Statistics released on tobacco usage in the workplace

The American Cancer Society and Vitality Institute have released statistics related to tobacco usage at the workplace and tips for employers. The report shows how tobacco is not only bad for employees’ health but bad for the employer’s bottom line.

Statistics include:

• 480,000 people die in US each year from tobacco-related issues

• $151 billion of lost productivity due to premature deaths

• $5.6 billion of lost productivity due to secondhand smoke

• $6,000 per year: how much extra it costs to employ a smoker

Three tips for employers to help employees give up tobacco:

Make your workplace 100 percent smoke-free.

• A tobacco-free environment creates a safer, healthier workplace and helps support tobacco users who want to quit.

Encourage adoption free nicotine replacement therapy

• The Affordable Care Act requires most health insurance plans to cover tobacco cessation treatments, like NRT and counseling without a co-pay from your employees.

Provide employees with information about the dangers of smoking.

• Facilitate your employees’ access to evidence-based resources, support and incentives that can help them quit.

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