There is a lot of information on the web about smoking, tobacco use, and the obvious health risks and costs. However, what do you do when you manage a company that desperately wants to offer their employees the best benefits at a rate they can afford? One valuable solution is to develop a tobacco policy. Here are the types of ways you can transform your culture into a tobacco free zone:
Find out local and state laws that will support your decision to be smoke free.
Talk with your broker to determine if your health insurance carrier will offer a special tobacco policy/rate (usually a higher premium for tobacco users).
Conduct a worksite assessment to see how many tobacco users are at work. Become knowledgeable on tobacco use in its relation to loss of productivity, extra costs in medical expenses, more lost days of work, increase in injuries, and slower recovery. Use this knowledge to gain support of others you need to join your cause. Offer tobacco cessation programs and coaching to current users.
Have your worksite wellness team join your charge! Don’t have one? Ask me how I can help!
The latest tobacco related news is that on June 21, 2010, the law takes effect that packaging of tobacco products, “Under the FDA’s new regulation, tobacco manufacturers may no longer use words like “light” “low” or “mild” to describe their products”. Many packs of cigarettes are now color coded instead, and they are not allowed to have self-serve style displays, all cigarettes must be sold “behind the counter”. These new laws are directed at young consumers. Will senate bill 55, now law…do much to deter young consumers from smoking?
We will be posting updates in the coming weeks and months on our progress at a larger company that is just now embarking on becoming smoke free. The background: The company has implemented health risk assessments and have a significant number of tobacco users. They have developed a team and contacted their broker. They have just conducted open enrollment, communicating that tobacco users will receive a higher fee on their health insurance beginning in October. Health coaching and smoking cessation program communication is being promoted HEAVILY in July, and will begin in August.
If you don’t know already, Great American Smoke Out! Is scheduled for November 19, 2010. This day will be a smoke free day! Get materials and information for your worksite by clicking here.