You know how hard it is to stop smoking – imagine if you never started. Just as state and city governments create tobacco policies, organizations and companies also work to enact policies and rules to protect their workforce and help future generations remain smokefree. These policies can also help current smokers find the motivation and the assistance they need to quit.
Read on to learn about three successful tobacco control policies that can help people quit – or never start – smoking.
Enacting Workplace Smoking Policies
You’re not the only one who benefits from improved health, and more time and money by quitting smoking. Similar benefits have also inspired many companies to implement smokefree workplace policies to reduce secondhand smoke exposure and offer quit smoking support to employees who use tobacco and want to quit. Did you know:
- Smoking-related illness in the U.S. costs more than $300 billion a year, including over $175 billion in direct medical care for adults and $156 billion in lost productivity.
- Employers can save nearly $6,000 per year for every employee who quits smoking
- Savings can come from lower healthcare costs, increased workplace productivity and prevented premature deaths.
- Companies can help their employees quit smoking by offering insurance plans with cessation coverage, providing access to smoking cessation group programs, or encouraging employees to become smokefree through workplace incentives.
Making Smoking Cessation Coverage Accessible
Did you know that support from a healthcare provider, which includes counseling and medication, can double your chances of quitting smoking? Advocates are working to ensure that all health plans offer a comprehensive smoking cessation benefit providing quitters barrier-free access to counseling and medication to help them quit. Check with your health plan to see what types of counseling and medication are covered, then connect with a healthcare provider to schedule an appointment!
- Comprehensive smoking cessation benefits include both providing coverage for evidence-based treatments to help people quit smoking and making sure that policy holders know about their coverage and how to access those benefits.
- Based on healthcare policy, a comprehensive smoking cessation benefit is one that covers all three forms of counseling (individual, group, and telephone) and all seven FDA-approved smoking cessation medications.
Encouraging Tobacco-free Spaces
Kids look up to their sports heroes, and America’s national pastime is doing its part to encourage tobacco-free lifestyles for their players and fans alike. Knock Tobacco Out of the Park is a collective agreement between Major League Baseball (MLB), the MLB Players Association, and public health leaders to help end the use of smokeless tobacco among baseball players and in baseball stadiums.
- Tobacco-free MLB players help set good examples for young baseball fans.
- Tobacco-free stadiums help encourage a smokefree lifestyle for game-goers.
- The state of California and the cities of Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Tampa Bay and St. Louis have each passed ordinances prohibiting smokeless tobacco use at sporting venues.
Join us to create a smokefree community and protect future generations from the dangers of tobacco. Take the steps to become smokefree, and encourage those around you to do the same. A smokefree future can start with you!