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The Challenge of Smoking Cessation

Posted Sep 30 2009 10:01pm
As wellness professionals, we spend a lot of time talking about the long-term cost of obesity. It's not surprising to learn that most workplace wellness programs focus on diet and exercise in an effort to curb medical costs. But as the Workers' Comp Insider blog argues, it's important to address the other elephant in the room--tobacco use.

We've already blogged about some companies that have actually given their employees an ultimatum: join a smoking cessation program, or find other digs. The military has also toyed with the idea of banning tobacco use over time.

The Workers' Comp Insider blog highlights the insidious way that nicotine activates pleasure centers in the brain, making it extremely difficult to quit. They cite one expert who says that it takes between 7 and 11 attempts for the average smoker to quit successfully.

The lesson for wellness professionals is clear: smoking cessation is an important goal for workplace wellness, but success won't happen overnight. As with other lifestyle changes, your employees will need the right support over the long haul. The American Lung Association has a variety of information on its website geared toward helping people kick the habit.

Have you quit smoking successfully? If so, congratulations! But what made the difference? How did you do it?




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