Tag Archive: secondhand smoke


Smoking in the work place 24/7. What does the World Health Organization say about this ?

As a matter of social justice, human suffering related to work is unacceptable. Moreover, appreciable financial losses result from the burden of occupational and work related diseases on national health and social security systems, as well as from their negative influence on production and quality of products. All these adverse consequences, which are economically costly to employers and to society, are preventable through measures which have been known for a long time, and which are often of low cost.

During the 1980s heavy smoking had still been allowed in the work place, despite of the fact that inside the high-rise downtown Calgary buildings (oil companies mostly) Warnings were posted inside the elevators: SMOKING IS NOT ALLOWED. Think about it.

What does it feel like to work daily in such an environment: You arrive at 8 am in the morning at your workplace, either office space, or as in the Computer & Data Processing departments more often than not ‘cubicles’, meaning low partitions and one large area shared by many. Then once many smokers have lighted up, as a non-smoker you start inhaling the deadly fumes.

Within a few hours you start trembling and feeling like your body really wants it, but your brain does not. That is what we call ‘secondary smoke inhalation addiction’. What follows: chronic allergies, respiratory problems. I had my first sinus surgery in 1983 following extensive tests to all sorts of allergens, TOBACCO bringing out the worst reactions.

Bottom-line: At TCPL (Trans Canada Pipelines) Resources I made a few comments on this, the situation was well known to the company. Eventually during the oil industry downturn following the years 1985 I got laid off with a Micky mouse severance pay of $14,000 (after 7 years in the Calgary oil industry, no pension), while the heaviest smokers on my IS project team stayed.  As per TCPL Resources, this process can be referred to as their own little version of “social justice”. 

[s.a. http://renataveritasopinion.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/tcpl-resources-trans-canada-a-history/ ; http://renataveritasopinion.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/secondhand-smoke-tcpl-resources-ltd/ ; https://renataveritashistory.com/2013/07/03/trans-canada-pipelines-tcpl-resources/ ;

SMOKING CAN KILL – the Lung Association British Columbia : [http://www.bc.lung.ca/ ] [ http://www.ilo.org/safework_bookshelf/english?content&nd=857170157


Innocent bystanders swallowing poisonous smoke from smokers. Basically, I don’t care if anybody smokes or how much they smoke, the more the better.What I as non-smoker care about is, though, to be forced to inhale that poison that others blow out. In other words: Swallow it. So, that I can continue to live.

A horror story follows: While working in Alberta’s oil industry from 1977 until the beginning of the 1990s, I was exposed in the workplace, in the offices, to second hand smoke. Myself I do not smoke, but many employees – particularly in the computer systems departments – did. This kind of (socially irresponsible) behavior lacking any controls or policies for protecting their employees resulted during those years in sickness, diseases of the lung and respiratory diseases. This to employees who were innocent bystanders, so to speak. Not only did our clothing get burned by employees walking around the workplace, burning cigarette in hand, but also during the last few years in the beginning of the 1980s while employed with TCPL Resources [ http://www.transcanada.com/splash/ ] this situation defied all descriptions. Arriving before 8 am for work, by 12 noon the air in the offices and corridors could be cut with a knife. Worse, because we in the computer department were sharing the air freely while working in open cubicles.

TCPL Resources took over our company Maligne Resources (a division of Dow Chemical) in 1983 . By fall I needed my first sinus surgery. Since the atmosphere inside TCPL Resources was such that we were not allowed to take out extended sick leave, I needed to go back to work soon after the surgery. My days were horror! My bleeding throat was almost choking me, while at the same time choking on others’ cigarette smoke. Of course, I commented on this situation, especially since already in all elevators in those Calgary, Alberta, high rise offices were notices posted on NO SMOKING. Result: By 1986, the new management (sent down from Toronto) started laying employees off in droves. First to go were those (complaining about the smoking) and single mothers – like myself. The heavy smokers were kept.

1986 was a bad year for finding any employment as a female systems professional (single mother with child). Those bastards ! Not only did I loose my (almost vested) company pension benefits, but had to leave behind my home in Alberta and my son go East (Ontario) and finally launch a job as a Systems (self-employed) contractor.

Years later, I found listed among others in relevant sources on companies and their social responsibility status, TCPL Resources (this arm may not exist anymore). Makes me really sick, when companies deliberately ‘kill’ their employees, than apply dirty business practices for layoff, then appear – newly born and re-invented – as socially responsible!

SMOKING CAN KILL – the Lung Association British Columbia : [ http://www.bc.lung.ca/ ] [ http://www.ilo.org/safework_bookshelf/english?content&nd=857170157