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Smoking Policy Should Include Bans

Smoking bans on all company property both indoors and outdoors should be a visible part of a comprehensive non-smoking policy in Canadian workplaces, says a Conference Board of Canada report. Additional measures, such as smoking cessation programs, would also help employees to quit smoking. Currently, 19 per cent of Canadian organizations ban smoking from their property altogether. “Implementing workplace smoking bans and enforcing these restrictions will help to reduce the likelihood of smoking and shift the organizational culture,” says Karla Thorpe, director, leadership and human resources research. “Employers can also do more than setting restrictions – they can play a key role in helping smokers to quit. Three-quarters of current smokers are employed and many want to quit. The most effective methods to help smokers quit are to couple access to medication with counseling and support. This can increase success rates by two- to three-fold.” The majority of organizations (73 per cent) cover prescription smoking cessation medications. But only 40 per cent cover nicotine replacement therapies such as patches, gum, and/or lozenges. Many employers also impose yearly or lifetime maximum coverage limits on these programs. Since it often takes more than one attempt to quit smoking, plans should be reviewed to ensure coverage is sufficient to allow employees more than one try per year.

Courtesy of Benefits and Pensions Monitor website News Alerts

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