Workplace smoking cessation programs promote employee health and well-being while contributing to a positive, productive workforce. Routinely measuring the effectiveness of these programs can help ensure their success.
To do this, your organization can:
- Set SMART objectives
- Encourage employees to participate
- Conduct surveys and utilize date
- Get honest employee feedback
- Assess health outcomes and cost savings
- Offer long-term support
- Utilize industry benchmarks and best practices
Read on for tips on implementing these initiatives.
1. Set SMART objectives
Before tracking the success of your smoking cessation program, establish clear objectives that align with your organization's overall goals. These objectives should be SMART:
For example, your objective might be to enroll 10% more people who smoke into a smoking cessation program within the next six months. This will likely produce more successful outcomes than if you encourage your entire workforce to quit smoking in a month. Remember, realistic goals yield realistic results!
2. Encourage employees to participate
Your company’s smoking cessation programs won’t work if no one signs up. To motivate your employees to participate, offer enticing incentives like:
- Support groups
- Counseling sessions
- Educational literature
- Nicotine replacement therapy
- Smoking cessation programs like Pivot Breathe
It’s essential to frequently share tobacco cessation resources with your employees since the timing when someone wants to quit differs. For example, you can send monthly or quarterly emails or remind employees about your tobacco cessation benefits at all-company gatherings.
3. Conduct surveys and utilize data
No matter which options you choose to support your employees who smoke, it’s important to know if it is making a difference by helping them quit. Nearly 70% of people who smoke want to quit but aren’t able to succeed with subpar options.
Measuring your workforce’s smoking rates can help you evaluate the impact of your smoking cessation programs. Conduct regular surveys and utilize existing data to determine the number of employees who smoked at the beginning of the program. Then continue to track the progress of their quitting journey.
This data will provide insights into the success rate of your program or identify that it is time to evaluate different options.
4. Get honest employee feedback
Collecting feedback from employees participating in the smoking cessation program is essential for evaluating its effectiveness. Surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews can be conducted to gather their opinions, experiences, and satisfaction levels.
This feedback will help you identify strengths and weaknesses, make necessary adjustments, and continuously improve the programs you offer to better meet the needs of your employees.
5. Assess cost savings and productivity
Smoking can have a detrimental effect on your organization’s costs and productivity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking annually costs:
- $180 billion in lost productivity from smoking-related premature death
- $7 billion in lost productivity from sudden death from secondhand smoke
- $185 billion in lost productivity from smoking-related illnesses and health conditions
When you provide your employees with a smoking cessation program, you can expect significant savings in healthcare costs – up to $4,000 per employee per year. Over time, these improvements in their overall health will directly impact claims and expenses to your bottom line.
Another way to gauge your savings is to analyze your workforce’s productivity. Employees who don’t smoke take fewer breaks and request fewer sick days than those who do. So, you should see less absenteeism and a significant boost in office morale, which can positively impact your output.
You might be surprised how much money your organization saves in the short- and long-term!
6. Offer long-term support
A successful smoking cessation program doesn’t end after someone quits. The period after someone quits is equally vital and shouldn’t be ignored.
Make sure to follow up with employees that successfully quit and continue to track their long-term progress. If your workforce continues to smoke with your current initiatives, look for ways to improve programs.
7. Utilize industry benchmarks and best practices
Utilize industry benchmarks and best practices to ensure the success of your smoking cessation program. Staying up-to-date with industry standards will help you identify areas where your program can be improved and enable you to adopt innovative approaches.
Measuring the effectiveness of your smoking cessation program is essential to ensure its success and make informed decisions for improvement. Remember to set clear objectives, provide ongoing support, and benchmark against industry best practices. Keep track of key success metrics such as:
- cost savings
- smoking rates
- health outcomes
- employee feedback
- employee participation rates
This will help you gain valuable insights into the program's effectiveness and identify areas for enhancement.
With a solution-oriented approach and a focus on continuous improvement, you can create a successful smoking cessation program that promotes the well-being of your employees and fosters a healthier work environment.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2022). Smoking Cessation: Fast Facts.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2022). Costs and Expenditures.https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/cost-and-expenditures.html
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