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The Importance of Creating Comprehensive Tobacco-free Worksite Policies
November 14, 2019

It is no secret that tobacco use is harmful. Despite our knowledge of the multitude of carcinogens and toxins in tobacco, people still use it during work hours. According to the Center for Disease control, tobacco use in the workplace accounts for the most lost worker productivity compared to other causes such as family emergencies or alcohol abuse (1).

Tobacco use and recreational nicotine use via e-cigarettes at work can cost employers money. The loss of productivity for a business with smokers is estimated to cost $4,056 in productivity and $2,056 in medical costs per year (2).

Businesses that create tobacco-free campus policies protect the health and wellbeing of employees. This type of campus wide policy may encourage employees who use tobacco to quit the habit, especially if the campus tobacco-free policy includes cessation help for those who currently use tobacco or recreational nicotine products like e-cigarettes. This is important because In Okeechobee County, of the 17.7% of adults who currently smoke, 48% of them have tried to stop in the last year (3).

A worksite wellness trend in the U.S. is companies providing expanded services for employee wellness programs. In fact, recent studies show that 74% of businesses are considering increasing programs (4). Seventy percent of employers who have established wellness programs found them to be cost-effective (5). Tobacco Free Grounds policies also support employees in their attempts to quit, helping them to change their habits and avoid temptations to smoke. The trend across the State of Florida is businesses creating tobacco-free campus policies and enhanced worksite wellness policies that include cessation coverage. Now, most college campuses are tobacco-free as are many hospitals in the State of Florida.

The free Quit Your Way program allows employees to call, go online, or even attend face-to-face cessation classes, many of which have been hosted at their places of employment in order to support tobacco cessation efforts.

For more information about adopting a tobacco free workplace, visit or contact  To learn more about the Quit Your Way program, visit


  1. Centers for Disease Control. (n.d.). Implementing a tobacco-free campus initiative in your workplace. Retrieved from
  2. Berman M, Crane R, Seiber E, et al. Estimating the cost of a smoking employee
    Tobacco Control Published Online First: 03 June 2013. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050888
  3. Florida Department of Health. (2016). Florida Behavioral Risk Factor Data. Retrieved from
  4. Attridge, M. (n.d.). EAP integration with worksite wellness programs. Retrieved from
  5. Ibid.