Shimp v. New Jersey Bell Tel. Co.
An employee who is allergic to cigarette smoke sued her employer asking that the company prohibit smoking in the work environment. Based on a variety of evidence, including an affidavit from a former Surgeon General, this 1976 court decision found that cigarette smoke is toxic and damaging to the health not only of smokers but also to nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke. The court noted that the employee asked for “nothing more than to be able to breathe the air in its clear and natural state.” The court ordered the company to prohibit smoking in work areas in order to remedy the unsafe work environment.