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February 1, 2022

New report shows smoking cessation becoming a higher priority for employers

A new report by Pivot, a digital health company focused on tobacco cessation, highlights changing attitudes toward smoking in the workplace and the impact of COVID-19 on tobacco use. The report, titled "Attitudes Toward Tobacco Use in the Workplace," surveyed 530 human resources professionals and 1,525 employees from industries with high tobacco prevalence. The findings reveal that tobacco cessation is becoming a top priority for employers, with 46% of HR professionals ranking it as one of their top three priorities for employee benefits and wellness programs. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on tobacco use, with 12% of respondents relapsing into tobacco use and 19% starting to use tobacco for the first time during the pandemic. As a result, 97% of employers now view tobacco usage as a concern, leading 73% of them to plan on offering tobacco cessation programs in 2022.

While there is strong employer support for tobacco cessation programs, the report highlights a disconnect between employers and employees on the effectiveness of these programs. While 60% of employers believe their existing tobacco cessation programs are very effective, only around 30% of employees who use tobacco share the same sentiment. The report also reveals that lack of understanding and awareness contribute to low program utilization, with only 39% of employees utilizing these services. Moving forward, the report suggests that benefits leaders need to better understand how tobacco use is viewed in the workplace, improve employee perception and understanding of cessation programs, and effectively manage the tobacco use crisis to protect employees' health, brands, and bottom line.

To read the full article, click here.