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New Year’s Resolution for New Jersey Business Owners: Help Your Employees Quit Smoking

Deb Brown

Friday, December 13, 2013 • 2:46pm

 

Business owners can start 2014 out in a healthy AND profitable manner – by helping their employees quit smoking.

“Helping smokers quit saves lives and curbs healthcare costs,” said Deborah Brown, CEO of the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic. “New Jersey’s economic costs due to smoking are $5,595,317,000. Workers can claim unemployment or disability due to smoking. Unemployment and disability costs will cost your company more money.”

“Lung diseases are among the most common and costly of all health problems. Many potential causes of lung disease can be found in the workplace, but with the proper measures can be easily controlled, creating safer and healthier working conditions for all employees,” said Brown.

The American Lung Association offers many resources to help employers adopt and implement workplace policies that support a healthy work environment while providing health education resources to support lung health. Making the decision to focus on improving air quality indoors and providing resources for employees who smoke or are living with a chronic lung disease will curb rising health care costs, help employees adopt healthier lifestyles, and lower the risk of developing costly chronic diseases.

How lung-friendly is your workplace?

  • Are chemicals and allergens controlled to ensure the safety of employees while at work?
  • Is work-related asthma documented in order to identify trends and address problems in specific industries?
  • Is your workplace smokefree?
  • Does employee health insurance coverage include a comprehensive plan to ensure access to healthcare services, medications and supplies that keep symptoms under control, while also offering smoking cessation support?

 

What Employers Can Do:

Create a safe & healthy workplace. The ALA’s “Guide to Safe & Healthy Workplaces Toolkit” includes policy recommendations for addressing lung health in the workplace, along with the implementation strategies, tools and information that can support your efforts.

Choose Freedom From Smoking® for your employees for unmatched flexibility and results. Freedom From Smoking® has three delivery options: online, telephone counseling and in-person clinics.

  1. The online option is a self-paced program ideal for off-site employees or smokers who prefer this method of learning.
  2. The Lung HelpLine telephone option is staffed by certified counselors who are registered nurses and respiratory therapists with extensive training and experience in smoking cessation programs.
  3. The in-person clinic option is delivered in a small group setting to give participants personalized attention and the support of their peers. A clinic is eight sessions over a seven week period and includes lectures, group discussion and skill practice.

 

About the American Lung Association

Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity and holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lungusa.org.

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