Smoking employees of tobacco companies

Those were the days: the men always wore suits with narrow ties, the women for the first time wore miniskirts and thick clouds of tobacco smoke wafted through the offices. The coolness of the 60s still fascinates the audience today - as the series hit "Mad Men" proves. The hero: Don Draper, a heartthrob with a dark past and a smoldering cigarette in hand - always and everywhere.

That could soon be over for good. Years ago, most companies on both sides of the Atlantic banned the blue haze from the workplace. Only a small group of employers has so far offered a final refuge for smokers - not entirely unselfishly: the tobacco companies. And even they no longer want to offer Don Draper the right working environment?

It sounds like a vegetarian canteen in the slaughterhouse

Obviously not. Because from 2015 even the American employees of the camel manufacturer Reynolds will no longer be allowed to smoke at work. In the New Year, cigarettes, cigars and pipes are taboo at desks, in conference rooms, in corridors and in elevators. The company announced this to its employees on Wednesday, like the news agency AP reported. Smoking was previously prohibited in the production halls, cafeterias and the company's own fitness centers.

So there is an extensive smoking ban in the second largest tobacco company in the USA. What sounds a bit like a vegetarian slaughterhouse canteen is part of an industry-wide trend in America. For example, US market leader Altria, which sells Marlboro there through a subsidiary, only allows its employees to smoke at their desks when they are in a private office. Otherwise - quite unproductive - you have to change to one of the smoking rooms. Incidentally, Reynolds now also wants to set them up. But does a Don Draper stand in the smoking area all day?

"We are only adapting our rules for tobacco consumption better to today's social realities," a Reynolds spokesman explains the innovation. The proportion of smokers in the group is about as high as in the total population - in the USA that would be around 18 percent. The new regulation now suits both non-smokers and smokers. But Don Draper as a considerate guy?

Does Don Draper have a future?

In addition, Reynolds is by no means banning nicotine consumption entirely from desks. Accordingly, smoke-free products such as snuff and chewing tobacco and nicotine vaporizers should remain allowed everywhere. But would Don Draper suckle on an e-cigarette?

In most German tobacco companies, however, smokers still have a relatively comfortable life. Regardless of whether at Reemtsma or British American Tobacco: As long as nobody in the room contradicts, you can smoke in the office and in meetings. At Philip Morris, on the other hand, smokers also have to move to their own rooms to satisfy addiction.

This is regulated in this country by the Workplace Ordinance: In just two brief paragraphs, it stipulates that the employer must take "the necessary measures" to protect non-smokers. "As far as necessary", smoking bans must be issued. When exactly this will be necessary remains to be seen. In case of doubt, the protection of non-smokers takes precedence - but local bosses can go a long way towards accommodating their smoking employees. But would Don Draper really move to a German office?

Let's face it: Don Draper just has no future. Even if you wear narrow ties again today - your time is over.