Most people know that smoking cigarettes is very harmful to your health. If you watch television, you probably see the public service announcements all the time. What you might not realize is that smoking cigarettes isn’t harmful only to the smoker, but it is also harmful to those who are exposed to the second-hand smoke.
Medical problems related to second-hand smoke costs around $4.98 billion per year for health care. Interestingly, workers who don’t smoke and were exposed to second-hand smoke at work could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer from illnesses related to that second-hand smoke. In this case, they would need to prove that the tobacco smoke that they had to deal with at work is what led to their illness.
Back in 1994, five big tobacco companies provided a list of 599 additives that are used in cigarettes. Of those, 43 are known carcinogens that are in cigarette smoke. This means that if you are exposed to second-hand smoke, you could potentially be exposed to 43 substances that are known to cause cancer.
Employees who smoke at work don’t only put their co-workers in danger, they also have an impact on the company’s bottom line. Each year, around $97 billion is lost in productivity because of smoking-related issues like disability payments and sick days.
If you have been harmed by tobacco smoke, you might have a claim for compensation. Learning about when and how you can seek compensation for these types of injuries can help you determine what course of action you want to follow.
Source: FindLaw, “Tobacco Smoking Injury Dangers,” accessed Sep. 29, 2016