Joe Camel Not Allowed To Smoke At Work Anymore

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TOBACCO JOE CAMEL
AP Photo/Richard Drew
Reynolds American, the second largest tobacco company in the nation and maker of the Camel brand of cigarettes, has decided to go smoke-free in the workplace, according to the Associated Press. The company, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has told employees that come next year, smokers will have to confine their puffing to special indoor smoking areas, once built. Or, presumably, take a stroll outside.

Yes, one of the forces behind marketing tobacco and fighting regulation and limitation of using the product in its many forms has had a surprising change of lung.

"We believe it's the right thing to do and the right time to do it because updating our tobacco use policies will better accommodate both non-smokers and smokers who work in and visit our facilities," a company spokesperson told AP. "We're just better aligning our tobacco use policies with the realities of what you're seeing in society today."

People who use chewing tobacco, snuff, and other non-smoking variations will be able to continue use indoors. Cigars, cigarettes, and pipes are the items being banished.

According to the report, about 18 percent of adults smoke and that percentage holds true even among employees at Reynolds, where 5,200 workers indulge.

But you might wonder if the growing cost of healthcare insurance, a major financial issue for many companies, also plays a part. With costs continuing to climb one year after the next, discouraging behavior that drives up health risks and costs has become popular in boardrooms.

Some parts of the healthcare system specifically make care for smokers more expensive. An example is CVS, which already dropped tobacco products from its stores earlier this year. Now it's taking a next step through its popular Caremark pharmacy benefits management business. According to ABC News, the company will create a tobacco-free pharmacy network. Patients who fill their prescriptions at stores that sell tobacco will have to pay an additional premium co-pay.

The Caremark network covers about 65 million people, according to the company. The additional co-pays for prescriptions will vary, depending on the company obtaining the services. What will Reynolds negotiate for Joe Camel?
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