Posted by: BeneFIT Corporate Wellness
Date: February 25, 2020
As employers continue to lean toward healthier company cultures that eliminate health-related productivity liabilities such as tobacco dependence among employees, there are encouraging options available that incorporate the best evidence-based practices.
There’s a study that every U.S. employer might want to read. It shows that smoking is associated with significant work-related productivity loss in the United States. In part, it says that working smokers in the United States are estimated to miss an average of 2.3 more workdays annually than those who have never smoked, are less productive while at work, and the cost to companies is in the billions!**
Becoming a tobacco-free workplace is clearly an important business goal, but employers need help in meeting it. The study above goes on to encourage and promote the implementation of workplace cessation programs, with benefits that can be seen “rapidly after cessation.” According to the American Cancer Society, “getting help through counseling and medications doubles or even triples the chances of quitting successfully.”
A structured, well-thought-out cessation program is a must for employers, considering tobacco products contain highly addictive nicotine that activates the reward system of the brain. As the nicotine decreases in the body, tobacco users want to vape, smoke, or dip again to feel the good sensation again. This causes the smoker to continue even when he or she actually wants to quit and understands the risks. Nearly 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit. Many people can cease smoking for a few days, but often relapse due to the physiological, emotional, and behavioral addiction.
As the studies indicate, programs that are most successful against the kinds of odds posed by tobacco addiction are those that use a combination of cessation strategies. Some of the highest quit rates emerge from programs that combine cognitive therapy, telephone coaching support, and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).*** This is the approach used in the BeneQUIT Tobacco Cessation program, available through BeneFIT Corporate Wellness.
“Among all of our program participants since our program’s inception, 86% of participants that enroll completed the program, and 71% reported being tobacco-free 30 days after the program’s completion,” says Christie Lanasa, TTS, RN, ED.S, NBC-HWC, Tobacco Treatment Specialist and Health Coach.
The outcomes seen with BeneQUIT, according to Lanasa, are a result of providing participants with the individualized support they need from someone specifically trained as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. Together, she and her clients explore NRT options and what might be the best fit. Regular coaching sessions give participants the continuing support they need to avoid relapse. “We help our clients lean on new stress management strategies, problem-solving techniques, and reminders of their reasons for quitting. Regular communication helps clients stay focused and keep their well-being and health foremost in their minds.”
Whether starting a tobacco cessation program now or later, there are steps employers can take to begin to create a healthier workplace culture inside and outside of their company. Here are a few suggestions:
Reach out for more information on successful smoking cessation as well as other well-being services.