NIBCO is planning to go totally smoke free

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - NIBCO in Nacogdoches is believed to be the first industry in that city to go totally smoke free since the new city smoking ordinance went into effect.   Beginning September 1st NIBCO employees who smoke will have to wait until the end of their shift. The order comes from corporate headquarters to all NIBCO work sites.  Employees won't be able to smoke anywhere on the property, not even the parking lot in their own cars. Smokers don't like the idea. NIBCO human resources specialist Amy Nichols must keep peace during the transition. When asked how things are going, she smiled and said,  " Not so good. We've had a lot of people making plans about how they can get around leaving the property and things like that. Lots of questions about leaving on breaks so they can smoke. Things of that nature."

Some employees say they'll go stand on the railroad tracks during breaks to have a smoke. Nichols said they'll be disciplined for leaving work. Nichols says hourly employees question the fairness since managers can freely get in their cars and go smoke when they want." At the same time non smokers have complained that they don't get all the smoke breaks that smokers get.

NIBCO is anticipating that productivity will go up.  "probably 20% to 30% of our employees smoke", said Nichols. " It won't be easy for some since they've smoked for a long time and worked here for a long time. "

Corporate leaders are hoping instead of dodging the rules employees will consider quitting the habit. Company representatives attended a seminar Thursday on how to lead a tobacco cessation program. Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital and the American Cancer Society are sponsoring the support.