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As an employer, it is important to offer proven tobacco-use treatment benefits through your health plan. An effective health care cessation benefit encourages and supports employees' attempts to quit tobacco. Talk with your health plan about incorporating these types of model benefits:
According to the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency's 2009 Annual Report, half of all current smokers attempted to quit over the past year. One out of every four smokers is ready to quit smoking in the next 30 days. By providing a smoke-free worksite and offering cessation benefits, an employer can support successful cessation. In turn, the employer receives a healthier, more productive and less costly workforce.
Ideally, employers should consider a three-prong approach that includes policies, benefits and programs that will encourage employees not to use tobacco in the workplace and to quit using tobacco altogether.
Employers who implement a smoke-free workplace policy have an opportunity to communicate a consistent pro-health message, project a positive image, and reduce tobacco-related health care costs. Providing cessation benefits (coverage for counseling and medications) in conjunction with the policy supports employees in their quitting process.