Implementation of Smoke Cessation Programs in the Workplace

5 min read
Published on 14 October, 2020

There was a time in the 50s when cigarette smoking was the epitome of coolness & glamour- but today, we know better.

As is the case, tobacco use poses a serious threat to one’s life.

Workplace smoking is one of the commonly witnessed terms these days. And, with office smoking comes the concept of Smoke Cessation Programs.

The minute you start enjoying a puff offered by your colleague is the minute you know it. That it is just a matter of time before tobacco takes you over on a dangerous ride- a journey you cannot easily escape from. Also, smoking at work leads to an increase in the number of people struggling with secondhand smoke.

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What is Secondhand Smoke?

Secondhand smoke is nothing but the smoke exhaled by smokers.

Also known as passive smoking or environmental tobacco smoke, this smoke is also harmful to the surrounding people. People present within the smoking person’s environment.

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Image Source: Tobacco Free Finland/Twitter

If you have people at your office who smoke in front of you, it is pretty standard for you to inhale secondhand smoke as you cannot tamper with the air quality.

Breathing in a smoke-filled tobacco environment is not just unpleasant but damaging too. Non-smokers can develop a situation of lung cancer when exposed to such unhealthy smoke.

According to several studies, the smoke inhaled by passive smokers is more toxic. It potentially threatens and is considered a Group A carcinogen, the most dangerous level of carcinogen.

Do you allow Smoking at your Workplace?

As much as it is terrible news already that one smokes, smoking in the workplace makes it no better.

You would very much witness employees going out on a 2-minutes break for smoking. Many even say smoking at work helps one bond with one another.

Even if you do not smoke, your colleagues might ask you to accompany them.

Along these lines, you either expose yourself to secondary smoke or start smoking yourself under the influence of your peers.

Thus, you put yourself at risk. However, these days, you will see many of the population choosing to quit smoking as they realize its consequences.

People can & do quit smoking. Quitting is not only good for you but also everyone else in your vicinity.

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Image Source: Lexie Nikole/Twitter

According to reports, in 2018, 55.1% of adult smokers in the US have attempted to quit smoking. And 7.5% of adult smokers have successfully quit smoking in that same year.

How would you feel if you could prevent your employees from Smoking?

Great news: you actually can.

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Image Source: PieGuy/Twitter

That's somewhat cruel.

Nevertheless, there are better ways.

All you have to do is introduce cessation programs in the workplace. It will improve the health conditions of your employees. Also, it will contribute to reducing health costs & increase productivity.

With workers smoking in the workplace, they are adding to the cost of the employers since health insurance affects the revenue of a company. And, smoking is bound to take a toll on health. It makes smokers vulnerable to sickness, which again hampers efficiency in terms of work.

Hence, the healthier the staff, the merrier for all.

What are Smoke Cessation Programs?

As per CDC reports, the smoking rate has dropped from 42% in 1965 to 15.1% in recent times.

Workplace smoking has been quite prevalent, and it often leads to sloppy behavior and poor performance of the staff. That being so, to prevent workers from smoking in workplaces, there are specific strategies.

For one, you can put a stringent smoking ban regulation within office premises.

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Image Source: Jon/Twitter

Not sure whether how effective that would be? No worries, for there is a more constructive solution to this- Smoke cessation programs.

A Smoke Cessation Program is nothing but arranging a whole set of activities to encourage the workforce to quit smoking. These programs are primarily expected in the workplace to ensure the well-being of the employees.

Implementing Smoke Cessation Programs in the Workplace

The cessation programs require you to organize several campaigns to spread awareness. Then, ask the employees to take health tests and realize their health risks.

The wellness programs of the organization should be aligned in a way to address such risks.

Smoke cessation programs also include interactions longer than 10 minutes and more than 5 sessions. Practical counseling takes place. And of all, person-to-person counseling proves to be the most successful. These interactions can happen through phone calls, personal or group sessions.

Various skill training in cognitive and behavioral techniques helps curb the cravings. Learning sessions are for making one think about stressful situations in a fair manner.

These training sessions develop behavioral relaxation and coping components within each attendee.

Nicotine replacement therapies are the most commonly used medications for quitting smoking. It decreases withdrawal feelings by offering one a small quantity of nicotine- none of the other chemicals found in smokes.

Along with keeping the urges in check, it helps satisfy the cravings. Nicotine gums and patches being two of the examples.

You are conducting such sessions and therapies in the workplace to work towards the welfare of your employees.

Besides smoking restrictions, therapy sessions, and campaigns in the workplace, there are several other arrangements. Provisions employers can offer employees for them to bid farewell to tobacco products-

  • Support groups- social group sessions where everyone can talk about the health risks associated with smoking and help one another, thereby promoting tobacco cessation.

  • Availability of pharmaceutical treatments.

  • Spreading regular information about the smoking-related health threats in the form of newsletters, promos, ads, payroll stuffers, workshops.

  • Provisions of financial quit tobacco incentives.

Moreover, The American Lung Association gives access to affordable smoke cessation programs.

Wrap Up

How well do you know your employees?

Probably, way too much. In that case, if the employees are prone to harm in the form of smoking, it is always better to resort to no-smoking programs and keep everyone away from danger and maintain a healthy fresh air environment.

Working in a place where employees and their habits are taken care of and providing solutions is a much-needed work atmosphere in today’s world.

If employees are not well, it directly affects the growth of the organization.

With so much stress inflicted on people these days, getting rid of such harmful practices is not a piece of cake. However, implementing smoke cessation programs is quite a workable job as long as you intend them to work.

All you have to aim for is a healthier, safer, cleaner, and more productive workplace.

This article is written by Dipshi Bhattacharjee. Besides working as a Content Writer at Vantage Circle, she is an animal lover with a huge fascination for Cinema, Television & Foreign languages. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

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