In a spark of irony, Reynolds American Inc., the second largest U.S. tobacco producer, just implemented a set of office policies that will ban smokers from lighting up within its working spaces from next year.
The company produces the infamous Camel cigarettes, which hold a special place in the hearts of many smokers for its classic novelty.
David Howard, a spokesman for the company said, “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." In line with a general census, the company believes that 18 percent of its 5,200 employees are smokers.
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While traditional cigarettes such as cigars, pipes and yes, even Camels, are completely prohibited in the office, the use of smokeless products such as e-cigs, moist snuff and heat-not-burn cigarettes will be allowed. Indoor smoking areas are going to be built next year.
It’s no surprise that people will want to poke a little fun at the idea of a company that is perfectly OK selling a product it has banned from its own office space. However, it’s equally unsurprising that a company that deals with tobacco is more aware of its negative effects.
So it’s about time this happened – even if it’s not the first tobacco giant in the U.S.
Then again, who knows – Reynolds might just see its e-cigarette sales go up.