Tobacco use, especially secondhand smoke, can have a devastating effect on your employees, your customers, and the health of your business. Tobacco free policies send the message that you care about your employee’s health and safety. This is particularly important in light of the fact that approximately three quarters of the workforce is comprised of non-smokers.
The impact of implementing a tobacco free policy will be most immediate for employees who use tobacco. You can help them adjust to the tobacco free policy by:
- Informing them in advance of the new policy and its implementation date
- Letting tobacco users know you appreciate their efforts to comply with the policy
- Offering tobacco use cessation assistance, and providing employees with information about local cessation programs and the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline
- Offering to pay for tobacco cessation programs for employees and their covered dependents
- Including treatments for tobacco use and dependence as a covered health benefit
How Much Does Tobacco Use Cost You?
In Oklahoma, there are an estimated 684,063 adult smokers. Smoking costs an estimated $3,734.00 per smoker per year. That cost is comprised of $1,791.00 in direct medical expenditures and $1,943.00 in lost productivity (adjusted for inflation, U.S. Department of Labor, CPI calculation, 1998 to 2002). Factors considered in estimating these costs include:
- Greater healthcare costs
- Work time spent on smoking breaks
- Higher life insurance premium costs
- Greater risk of occupational injuries
- Costlier disability
- More disciplinary actions
Make It Your Business!
Make It Your Business is a curriculum designed to enhance the health of your employees. The curriculum is a guide for businesses to learn how to implement policies and practices that will ensure employee health. The curriculum is an easy to use toolkit divided into 3 sections: Nutrition, physical activity and tobacco. All 3 sections give businesses practical ideas to create their own wellness policies and programs for the workplace at little or no cost. We call this Worksite Wellness!
Worksite Wellness Programs can:
- Improve employee morale
- Reduce the number of medical claims filed by employees
- Reduce sick days taken by employees
- Increase employee productivity
- Enhance the work environment
- Attract new employees to your business
For additional information on Worksite Wellness, please see our Health at Work section.