Regional authority bans employees from smoking

Zealand Regional Council will no longer permit its 15,000 employees to light up while at work, becoming the first regional government to do so

Zealand Regional Council has become the nation's first regional government to ban its employees from smoking during working hours.

From August, the council's 15,000 employees, who mainly deal with healthcare issues, will not be allowed to smoke during paid work breaks and must wait until they finish work to light up again.

“Of course there are some people that see the new rules as having an impact on their smoking habit but so far the reactions have been minimal,” Marianne Evers, the regional council's head of human resources, told the Ritzau news bureau, adding that the rules meant that all the region’s employees were now treated equally.

“Many employees complained that they were being distracted by the smell of smoke that would seep in through the windows when their colleagues stood on the other side and smoked.”

The city of Aarhus has already implemented a smoking ban for its employees while Gladsaxe and Helsingør councils plan to follow suit next year.