TobaccoFreeUtah.org

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Help Your Employees Quit Using Tobacco

Why should employers help employees stop using tobacco?

When employees quit smoking, businesses save money. In 1999, each adult smoker cost employers $1,760 in lost productivity and $1,623 in excess medical expenditures.1

Tobacco use cessation treatment is the single most cost-effective health insurance benefit for adults. 2,3,4 Smokers are 2-3 times more likely to quit when they have help than when they try to quit on their own. 5 Quitting prevents numerous expensive health problems, including heart disease, stroke, multiple cancers, respiratory diseases, pre-term delivery and low birth-weight.6,7,8

Employers can make adhering to a smoke-free policy easier for their employees by offering quitting services. Smoking policies must be supported by procedures for handling violations that are strictly enforced in order to be effective. Instead of being strictly punitive, such procedures should include help for violators, such as referrals to available quitting services.

Learn More:

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Free Services to Help Utahns Quit
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Health Plans and Employee Assistance Programs
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Quitting-Related Benefits Offered by Utah Health Plans
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How to Start a New Quitting Benefit Program
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Utah Indoor Clean Air Act Business Guide

Free Services to Help Utahns Quit

Utah employers are encouraged to refer tobacco-using employees to the Utah Tobacco Quit Line and Utah QuitNet for quitting support. These services are offered free of charge to Utah residents and are valuable resources for employees who want to quit using tobacco or who find it difficult to follow the smoking policy because of nicotine addiction. Employers can obtain referral cards and posters advertising these programs by calling the Tobacco Free Resource Line:1-877-220-3466 or by visiting this web page:
The TRUTH Campaign Marketing Resources

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Health Plans and Employee Assistance Programs

Your employees are more likely to stop using tobacco with the help of a comprehensive quitting program to complement the support services of the Utah Tobacco Quit Line and Utah QuitNet. The comprehensive program can be included in your employee health plan and/or your employee assistance program. Because tobacco users are more likely to quit with the aid of both counseling and medications combined, and because some individuals respond better to nicotine replacement therapy and others respond better to bupropion SR or adrenaline, an evidence-based benefit package includes ALL of the following elements:

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Approved Medications

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Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) NRT is a medication containing a low dosage of nicotine, without any of the other harmful substances found in tobacco. It helps quitters alleviate withdrawal symptoms and is not as addictive as tobacco. It is sold over-the-counter in the form of patches, gum and lozenges or by prescription only in the form of inhalers or nasal sprays.
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Bupropion SR (Zyban) Bupropion SR is a nicotine-free prescription antidepressant medication which helps quitters alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Make sure your health plan authorizes coverage of bupropion SR as a tobacco cessation aid; some only authorize its use for the treatment of depression, even though it has been approved by the FDA for both purposes.
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Varenicline (CHANTIX) Varenicline is a prescribed nicotine-free pill that works in two ways, by providing some nicotine effects to ease the withdrawal symptoms and by blocking the effects of nicotine from cigarettes if people resume smoking. The approved course of Chantix treatment is 12 weeks, a period that can be double for people who successfully quit to increase the likelihood they will remain smoke free.



Group or Individual Counseling

Counseling may be offered in person or by phone. To be effective, total counseling time should last 90-300 minutes and be divided into at least four sessions. 5

The greatest economic and health benefits of cessation coverage occur when co-payments for tobacco cessation treatments are low or eliminated. 9

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Quitting-Related Benefits Offered by Utah Health Plans

To view some of the cessation programs offered by Utah health insurance companies, see the the Tobacco Cessation Benefits Offered through Private Utah Insurers page. 

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How to Start a New Quitting Benefit Program

These resources expand on the advantages of offering stop-smoking benefits to your employees and offer practical advice on initiating a benefit program.

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Invest in Tobacco Cessation for a Healthy, Productive Workforce.
This pamphlet by the Pacific Center on Health and Tobacco encourages employers to compare the cost of tobacco-using employees to purchasing tobacco cessation benefits.
View Resource
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Coverage for Tobacco Use Cessation Treatments. 
This brief handout by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes evidence-based tobacco cessation interventions and their cost-effectiveness.

PDF format (1.52 MB)
HTML format
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Health Insurance Benefits for Treatment of Tobacco Dependence: Summary
This brief and clear summary by the Pacific Center on Health and Tobacco explains the financial costs of tobacco use to employers compared to the costs of purchasing smoking cessation benefits.
View Resource
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Employer’s Smoking Cessation Guide: Practical Approaches to a Costly Workplace Problem
This guide explains how employers can implement and benefit from workplace smoking bans and health insurance coverage that includes tobacco cessation.
View Resource

 

Utah Indoor Clean Air Act Business Guide

The guide is designed to help business and building managers comply with the law. 
View Resource

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Sources:
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Annual smoking-attributable mortality, years of potential life lost, and economic costs—United States, 1995Ð1999. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2002;51(14); 300–03.
  2. Warner KE. Cost effectiveness of smoking-cessation therapies. Interpretation of the evidence and implications for coverage. Pharmacoeconomics 1997;11(6):538–49.
  3. Cummings SR, Rubin SM, Oster G. The cost-effectiveness of counseling smokers to quit. Journal of the American Medical Association 1989;261(1):75–79.
  4. Cummings SR, Rubin SM, Oster G. The cost-effectiveness of counseling smokers to quit. Journal of the American Medical Association 1989;261(1):75–79.
  5. Fiore MC, Bailey WC, Cohen SJ, et. al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. October 2000.
  6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General: 1989 Executive Summary. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 1989.
  7. National Cancer Institute. Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke. The Report of the California Environmental Protection Agency. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph 10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. NIH Pub. No. 99–4645, 1999.
  8. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Women and Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001.
  9. Schauffler HH. Defining benefits and payment for smoking cessation treatments. Tobacco Control. 1997; 6 Suppl 1:S81-5.

 




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