News Release: Tobacco Free Florida Highlights Benefits of Supporting Employees in Quitting Smoking
March 19, 2021
Daytona Beach, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Volusia County would like to recognize local employers’ efforts to improve the health of their workplaces by going tobacco free and facilitating opportunities for their employees to quit.
For employers who are unable to provide access to cessation opportunities through their employee benefits package, Tobacco Free Florida can help. Florida residents who want to quit can get help through the Quit Your Way Program, where they can access evidence-based, free tools and services to help them quit tobacco. Volusia County residents can also access group cessation sessions (Group Quit) provided by Northeast Florida Area Health Education Center (NEFAHEC). NEFAHEC offers a variety of virtual and in-person programs for Volusia County where participants receive free nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, and lozenges) and instructions on their proper use.
“We know that COVID-19 increases the danger to smokers in the workforce. Through the Quit Your Way program, worksites can offer free resources to employees to improve their health and reduce the risks of these increased dangers,” said John Tosi, Health Educator.
Tobacco use is directly associated with a variety of respiratory diseases and cancer.[i] Avoiding or quitting tobacco use is critically important to the physical and mental wellbeing of all people globally. Establishing updated policies to reduce and discourage tobacco use is important for improving the health of a worksite but it is also makes sense financially. For each employee that quits, a business can save as much as $2,000 per year through reduced insurance cost.[ii] Between both the additional healthcare costs and losses in productivity, an employee who smokes could cost a business more than $6,000 every year.[iii]
Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Florida and the United States.[iv] On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.[v] Smoking can also cost individuals a lot more than just their health. A pack-a-day smoker in Florida can spend more than $2,000 in just one year and more than $10,000 in five years on cigarettes.
Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program makes it easier than ever for tobacco users to access evidence-based, free tools and services to help them quit tobacco. For more information, please visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway.
People can also access Tobacco Free Florida’s online Cost Calculator to find out how much money they could save by quitting smoking at tobaccofreeflorida.com/calculator.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
About Tobacco Free FloridaThe department’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 254,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida's free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.
[i] Penn State. “Potential Costs and Benefits of Smoking Cessation for Florida.” 30 April 2010. Web. 1 March 2011.http://www.lungusa.org/stop-smoking/tobacco-control-advocacy/reports-resources/cessation-economic-benefits/reports/SmokingCessationTheEconomicBenefits.pdf.
[ii] Berman, Micah, Crane, Rob, Seiber, Eric, Munur, Mehmet. Estimating the cost of a smoking employee. British Medical Journal. 2014;176(12):1792-1798. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6530.
[iii] Berman, Micah, Crane, Rob, Seiber, Eric, Munur, Mehmet. Estimating the cost of a smoking employee. British Medical Journal. 2014;176(12):1792-1798. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6530.
[iv] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.
[v] Jha P, Ramasundarahettige C, Landsman V, et al. 21st Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine 2013;368:341–50 [accessed 2017 Mar 28].