Government Wants Vehicle Ashtray Ban

Ashtray ban in company vehicles? The government recommends it, plus more rules to stop secondhand smoke in the workplace. Listen to hear what NIOSH says.

Government_Wants_Vehicle_Ashtray_Ban-Creative_Safety_Supply-250x192A tobacco-free work environment is the goal of the The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Their new recommendations, including the removal of ashtrays from business trucks and cars, were just released.

Dan Clark asks if ashtray removal is really necessary, and invites your comment at He also details the other non-binding suggestions from the US government agency.

NIOSH advises companies to make their entire workplace campus tobacco-free, including chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes.


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Dan Clark: Ashtrays. Should they be pulled from company cars and trucks? NIOSH, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health just published that recommendation. Hang onto your butts!

Hello, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, this is where we talk about health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites.


Every business should be a smoke-free zone. So says NIOSH, part of The Centers For Disease Control. They put out a Current Intelligence Bulletin which includes many recommendations, including ashtray removal.

Really? Will pulling ashtrays really stop people from smoking in company vehicles? I’ve seen many a coffee cup used as a pseudo-ashtray.

Join me on Facebook with your opinion. That’s

Now, I don’t smoke. But I use the ashtray for change, a miniature garbage can, or a smart phone dock. Don’t take my ashtray!

I know, some newer vehicles don’t even come with ashtrays. You have to get a smoker’s package—an ashtray that fits in a cup holder. But most fleet vehicles have them.

Now, back to the NIOSH’s publication. The federal government does not regulate smoking in the workplace, so their recommendation is just that. A recommendation.

Smoking rules vary state-by-state. Cities and counties have their own rules too. At a very minimum, NIOSH is suggesting that state and local authorities adopt these rules for businesses:

• Eliminate smoking indoors, with no indoor smoking areas of any kind.
• No smoking outside near doors and vents.
• No smoking in all work vehicles, including removing the ashtrays.

They go on to say that, ideally, there should be no tobacco products throughout the entire workplace, indoors and out. This includes chew and E cigarettes—all of it.

And companies should provide programs for employees to quit smoking.

NIOSH’s director, Dr. John Howard, says “about 20% of all US workers still smoke and far too many non-smoking workers are still exposed to secondhand smoke at work.”

Now, I’m still thinking about the ashtray in company cars and trucks. Should they be taken out? Go to Facebook with your opinion,

That’s all for this episode, Government Wants Vehicle Ashtray Ban. Come back for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10% off your entire order at with coupon code SAFETYBRIEF.


NIOSH press release here.

cigarette image © ℗ 2015 RGBstock / vivekchugh; worker image by PEO ACWA; ashtray image from Morguefile / Alvimann

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