Considering a Great Workplace Smokeout? Try these Tips to Help Your Company Kick the Habit
DETROIT – November 13, 2009 – A smoke-free work environment sends a clear message of a company's commitment to create and sustain a healthy community and healthy workforce.
Smoke-free worksites protect employees and clients from secondhand smoke, which can be especially harmful to people with chronic diseases such as asthma. If it's time for your organization to become smoke-free, Health Alliance Plan (HAP) encourages you to consider these key principles for implementing a successful smoke-free policy:
Focus on health and safety regarding environmental tobacco smoke, not individual rights.
Obtain management commitment and support, and make this support visible to employees through as many communication channels as possible.
Provide real and visible opportunities for employee participation in policy planning and implementation.
Allow four to six months from the time of the announcement to implementation, depending on the size of the organization and the magnitude of the change from the old to the new policy.
To maximize motivation, plan to implement the policy in conjunction with national events such as the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout in November or around New Year's Day (when people are making New Year's resolutions).
Ensure that restrictions and enforcement are equitable across job categories, and enforce the smoke-free policy just as you would enforce any other policy.
Offer smoking cessation programs to all employees and their families before and after the policy change. Employees will need your support in their attempts to quit smoking and to prevent relapse. Some health plans (such as HAP's Health Engagement Program) reward employees with lower costs for making healthy choices like participating in a smoking cessation program.
American Cancer Society
Toll-free number: 1-800-ACS-2345
Web site: www.cancer.org
Offers information on tobacco, smoking, smoke-free worksites and quitting
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
Office on Smoking and Health
Toll-free number: 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO)
Web site: www.cdc.gov/tobacco
Offers information on tobacco, smoking, and quitting.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Toll-free number: 1-800-232-4636
Web site: www.cdc.gov/niosh
Offers information by phone and Web on workplace safety topics; also can look into potential hazards in worksites when requested by employers or employees.
HAP helps customers foster a culture of health at their workplace through best-in-class wellness solutions. Learn more at www.hap.org/worksite.