According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), statistics show that 19.6% of workers in the U.S. smoke during work hours.
This is a staggering percentage when you think about the number of workplace campuses and cultures that not only frown on smoking, but have stipulated that it may not be done during work hours at all. How can a company help employees who may still struggle with smoking?
Prior to implementing a smoking cessation program, it is important to promote the program in an encouraging and non-aggressive way. This kind of transparency will give everyone in the workplace the chance to be thoroughly informed about the goals and activities of the program and decide to participate. This early program buy-in supports long-term employee commitment. If your company sends out a regular wellness newsletter to promote upcoming and current wellness programs, utilize this communication to promote the smoking cessation program at least one month prior to the start of the program.
Introducing A Smoking Cessation Program that Works For Your Business
At Wellworks For You, we recognize that in order for smoking cessation programs to be successful, they must be comprehensive and integrative. Consider three important stakeholders within your business before launching a smoking cessation program:
- Current Smokers – Some current smokers may not be interested in quitting, but many may be interested in learning about their options and what is entailed in a smoking cessation program.
- Former Smokers – Employees who have already quit smoking will most likely be very supportive of the program and wish to benefit from it themselves in terms of relapse prevention. Former smokers are a great source of encouragement to fellow employees trying to quit.
- Non-Smokers – People who may be concerned about the health risks that secondhand smoke poses for their colleagues and for themselves and want to be involved. Or, you may find that some non-smokers will have very little interest in addressing the issue at all.
Next Steps: Launch Your Smoking Cessation Program
It’s imperative to communicate clearly to all stakeholders, not merely about your company’s launch of a smoking cessation program, but also highlighting the benefits that occur when employees stop smoking. People can quickly lose motivation when clear direction is not provided. For something like a smoking cessation quit plan, it’s essential that goals be laid out clearly, along with 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 the option to still be involved even if they do not take advantage of every single resource, meeting, or log. For those who prefer 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 like Wellworks For You to find out the ideal length of time for a comprehensive smoking cessation program in your workplace. Learn more about the diverse wellness programs we offer by calling us now at 800-425-4657.