Here at the Co-op we want to protect the wellbeing of everyone in our workplace by not exposing them to second-hand cigarette smoke. We’re also committed to fulfilling our legal obligation to provide a smoke-free working environment.

Crucial bits

You’re not allowed to smoke within any Co-op building, outside any of our buildings where “No Smoking” signs are displayed, or right next to the entrances of any buildings used by customers or other visitors.

All Co-op vehicles are non-smoking, even if you’re travelling alone. Smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes and nicotine inhalers is also banned in all of our commercial vehicles. If you’re driving your own vehicle on work business, you mustn’t smoke if there’s someone in the car with you.

Just so everyone’s clear, any breach of this policy may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including summary dismissal. Also, just to remind you, it’s a criminal offence to smoke in smoke-free areas. A fixed penalty of £50 or prosecution and a fine of up to £200 can be issued by the police.

Things to think about

All our work premises have an approved external smoking area. If you’re not sure where this is, ask your manager. Of course, if you want to smoke or use a nicotine inhaler, you’ll need to use your breaks.

If you need to go into the homes of customers or other colleagues for work reasons, and these aren’t smoke-free environments, you can hold your meeting in a public venue instead if you prefer and this is appropriate.

If you work in Funeralcare please be aware that there may be places you work in that don’t belong to Co-op where smoking is not allowed or is inappropriate. For example, in consecrated buildings or during Funeral proceedings. If you are unsure about the rules check with your manager.

We know that some colleagues use nicotine inhalers, electronic cigarettes, also known as ‘e-cigarettes’, ‘personal vaporizers’, or ‘electronic nicotine delivery systems’. You’re not allowed to use or wear these around your neck within Co-op buildings and vehicles, or outside Co-op buildings in designated “No Smoking” areas or by entrances used by customers and visitors, because electronic cigarettes can give off an unpleasant vapour and may be a health risk to others. Also, using or wearing any of these within the workplace can look unprofessional.

We want to support colleagues to wish to give up smoking. Speak to your manager if you need more support to help you give up.

If you need further support

If you have any questions about where you’re allowed to smoke, please speak to your manager. If managers need advice they can contact ER Services.

Remember we have an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) who can provide colleagues with support with stopping smoking . You can contact the EAP on 0800 069 8854. It’s independent and totally confidential. And there’s no charge for Co-op colleagues.