You might feel you have little control over your employees smoking but there are many ways you can support them to cut down and become smoke free.
Stopping smoking is one of the best things a person can do to improve their health and, with the help of their local stop smoking service, they’re four times more likely to succeed.
Smoking costs your organisation time and money – through reduced productivity from workers taking smoking breaks and sickness absence due to smoking related illnesses. Smoking long-term can lead to high blood pressure and is linked to heart disease, cancer and strokes. It can also aggravate conditions like asthma or the common cold.
Although smoking rates have fallen over recent years, there are still around 7.4 million adults who smoke in the UK and 71,849 adult smokers (14.3% of the local population) in Gloucestershire.
What you can do to support your employees to stop smoking
Supporting your employees to give up smoking is an important and positive step towards improving their health and productivity in the workplace.
You can encourage your employees to get FREE stop smoking support through Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire, the county’s official stop smoking service.
The Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire service offers behavioural support tailored to each individual in the form of 12-week one-to-one stop smoking programmes, working with a qualified healthy lifestyles coach. As well as the behavioural support offered – for example goal setting, motivators and tips for managing cravings - the service can also help with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), a low-risk, licenced medicine which can help manage cravings and is far less harmful than smoking.
By allowing your employees time off from work to attend their smoking cessation meetings (usually 1 hour) you will save time in the long run. To make life easier, Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire can meet your employees at a place convenient to them.
75% of people who have received stop smoking support from Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire have become smoke-free.
Best-You is a free online platform and app that you and your employees can use as your own personal platform to communicate, create goals and track your progress
Create a private Group and invite employees to discuss healthy lifestyles at work – activity, healthy eating or anything else that fits your organisation
Employees can create goals for smoking, healthy eating, alcohol, weight and activity. They can track their progress against their goal each day and Best-You will give motivational feedback
Best-You is full of helpful guidance with a specialised area on mood and stress. Employees can complete self-assessments and discuss this with their employer, if they want to.
You might want to hold a health and wellbeing awareness day and invite in Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire to speak to employees about free help to become smoke free. You could also encourage employees who’ve stopped smoking after using the service to become health and wellbeing champions. They could run promotions, campaigns and information sessions in the workplace to encourage and support others to become smoke free.
The Stoptober campaign every October is another opportunity to encourage your employees to give up smoking and signpost them to online support and information. The One You website has lots of helpful information, including case studies about people who’ve successfully quit with help from their local stop smoking service.
E-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes, if you have an employee that wants to quit, e-cigarettes could be a good place to start.
E-cigarettes allow you to inhale nicotine through a vapour rather than smoke. Many people have found that using e-cigarettes has stopped them smoking.
Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire are an e-cig friendly service who can support your employees to give them one-to-one behavioural support to stop smoking.
Useful Resources and Support for Employers
There are lots of resources online that can provide information and support on stopping smoking and that you can recommend to your employees.
ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) is a public health charity that works to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco. You can find information on national policies and legislation on their website.
Information on the risk factors of smoking from the British Heart Foundation
Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire’s local FREE stop smoking service
0800 122 3788