Support Your Employees in Tobacco and Smoking Cessation
Tobacco cessation: a challenge that's well worth it
Tobacco can be one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. However, the human body responds to tobacco cessation almost immediately, and the health effects continue as time progresses. Just consider the following health benefits after quitting:
- In just 20 minutes: an ex-smoker's heart rate drops closer to normal.
- 12 hours: carbon monoxide levels in the blood return to normal.
- 1 to 9 months: coughing stops and breathing improves.
- 1 year: risk of heart disease is cut in half compared to smokers.
- 2 to 5 years: risk of stroke is the same as non-smokers and risk of developing certain cancers is cut in half.
Help employees develop a plan to quit
You can offer the tools and resources your employees need to quit tobacco for good. This can include information about free resources, or support through the company wellness program.
The Healthy MeritsSM Wellness Program and tobacco cessation
You can offer tobacco cessation as part of your Healthy Merits Jog or Run program from Meritain Health. Your customized program can include discounts on tobacco cessation products and access to the QuitNet online cessation community, as well as digital and call-in Active Lifestyle Coaching programs for tobacco cessation. To learn more about Healthy Merits, just contact your Meritain Health representative.
Smart tips to help employees quit
The following steps are promoted by www.smokefree.gov to help smokers and tobacco users quit for good. To provide cessation information to employees, you can post it on the company intranet, or include it in a newsletter, email or on a bulletin board. Consider sharing the following tips with your staff:
- Pick a date to quit. It's best to choose a day that you know won't be busy or stressful. Then, write it on the calendar and tell friends, family and coworkers.
- Remove all reminders of tobacco. By getting rid of all traces of tobacco and cigarettes, you can make it much easier to stay focused on quitting. That means throw away all cigarettes, ashtrays, tobacco and lighters. You can also get the smoky smell out of your car and home by cleaning your carpets, curtains and clothes, and the upholstery in your car.
- Know your reasons for quitting. Then when you crave tobacco or cigarettes, you can remind yourself why you've decided to stop. Just think about being around longer for your family and friends, being able to breathe easier and do the things you love, etc.
- Identify your triggers. If you know what causes you to want to smoke or chew, you can take steps to avoid this trigger.
- Have a plan. To help yourself, just make a list of everything else you can do when you get the urge to use tobacco. You might go for a walk, exercise, drink some water, chew gum or listen to music. You can also try nicotine replacement products to help with your cravings.
- Know where to turn for help. There are plenty of online and call-in support services available to help you. You can visit smokefree.gov or call 1.800.784.8669 to learn more.
All it takes is motivation and a good plan
You can help your employees to be healthier and more productive by encouraging them to quit tobacco for good. For more information about tobacco cessation services as part of the Healthy Merits Wellness Program, contact your Meritain Health representative. You can also find cessation tips and resources.