News and Events

Tobacco Free Worksites Benefit Everyone
November 15, 2018

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Florida and the United States (1). On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers (2). The Great American Smoke Out recently took place to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and the many effective resources available to help smokers successfully quit. More than 70 percent of smokers want to quit, but few succeed without help. Tobacco use treatment can double the success rate of quitting. Employers are encouraged to support their employees in quitting by providing access to resources and passing tobacco free worksite policies.

To recognize the Great American Smoke Out, the College of Central Florida hosted an informational day to educate staff and students about cessation resources that are available in Florida, the health risks and concerns of using tobacco products and e-cigarettes, and the benefits of their tobacco free worksite. One resource is Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program, which gives tobacco users access to evidence-based free tools and services to help them quit tobacco. For more information, visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway.

It is well known that smoking is bad for the smoker, however, not many consider the effect this addiction has on local businesses. Recent studies have shown that smokers cost businesses more than nonsmokers in terms of increased health care costs and productivity losses. An employee who smokes could cost a business more than $6,000 every year (3). For each employee that quits, a business can save as much as $2,000 per year through reduced insurance costs (4).

Tobacco Free Florida recommends that employers implement a worksite model that provides employees with access to proven successful tobacco cessation medications and counseling and creates a supportive workplace environment that makes it easier for employees to quit. In Levy County, the College of Central Florida and the School Board of Levy County have implemented tobacco free worksites with success.

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Levy County is seeking local worksites who are interested in protecting the health of employees and saving money by implementing worksite strategies to help employees quit tobacco. For a free worksite tobacco assessment, please contact Kristina Zachry at KZachry@QuitDoc.com or 352-577-4309.

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References

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.
  2. Jha P, Ramasundarahettige C, Landsman V, et al. 21st Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine 2013;368:341–50 [accessed 2017 Mar 28].
  3. Berman, Micah, Crane, Rob, Seiber, Eric, Munur, Mehmet. Estimating the cost of a smoking employee. British Medical Journal. 2014;176(12):1792-1798. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6530.
  4. Berman, Micah, Crane, Rob, Seiber, Eric, Munur, Mehmet. Estimating the cost of a smoking employee. British Medical Journal. 2014;176(12):1792-1798. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6530.