How to Handle Smoking at Your Business

Handle Smoking

Whether you are a smoker or not, you don’t want your nonsmoking customers to be uncomfortable when they visit your business. Secondhand smoke is a real danger to the health of others, and people who do not use tobacco would prefer not to be exposed to it.

Fortunately, unless people are spending a great deal of time at your physical location, you generally don’t have to worry about people lighting up in an area that may choke others out. However, if you yourself are a smoker, you may struggle with spending long hours at your place of business without having distracting cravings.

Additionally, if your business is located in a busy area or you have a type of business where people generally spend more than an hour or two you may have to make your smoking policies clear.

Whether you are a smoker, or you are just in an area where customers are at risk of being exposed, there are steps you can take to protect your patrons. Let’s look at what you can do to make sure everyone feels good about coming to your establishment.

Table of Contents

If You Smoke

Being in a type of business where your patrons are likely to be uncomfortable around cigarettes is a real challenge for proprietors who smoke. Make your day easier by managing your habit in the ways that work for you and your customers.

Replace Nicotine

Nicotine cravings can get in the way of your concentration, make you feel more anxious, and put you in a bad mood. There are plenty of options when you want to cut back on the feeling of withdrawal, so you may need to experiment until you find the right fit.

Black Buffalo’s non tobacco chew could be effective at replacing the sense of routine; and it delivers medical-grade nicotine smoke-free, without the use of tobacco leaves or stems. Nicotine patches are an inconspicuous alternative, and vapes are less discreet but may more fully replace actual smoking. You’re still going to want to go outside for vaping, but vapors usually have a lighter odor, and passersby generally find exposure less offensive.

Odor Management

If you do end up smoking at your business, make sure you have options to mitigate odors that will make your customers uncomfortable. This applies to yourself as well as the environment. To manage the smoke odor when you know you will be meeting with clients, keep mouthwash, a toothbrush, gum, and mints handy. Wash your hands well after you smoke. Don’t overdo it with scented lotions and colognes.

To handle the potential for secondhand smoke that wafts into your building, focus on removing odor rather than masking it. You can find sprays and candles that will help neutralize the smell of cigarettes. However, investing in a purification device that filters the air removes more harmful irritants, and many systems provide some level of microbial protection as well.

Dealing With Others Smoking at or Near Your Business

If you have conscious memories from the early 80s and before, you probably remember people lighting up just about anywhere. Your parents or grandparents may have smoked while at restaurants, public events, and even while grocery shopping. Fortunately, for the health of everyone, the number of smokers and the number of places you can smoke have been significantly reduced over the years.

No Smoking Signs

Smoking bans are pervasive enough in most states now, that most people would be uncomfortable pulling out a cigarette if they are inside a shop or an office. However, you want to make sure your time at work is spent managing your business rather than policing smokers in or around your building.

Just outside your business, place no smoking signs on the sidewalk if you have problems with people hanging around your door while they smoke. Place a no smoking sign conspicuously on every entrance door, so that it is clear that it will not be tolerated inside.

Designated Smoking Areas

If you’re going to allow smoking on your property, make sure it is clearly demarcated, and place ashtrays for patrons to use anywhere that smoking is permitted. You also want to provide a reminder of the boundaries of your designated space by placing signs that say “no smoking beyond this point”.

Keeping Everyone Comfortable

If you have an establishment where customers are likely to get fidgety without an opportunity to smoke, give them something else to focus on. For example, if your patrons need to wait in a waiting room, put a candy dish out with mints or other wrapped candies. A television or some reading material is also helpful.

Clearing the Air

Having a place of business that smells clean without overpowering air fresheners will set the expectation that you want to keep things that way. You may want to consider investing in an air purifier just to keep your space feeling fresh regardless of exposure to smoke. When customers know your policies and you lead by example, it’s easier to follow suit.


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