Lufkin Industries begins tobacco ban Jan. 1st - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin Industries begins tobacco ban Jan. 1st

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Leaders at Lufkin Industries started investigated ways to reduce health insurance costs about six months ago.  After speaking with doctors, they decided it was time to ban smoking their facilities nationwide.

"A policy to improve the overall health of our employees," said Paul G. Perez, V.P. and General Counsel of Lufkin Industries.

The ban starts January 1st.  They realized it should have been banned years ago, but felt it was better late than never. The ban includes all tobacco products because they were advised that employees would switch to chewing tobacco, which is often worse than regular smoking to your health.

"About six months ago we got a lot of our employees together here in the Lufkin area many of our union representatives, brought them in, made them aware of what we were doing.  And they were very, very cooperative and had a lot of ideas on what we needed to do and what accommodations we needed to make," said Perez.

The biggest challenge for smokers at Lufkin Industries will be changing habits.  They are used to working and smoking and this is going to change.

"I'm sure there's going to be a period of adjustment. We've asked co-workers and supervisors to be encouraging and sympathetic and try to get through this period of adjustment," said Perez.

They hope that the tobacco ban will encourage smokers to make the decision to quit now that they can't smoke at work.

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