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Tobacco Cessation: Let's Make It Happen At Workplaces

Tobacco Cessation: Let's Make It Happen At Workplaces
All tobacco related products in the form of smokeless or smoking causes cancer.

Let's see how tobacco cessation can occur in the workplace.

Written by Tavishi Dogra |Published : June 5, 2022 5:15 PM IST

The statutory warning, 'Cigarette Smoking is Injurious to Health,' is too familiar to most. Yet it has not been accepted with the seriousness that it merits. People still find reasons to smoke and chew tobacco in various forms. What is worse is that such people find ready excuses to convince others that what they are doing is not harmful because they are careful about other aspects of their lives. Let's see how tobacco cessation can occur in the workplace.

Tobacco Consumption At Workplaces

Many of these people are at, or at the threshold of, the most productive phase of their lives, i.e. the career phase. They spend their most interactive hours at the workplace. Their habits are likely to influence others, especially in leadership positions. Workplaces thus have a significant effect on the choices that people make about their lifestyles. This makes the workplace a critical venue that can transform society for the greater good.

  • This unique attribute of the workplace can be used to address employee health issues and restrain workers from the use of tobacco and tobacco products. Tobacco consumers can be encouraged to cut down their usage and eventually quit altogether; those already tobacco-free can be encouraged to stay that way.
  • Employees must be aware that the workplace is a significant source of second-hand smoke exposure. Therefore, they must be sensitised to the need for policies that prohibit the use of tobacco on the premises. This will help all workers avoid the dangers of unnecessary and undesirable exposure.

Hazards Of Tobacco Consumption

Information about the hazards of tobacco consumption, especially at the workplace, can be transmitted through the organisation's house journals, intra-office memos, and snippets in one-liners as office email signatures. These snippets can be updated from time to time. These tools will inform staff that a tobacco consumer is five times more likely to experience an occupational injury than a non-user; offer pointers that can help give up the habit; and help set a target date by which the office can be deemed to be tobacco-free. Going a step further, workplaces can also support tobacco users by offering cessation services through professionals. Incentives in recognition of employees who have managed to kick the habit successfully, and competitions between branches to see which office becomes tobacco-free at the earliest date, can provide compelling and lively motivation to all staff. Moreover, it will help staff support each other as a body and help each other stay on target.

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Initiatives: Beneficial For Employees

While good for the employees, such an initiative also benefits the employer. Soon, the office's ambience becomes one of cheerfulness and unity as employees motivate each other to reach their expected targets.

  • As a result, the office will have a positive buzz, like a whiff of fresh air, that will fill everyone with a sense of belonging and hope. Soon, employees will begin to show improved output, leading to the increased overall productivity of the unit.
  • In addition, employers can derive comfort from the fact that there will be a significant reduction in occupational hazards, sick leave, medical expenses and compensation costs.
  • Gradually, with fewer stubs strewn around and the absence of tobacco stains on staircase walls, the overall cleanliness and hygiene of the workplace will improve. Employers will feel a sense of kinship with the staff and will automatically take more interest in the health and welfare of the employees.


And last but not least, a healthy workplace is a happy workplace. Fewer staff will be motivated to move to other jobs, and the office will soon get projected as a workplace of choice. This will help employers attract better talent and consequently improve the bottom line. The hidden subtext is that families become close-knit and happier; children get the proper attention from their parents, and society gains from its productive population's improved quality of living.

This shows how one crucial arena, the workplace, can have such a snowballing effect on so many aspects of the population if the right moves are made at the right time.

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