Published on July 9th, 2018 | by Burlington Partnership0
Reduce Tobacco Use & Improve Wellness at Work
Want Help to Reduce Tobacco Use and Improve Wellness at Your Worksite?
Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of improving your worksite smoking or tobacco use policy? Burlington’s local substance abuse prevention coalition, the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community (BPHC) can help. The prevalence of adult smoking has decreased over the last few decades, in part due to improved policies that support tobacco-free workplaces and public spaces. Worksites can help to continue reducing tobacco use by creating an environment that supports a right to breathe clean air. BPHC works with the Vermont Department of Health to help local businesses create a tobacco-free campus policy and support cessation for employees.
Why do we care about smoking?
The facts are clear. Secondhand smoke from tobacco products is dangerous. According to the Surgeon General’s report, “There is NO risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Any exposure to tobacco smoke – even an occasional cigarette or exposure to secondhand smoke – is harmful.” Smoking is the #1 cause of preventable death in this country. Here in Vermont, 800-1000 people die each year from smoking related causes.
Tobacco use is one of three behaviors in Vermont that are contributing to four chronic diseases that result in more than 50% of all deaths in Vermont. Additionally, information from the Center for Disease Control shows that employee tobacco use results in increased health care costs, lost work time (due to smoke breaks) and increased absenteeism, and estimates that the cost of employee smoking for the employer averages approximately $5,325 per year per smoker. BPHC is helping organizations and businesses in the Burlington area reduce dangerous exposure to secondhand smoke, support the health of their employees, and reduce health care costs.
If you are ready to transition to a smoke-free or tobacco-free worksite or property we can help by providing:
- Free metal smoke-free or tobacco-free campus signage. We also provide small removable window decals that say, “Breathe easy. Smoke free zone.” if you prefer something less permanent.
- Connections to sample worksite policies and letters to employees with smoke-free policy language.
- FREE cessation tools and support available through 802quits.org (including nicotine replacement therapy, group cessation classes, and distraction tools) for interested employees.
- In-person support from BPHC staff to attend planning meetings or give presentations for your employees or partners.
A rapidly growing number of worksites, housing complexes, and institutions throughout the nation and in VT have created smoke- or tobacco-free policies to support the health and wellness of their employees and consumers. To name just a few: Dealer.com, Vermont Public Radio, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, all housing owned by Summit Property Management, and the University of Vermont Medical Center and student campus.
Proudly displaying tobacco-free campus signs and promoting tobacco cessation shows your organization’s commitment to helping improve the quality of life of all Vermonters. For more information about Vermont’s Worksite Wellness resources and the 3-4-50 campaign visit healthvermont.gov/3-4-50/businesses. BPHC is committed to helping your worksite improve employee and consumer wellness, so please connect with us for personalized support at 802.652.0997 or Mariah@burlingtonpartnership.org.