A recent benchmark study by digital health company Pivot reveals that 48% of employers plan to prioritize tobacco cessation as one of their top three wellness priorities for 2022. The study highlights the increasing prevalence of smoking and vaping among employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 96% of tobacco users engaging in these habits while at work. Mental health issues, the pandemic, and the availability of vaporized nicotine are identified as the major drivers of the tobacco boom. However, discussing tobacco use at work remains taboo, with 69% of employees avoiding revealing their tobacco use to their employers due to the stigmas associated with substance use.
To address this issue, employers need to provide long-term, comprehensive, and holistic care for employees who want to quit tobacco, similar to the approach taken for other health conditions. Pivot offers evidence-based solutions such as access to a dedicated coach for a year and FDA-cleared sensors that measure carbon monoxide in exhaled breath, allowing users to track their progress in reducing or quitting smoking. The goal is to engage employees and create a supportive environment that encourages honesty about tobacco usage. Insurance surcharges for tobacco users, which can exceed $2,000 a year, need to be reconsidered to truly reduce substance use. By integrating tobacco cessation solutions into workplace benefits, employers can help employees feel supported and seen in their journey to quit smoking.
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