Smoke This Cigarette

No Smoking at the Cigarette Factory

RJ Reynolds SmokestackIt looks like Joe Camel might have to give up smoking on the job. RJ Reynolds (RJR), the makers of Camel cigarettes, has announced a no smoking policy for its worksites. People who want a smoke will have to go to a designated indoor smoking area. They can also switch to electronic cigarettes, which is just fine with RJR, since they have a wholly owned subsidiary (RJ Reynolds Vapor) devoted to marketing e-cigarettes under the Vuse brand. CEO Susan Cameron is herself a former smoker who now uses e-cigarettes.

RJR was quick to acknowledge the irony of their announcement. Spokesman David Howard said:

We’re well aware that there will be folks who see this as an irony, but we believe it’s the right thing to do and the right time to do it.

Executive Director of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights was quick to oblige, saying:

Reynolds and other tobacco companies have been the leading opponents to the passage of these smoke-free-workplace laws at the state and local level. This feels like a lovely PR stunt by Reynolds to say, “Oh, we’re trying to come up to modern times and offer a smoke-free workplace to our employees,” when in fact, it’s not 100 percent smoke-free.

No good deed goes unpunished, especially after a history of bad deeds. Once trust is broken, many people never forget.

Click here to read more from Bloomberg and here to read more from NPR.

Smoke This Cigarette, photograph © niko si / flickr

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