Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Apparently, it took 10 years for Reynolds American to realize that smoking is truly bad for you. Being the second-largest tobacco producer in America; this is a bit ironic. The new corporate policy, that is effective in the start of 2015, bans workers from smoking in the corporate offices located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The workers will be given a “designated indoor smoking area” to smoke their cigarettes. However, electronic cigarettes will be allowed outside those areas.  The company is deciding to come in to terms with the safety of its products and states, “We’re well aware that there will be folks who see this as an irony, but we believe it’s the right thing to do and the right time to do it.”

So, what kind of effect does this have on the market place and operations of the company? Basically, the company is entailing that traditional cigarettes are harmful. They are sending out a mass message to their consumers saying that, the company is providing them with cancer sticks. So, who in their right mind would go buy a product from a company that bans their own workers from using it?

Imagine meeting a McDonalds employee and finding out that they can’t consume a Big Mac at work because the obesity rate has been skyrocketing. This would make a lot of people concerned about ever buying McDonalds again.

A business will only succeed, if they create and keep their customers. The company has sent out a marketing message that just might confuse their consumers. This decision might drop sales, having a massive effect on the operations of the company. The finances of the firm might get injured and the overall direction of the business might also get hurt. This message is not only concerned with marketing, but it affects the decision-making about production and operations as well.

The company might need to re-evaluate their strategic plan so it does not go in the wrong direction. The point of a strategic plan is to set the direction of a business, so the products and services meet the overall business objective. But, then what happens in this case when the company is setting a corporate environment that goes against the product they are mass-producing?

How will employees that smoke deal with situation? I’m certain that as a smoker; a person working for a tobacco company is very proud and happy with what they do. So, will this make them unhappy and reduce their work ethic?

Personally, I think that this decision might have a negative effect on the sales, work ethic, company morale, and overall operations. People have known for decades that smoking cigarettes is bad for their health. Regardless, of the warnings they have continued to smoke.

What kind of effect do you think that will have on the company? Is this a good decision or bad?




11 thoughts on “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

  1. This was a very interesting post, I had no idea that employees were previously allowed to smoke indoors, I thought that was banned in the 90’s. Although I believe that Reynolds American should have created this rule many years ago, it is great that they have finally established it. As far as their consumer base goes, I do agree that this public decision might have slight negative effects, but overall I believe the majority of smokers know exactly how they are poisoning their bodies and a small rule like this would not taint their view of cigarettes.

  2. This is a really weird situation as you point out. I know, from an investing standpoint where I’ve used tobacco companies to generate good returns, they are trying to expand in under-developed countries. As the economy grows, people have more income to spend on discretionary items without knowing the health risks (at least initially, as science tends to drag behind the economy). However, domestically, they probably will hurt their sales. I would’t say a worker’s ethic would be hindered though because I’m sure almost everyone can agree smoking is bad for you. It’s a nasty addiction that people have a hard time quitting; I’m not sure of someone who is proud to be a smoker, although I am sure those individuals exist. It will be interesting to see how the market reacts to this, but I think we are going to start to see a shift from tobacco to e-cigarets as the stigma of smoking has grown so negative (e.g. we can tell a smoker that’s disgusting to their face but we can’t call fat people fat to their face).

  3. Interesting, but I don’t think this will affect them that much. Like you said its obvious that smoking kills and people have accepted that. It’s obvious that McDonalds Big Macs can make you obese too, but people don’t stop eating them. Everyone knows how bad cigarettes are and the reason I don’t think the company will be really affected because everywhere today people are in their own little segregated areas where they are allowed to smoke. I don’t think they are selling this product to show that their employees love it, it’s a need for a lot of people, and regardless of the effects after it, people will still buy them.

  4. Interesting article, the title really caught my eye. I do agree that there will be affects from their new policy but it doesn’t necessarily mean that a large group of people will stop smoking. Many smokers already know what harmful affects smoking has and what it can cause, yet they still buy cigarettes. I personally do not smoke cigarettes, but I am a smoker of hookah and there are articles written about how even hookah is worse than cigarettes, but many people I know and myself included don’t find it enough to stop completely. I think Reynolds American is doing a good thing by banning the smoking of cigarettes inside their buildings because it does benefit the non smokers of the business and who knows, maybe the new rule will cut down on how many times people smoke in a day.

  5. Very interesting to see the irony in this whole situation. However, I think that with all the information that is out there nowadays about smoking and its affects on one’s health, I don’t think too many people would think of this as a sign to stop smoking. I would agree though that this type of behavior sends out mix signals to the consumers of a product, and that if it were a different company in a different industry, this would raise some serious red flags

  6. At this point I do not think there is anyone in the world that does not know smoking is bad for you. There is no way of making smoking healthy and it does not seem to stop people from doing it. Tobacco companies spend billions of marketing dollars to convince kids smoking is cool and it works, young smokers become loyal long term customers and that is why they strategically use electronic cigarettes to entice smokers that would not normally try smoking. In terms of this recent news I do not believe their image can be further negatively impacted. The difference between a Mcdonalds employee and a tobacco company’s employee is the Mcdonald’s employee does not get second hand symptoms from her co-worker’s Big-Mac addiction.

  7. Hi simmy!! Interesting post!! In my opinion, I feel like it’s bad for people who cannot stand the smoke smell. Here is an example, I will caught when I smell people smoke .that really effect our work .. We cannot work at all. So if a company want to have the smoking office, they must separate the office in two , one is smoking office , another one is not allowed . In addition , I feel like the. Company should not advocate smoking because it’s not good for our Health. However , no matter how the office environment is save for student , I still think that it’s dangerous !

  8. I smoked about a pack a day in the past. I don’t think this will have too big of an impact for one simple reason. Smoking is delicious. I quit smoking about two years ago but, when i smoked i loved it. I still do. Smokers will smoke even if they know its bad because its enjoyable. I don’t think its a big deal because when i started smoking indoor smoking was banned so i never associated smoking indoors as something thats good. when i smoked i felt weird when my friends allowed us to smoke in his house. it is a strictly outdoor thing for me.

  9. Very interesting post. I believe that the company’s bottom line won’t be affected too much by its new policies. They are very hypocritical, but they are looking out for the safety of their employees, which should come first. They make the warning labels for a reason and smokers will not stop purchasing just because of some hypocritical actions by the company.

  10. Very interesting post. I agree that banning on smoking in the offices will not affect the demand for their products. We all know and continue to hear about how bad smoking is for your health. In one way I believe it can be a marketing ploy for their electronic cigarettes. By letting smokers know about how much more acceptable it is to smoke indoors using electronic cigarettes, they could possibly sell more, which is the main goal of a company, to increase sales.

  11. Interesting post-the title is what wrapped me in. I think you hit the nail on the head and answered your own question of this decision’s effect by stating, “People have known for decades that smoking cigarettes is bad for their health. Regardless, of the warnings they have continued to smoke.” Therefore, the only major outcome I can think of here is that there will be disgruntled employees wandering down to the indoor smoking area or getting slaps on the wrist for continuing to smoke outside of the designated area.

    I believe that is the major impact it will have. Consumers and employees and those who don’t smoke have been blasted with so many health warnings about tobacco that the dangers it presents is almost common-sense now. It is a ironic situation though for them to make that move!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *