A Quick Guide to Starting a Workplace Smoking Cessation Program

A Quick Guide to Starting a Workplace Smoking Cessation Program

According to the CDC, approximately 59-percent of adults between the ages of 25 and 44 quit smoking in 2016.

This is a significant increase from 50-percent of smokers who reported quitting in 2005.

While this is great news, the most up-to-date study on employees who smoke at work still reflects 19.6% of workers. Additionally, E-Cigarette sales skyrocketed to $2.7 billion in 2015. In an effort to encourage a smoke-free work zone, employers are not only offering a workplace smoking cessation program, but are getting creative in how they incorporate a plan. And, their employees are benefitting—in more ways than one.

Did Someone Say Incentives to Quit Smoking?

Many companies have incorporated an incentive element to their workplace smoking cessation program. A recent article referenced an initiative for smoking cessation in the workplace implemented by CVS. The “700 Good Reasons” quit smoking rewards program encourages employees to submit a $50 deposit for an opportunity to earn $700 on top of their deposit. Employees need only to commit to the program and remain tobacco free for 12 months (with testing in-between) to qualify.

Workplace-Smoking-Cessation-ProgramAnd, while employees gain a little more cash for their wallets, studies have demonstrated that employers can save $6,000 per employee who quits smoking (per year). That’s simply one major benefit of implementing a workplace smoking cessation program.

Additional benefits to adopting employer-based smoking cessation programs include:

  • Satisfaction in knowing you’re encouraging the health and wellness of your employees
  • Reduction in absenteeism from health-related issues associated with smoking
  • Decrease in co-worker complaints as a result of minimization or elimination of secondhand smoke or residual smoke smells in designated smoking areas
  • Increase in the participation of other aspects of your workplace wellness program including wellness challenges, health coaching, and more

Launching Your Incentivized workplace smoking cessation program

While you can certainly offer employees something similar to CVS’s “700 Good Reasons” smoking cessation initiative, there are additional ways to incentivize a tobacco-free program for a specific amount of non-smoking time obtained, including:

  • Freebie Vacation Days
  • Casual Fridays
  • Once-a-month Half Days

No matter what you decide upon, it’s imperative to communicate the parameters of your workplace smoking cessation program clearly and in detail. People can quickly lose motivation when a 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 closely and should have the option to still be involved even if they do not take advantage of every 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.

Ready to learn more about how to incorporate a workplace smoking cessation program for your business? Learn more about the diverse wellness programs we offer at Wellworks For You by contacting us at 800-425-4657.