We believe that all workers deserve equal and fair protection from a known carcinogen, and that cities should adopt comprehensive smokefree workplace laws to protect worker and patron health and safety. We urge Amazon to add ‘Smokefree Status’ as a criterion as it searches for the next best city to establish its HQ2. While Amazon may determine to set its own voluntary smokefree policy, that would not improve the health of the city as a whole.
Smokefree cities are healthy cities and are consistent with the demands of the labor force Amazon wants to attract, as well as the cultural community fit and quality of life it already requires in its RFP. Healthy cities attract and retain the best talent. Many employees expect their workplace and their community to provide a range of livable community options. Most expect not only to work in a smokefree workplace, but to also be able to visit a smokefree restaurant, bar, and/or music or other entertainment venue.
Millennials may make up much of Amazon’s workforce and it has been documented that this group pursues wellness as a daily activity, and this includes not smoking, and seeking smokefree environments. The Centers for Disease Control reports that about 13 of every 100 adults aged 18-24 smoke–only 13.1%. A 2016 survey by MMGY Global showed that 78% of Millennials preferred to frequent a smokefree casino – times have certainly changed, but some cities have failed to innovate and go smokefree.
Amazon should add Smokefree Status to its selection criteria and eliminate Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Nashville, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Raleigh as it seeks to find the best, most livable, and profitable place for its HQ2.