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June 2000

Delphi Question: FL smoking follow-up

Question #449 (received 14 March):

The Delphi questions and follow-on discussion of smoking at FL have been read with great interest. While the new signs and attention given to the matter are greatly appreciated, they have not been particularly effective. Some smokers routinely disregard the spirit of the signs, electing to continue puffing close to the entrances. We should recognize that the actual number of feet [between the door and the smoker] is not significant. Rather, the goal is to avoid an accumulation of smoke and cigarette byproducts in the small area where everyone must pass.

Receptacles for cigarette butts appear to remain close to entrances despite a prior statement that they would be moved. The weather must obviously be factored into their location, so perhaps there should be no receptacle at all in a given region if one can't be located in a sheltered place. Maybe a different style of receptacle would be more weather-tolerant and could be located well away from any entrances.

Consider the awkwardness that occurs when smokers choose to puff near entrances. It is often challenging to be entirely pleasant and exchange a greeting while holding one's breath. Admiration is due to those who can.

It may be too early in the evaluation period to gauge the overall effectiveness of the signs and relocation or removal of receptacles. Being complacent about enforcing the new policy is, however, in error.

With genuine sensitivity for the nicotine addicted--but no less for the rest of us secondarily affected--UCAR should pursue this issue to a complete and satisfactory solution. Can we count on that? Is it necessarily even in UCAR's interest to try and accommodate smoking on the premises at all?

Response (April 26):

New smokers' urns with weather shields have been ordered for each entrance at FL. They will have a small sign attached that lays out the directive of remaining 20 feet from the building. The urns will be shipped at the end of April and should arrive the first week in May. We hope that this will help the problem and we will continue to evaluate it. If the problem continues, we will consider what other alternatives there are.

At their 21 April 2000 meeting, the President's Council discussed a ban on smoking on UCAR premises and determined it not to be appropriate at this time.

--Katy Schmoll, UCAR vice president for Finance and Administration

Questions and suggestions from the staff to management may be submitted in confidence to the coordinator, Janet Evans (ext. 1114, ML room 517). They should be submitted in written form, preferably via interoffice mail in a sealed envelope marked confidential; they must be signed. Detailed procedures for submitting questions are given in the UCAR Policies and Procedures Manual, section 4-1-2. Questions and answers of general interest to staff are submitted to Staff Notes Monthly by Janet. They may be edited for publication. For more information, including links to questions and answers published in Staff Notes Monthly and a log of all questions submitted since 1995, see the Delphi Service Web page.

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