Time to Kick those Butts
Although smoking and tobacco use is not a “new” issue, the topic seems to be at the forefront this year. I’ve had countless conversations with employers regarding tobacco cessation and how they can move to a tobacco-free workplace and/or campus. We shouldn’t need any more convincing on why tobacco use is bad for all of us, but just in case we do here are a few staggering stats:
- Tobacco use is responsible for more than 440,000 deaths annually in the U.S.
- Tobacco use is the #1 cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S.
- 53,000 non-smokers die each year from secondhand smoke
- 70% of adult smokers say they want to quit, but fewer than 5% succeed
We know it’s bad. How can you, as an employer, promote tobacco cessation within the workplace in a creative and non-threatening manner?
- Offer Resources – Institute a formal tobacco cessation program that allows for multiple points of entry – onsite, online, telephonic. The program should consist of at least six to eight weeks of interaction with a tobacco treatment specialist. Doing so increases the quit rate to anywhere from 35-45%.
- Know Your Plan – Get to know the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) benefits through your medical plan. The ACA has required non-grandfathered plans to incorporate the coverage of tobacco treatment therapy (including medication) as a preventive service. Check with your medical plan to see what’s covered and available to members.
- Educate – Provide consistent education to employees through different channels – emails, articles, posters, videos, etc.
- Get Creative – Set up quit stations where smokers can trade cigarettes or chewing tobacco for snacks that can help kick the habit – gum, mints, suckers, popcorn, etc. Raffle a ‘cold turkey’ during the Great American Smokeout in November to encourage tobacco users to quit cold turkey. Ask non-smokers to give up something like coffee or chocolate to help them empathize with smokers.
For more tips on improving wellness at your workplace, contact us!
- Wellness E-Book
- The Real Waste of Smoking
- How to Be a Loser for Life
- Know It. Prevent It. Do It.
- Wellness ROI & Beyond Webinar Replay
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