Here at Wellworks, we’ve helped countless companies implement a smoking cessation program and we’ve seen the amazing results. Employees are encouraged towards a healthier lifestyle and the ripple effect is significant. Whole families benefit when a person decides to quit smoking. On the corporate side, employers see a decrease in health care expenses when this preventable health issue is efficiently addressed with a smoking cessation program and complete employee support.
Here are some first steps to implementing a smoking cessation program:
1. Assess the Situation
Every workplace will have a range of attitudes and practices when it comes to tobacco use. Being aware of people’s opinions, struggles and victories (and how open they are with these topics) can be helpful for everyone involved in the smoking cessation program. When surveying your employees, you may find that they can be categorized into the following groups:
- Current Smokers: These people may or may not be interested in quitting, but many may at least be interested in learning about their options and what quitting may entail.
- Ex-Smokers: People who will most likely be very supportive of the program and wish to benefit from it themselves to protect from relapse or may wish to just be an encouragement to those fellow employees trying to quit.
- Non-Smokers: People who may be concerned about the health risks that smoking poses for their fellow employees or even themselves and want to be involved. Or, you may find that some of these people will have very little interest in addressing the issue at all.
2. Make Information and Resources Widely Available
Well before the given time frame for the smoking cessation program begins, be sure to promote the program in an encouraging and non-aggressive way. This kind of transparency will give everyone in the workplace the chance to not only be thoroughly informed about the goals and activities of the program, but to decide whether or not they would like to participate and to what extent they will take part.
If your company utilizing a regular wellness newsletter to promote upcoming and current wellness programs, you will want to begin promoting the smoking cessation program through that newsletter at least one month prior to the start of the program.
3. Have a Clear Plan of Action
People can quickly become unmotivated when clear direction is not given. For something like a smoking cessation program, it is essential that there be clearly laid out goals, steps and timelines so that participants know what to expect and can stay committed.
Some participants may not want to be monitored very closely and should have an option to still be involved and participate even though they may not be taking advantage of every single resource, meeting or log. For those that do need continual accountability and encouragement, the program should be clear, simple and motivating.
Along with having clearly defined steps, be sure to make the smoking cessation program a reasonable length. If the program drags on for too long, participants may become lackadaisical and lose focus. On the other hand, making the program too short can discourage participants who truly feel there won’t be enough time to break the habit. Consult with a professional wellness company to find out what the ideal length of time would be to run a comprehensive smoking cessation program for your workplace.
Hope you found this quick guide helpful!
We’ll leave you with one final tip: The environment created for the program needs to be encouraging and motivational, with not only the company’s benefit in mind but a true concern and care for the health and wellbeing of your employees.