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October 4, 2022

New Research Sheds Light on the Impact of Stress on Tobacco Users

Employers Can Take Measures to Help Workers Manage Stress and Tackle Tobacco Use

October 04, 2022 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pivot, a digital health company empowering individuals to embrace wellness and enabling corporations and health plans to improve their population's health, today released proprietary research titled, Help Employees Better Manage Stress With This Unexpected Benefit, a report that dives deeper into the correlation between employee stress and tobacco use. The report sheds light on the impact of stress on tobacco-using employees, how stress and tobacco use interact, where employers and employees see things differently, and most importantly - how employers can make a real difference.

The American Psychological Association's March 2022 poll found that 87% of adults say the last two years have been a constant stream of crises. The American Institute of Stress' most recent survey reveals that 62% of respondents have such high-stress levels at work that they feel out of control. The impact on stress has reached such new heights that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released a new recommendation to screen all adults 64 years or younger for anxiety. These are all startling statistics employers must consider when looking for ways to support the health and well-being of their workforce.

"Our prior research revealed an increase in tobacco use in the workplace associated with the pandemic, increased mental health issues, and the availability of vape products. We felt there was a connection between stress and increased tobacco use in the workplace that we needed to better understand so we conducted this rigorous survey of 210 benefits leaders at US companies," said David S. Utley, M.D., Pivot's Founder and CEO.

“We already know that stress and tobacco use are highly related. And we know that employees are under intense levels of stress these days and often relieve that stress by using tobacco, not realizing that tobacco often exacerbates the physiological response to stress. This study shows that employers are not fully aware of the link between stress and tobacco and that most incorrectly believe that their mental health services cover tobacco cessation.”

The report offers three key takeaways:

  1. Employers commonly miss or underestimate the connection between employee tobacco use and stress, especially the interaction between workplace pressure and tobacco use.
  2. Employers believe traditional workplace mental health resources cover tobacco cessation appropriately, even when those programs often lack cessation-specific tools and accredited expert providers.
  3. Employees who use tobacco feel stigmatized and misunderstood by employers who fail to recognize its role in raising stress or providing adequate cessation solutions.

HR leaders can also glean three effective strategies they can implement quickly to make a difference for their employees using tobacco and experiencing stress.

Much of the information in the report came from a survey completed by 210 qualified HR professionals and 409 employees who consume tobacco. All participants work for companies with 1,000 or more employees that offer at least one mental health or wellness program to US-based employees. Industries included healthcare, technology, construction, manufacturing, financial services and insurance, retail, education, government, transportation, services, hospitality, energy and utilities, and nonprofits.

Employers largely miss the connection between tobacco use and stress in the workplace. Employees' tobacco use and workplace stress levels are both rising in a complex relationship where one spurs the other. This report provides important information employers can use to help workers manage stress and tackle tobacco use. Download the report here.

About Pivot

Pivot is a digital health company that empowers individuals to embrace wellness and enables corporations and health plans to improve their population's health. Pivot's first product addresses tobacco use, the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the US. Pivot addresses cessation for all forms of tobacco (combustible, vaporized, and smokeless) and delivers a mobile app experience complete with tailored behavior change content, pharmacotherapy, an FDA-cleared carbon monoxide (CO) breath sensor, a supportive peer community, and a personal tobacco treatment coach. For more information, please visit:


Laura Metzger
Upright Position Communications
Tel: +1-339-788-0128
Email: [email protected]