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Building an Effective Smoking Cessation Program

Posted Feb 10 2010 12:00am

Wellness professionals know that when it comes to smoking cessation programs, there are a variety of approaches. Some are relatively passive (offering free services to employees who wish to quit without penalizing those who don't). Others are openly punitive. We blogged a while back about companies that actually refuse to hire smokers.

A recent article in Employee Benefit News highlights the challenges of building an effective program. The first goal, obviously, is to identify the smokers--and that isn't always easy. The article notes that 90% of employers use health risk assessments to identify tobacco users, which can be problematic. If participation rates are low, some smokers will be missed.

The article mentions two successful tactics that we include in our own programs: nominating employee "champions" to help motivate others, and creating milestones that correspond to national efforts. For example, one company announced a new no-smoking policy as a part of the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout challenge.

Does your company have a unique approach to smoking cessation? If so, tell us about it in the comments section below.
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