Co-authored by the American Lung Association and StayWell
Despite the gradual decline in the amount of people that smoke in the United States, tobacco remains the No. 1 cause of preventable disease, disability, and death each year. Choosing to make your organization tobacco-free is one of the most important decisions you can make for your workplace(s) and your employees.
Besides the obvious health benefits of quitting, employees who don’t smoke or use tobacco are more productive and focused at work. Smoking-related illness costs more than $150 billion in lost productivity and smokers miss more than 2 days of work each year compared to nonsmoking colleagues. Nearly 10% of all health care spending is for illness caused by smoking as well.
Impactful tobacco-free policies do more than just prohibit smoking. Implementing a comprehensive policy is essential considering the popularity of alternative products such as e-cigarettes. Nearly 30% of adult e-cigarette users are former cigarette smokers but only about half of employers today include e-cigarettes and other vaporizers in their smoking policies.
To build a case for implementing a new policy—or adjusting an existing smoke-free policy to be more inclusive—you can argue that comprehensive tobacco-free policies:
- Work to improve the health of employees
- Reduce costs to employers (e.g., employees are more productive and healthier)
- Go beyond traditional smoking and address newer forms of tobacco use
- Help people quit smoking or give up tobacco products
Download our white paper to learn more about how tobacco-free policies positively impact the workplace and ultimately your bottom line.