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Help Employees Quit Using Tobacco

Why Should Employers Help employees Quit?

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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

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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

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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

How to Start a New Quitting Benefit Program

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

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.
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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.

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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.
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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.
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Learn More

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.