject of harrasment might comment on this.
Subject: Re: Smoking outside an entrace to a work place.
From: czh-ga on 02 Aug 2005 15:04 PDT
Hello petesampras-ga,

Smoking regulations go beyond OSHA and there are many local laws and
regulations that also may apply. Since this is a workplace issue,
there also may be employment law issues that come into play, not just
about the smoking rules but also about inappropriate behavior by

Here are a some links that might help you investigate further.

Good luck.

~ czh ~
Subject: Re: Smoking outside an entrace to a work place.
From: nelson-ga on 02 Aug 2005 17:47 PDT
Crying harrassment falsely helps no one.
Subject: Re: Smoking outside an entrace to a work place.
From: chimblikrishna-ga on 05 Aug 2005 12:13 PDT
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety & Health Administration.(OSHA)

? Publication Date: 12/17/2001
? Publication Type: Notice
? Fed Register #: 66:64946
? Standard Number: 1910; 1915; 1926; 1928
? Title: Indoor Air Quality



Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, 1926 and 1928

[Docket Number H-122A]

RIN 1218-AB37

Indoor Air Quality

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Withdrawal of proposal.


SUMMARY: OSHA is withdrawing its Indoor Air Quality proposal and
terminating the rulemaking proceeding. In the years since the proposal
was issued, a great many state and local governments and private
employers have taken action to curtail smoking in public areas and in
workplaces. In addition, the portion of the proposal not related to
environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) received little attention during the
rulemaking proceedings, and much of that consisted of commenters
calling into question significant portions of the proposal. As a
result, record evidence supporting the non-ETS portion of the proposal
is sparse.

Withdrawal of this proposal will also allow the Agency to devote its
resources to other projects. The Agency's current regulatory
priorities, as set forth in the Regulatory Agenda, include a number of
important occupational safety and health standards. This document does
not preclude any agency action that OSHA may find to be appropriate in
the future.

DATES: The withdrawal is made on December 17, 2001.

Public Affairs Office, Occupational Safety and Health Administration,
Room N-3647, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW.,
Washington, DC 20210; Telephone (202) 693-1999; Fax (202) 693-1634.

Authority and Signature

This document was prepared under the direction of John L. Henshaw,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S.
Department of Labor. It is issued pursuant to section 6(b) of the
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1594, 29 U.S.C.
655) and 29 C.F.R. 1911.18.

Signed at Washington, DC this 12th of December, 2001.

John L. Henshaw,
Assistant Secretary of Labor.

[FR Doc. 01-31165 Filed 12-14-01; 8:45 am]


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