The Importance of Addressing Tobacco Use in the Workplace
Let's address the elephant in the room because tobacco use in the workplace, especially in India, is often pushed under the carpet. Par kyun? Tobacco consumption is one of the few preventable habits with tremendous health benefits.
Whether you choose to chew, sniff or smoke, the effects are equally harmful. Tobacco consumption has personal and professional consequences. Employees who consume it in the workplace suffer from more health issues, face a decline in work productivity, and are more likely to miss work than their non-smoking counterparts. Companies are gradually implementing smoke-free policies to tackle the issues of tobacco use in the workplace and safeguard the health of non-smokers. Read on to know what more can be done this ‘World No Tobacco Day’.
Source : https://www.livetobaccofreeaustin.org/
Reducing Tobacco Consumption In The Workplace
Employers can empower employee health by turning challenges from tobacco use in the workplace into opportunities. Consider these points:
- Reduced Medical Costs
Making the workplace a tobacco-free zone does more than boost employee health. It helps the business save millions of rupees that would otherwise be spent on complications arising from tobacco consumption.
- Employee Productivity
When employees are healthy and happy, it reflects in their work. Reduced sick leaves and absenteeism boost productivity at work. An organisation that values its workers' mental and physical health grows faster.
- Cleaner Environment
It happens every so often that non-smokers pay the price of smoking in public area. Exposure to secondhand smoke is a potential health hazard that causes serious health problems. A smoke-free environment safeguards the health and safety of all employees. Creating a designated smoking area can gradually reduce consumption among employees, especially if it is positioned in a far-flung corner of the office area.
- Happier Homes
It is believed that when more workplaces go smoke-free, more homes do too. Healthy employees have happier families with lesser health issues that are often related to secondhand smoke consumption.
- Access To Help
Not everyone chooses to go cold turkey. As an employer implementing a smoke-free workplace, you need to help your smoking employees with access to counsellors or doctors who can advise about NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy). Working and quitting tobacco altogether can take a toll on their mental health. Focus on organising interactive sessions during breaks to distract them from heading out for a smoke.
The Impact Of Having Smoke Buddies
Peer pressure plays an overwhelming part in driving youth to smoke and chew tobacco. There can be many other reasons why young adults become dependent on tobacco products. Here are some of them backed by evidence (sources at the bottom) that could trigger this habit:
- Parents are smokers.
- They seek attention at home and pick up the habit as an act of rebellion or mistakenly correlate smoking to independence.
- Tobacco-consuming friends who encourage them to chew tobacco or take a puff, which gradually becomes a habit.
- Nicotine is an addictive drug when taken without supervision. Young smokers are not mature enough to understand its long-term consequences.
- The influence of clever marketing gimmicks that equate consuming tobacco to being 'cool'.
Strategies For A Tobacco-free Workplace
Dhanda aur tambaku ka rishta hanikarak hai. Janhit mein jari.
Today, businesses are becoming more sensitive towards practising workplace safety measures that protect their employees. From implementing tobacco-free policies to smoking cessation support, they're doing it all one step at a time. It's a slow journey but a cleaner and healthier one. Par yeh karna kaise hai apne desh mein?
Our standard strategy can be used as a guideline and tweaked according to your business needs. Here's what you can do to encourage a tobacco-free workplace:
1. Policy Outline
- Companies can include a clause about the employee supporting the 'Tobacco-free workplace' initiative in their contract.
- Cover for tobacco cessation counselling
- Access to NRT products
- Financial support to recover the lungs of a smoker
- Offering tobacco cessation newsletters and medical research articles to promote quitting smoking
- Offering employee incentives to quit tobacco
- Sessions on the benefits of cessation
- Access to wellness activities
- Mental health support for employees at the workplace
- Easy access to healthcare facilities
- Discounts for regular counselling sessions
- Lower health insurance premiums
Tobacco consumption stems from three main factors: stress relief, pleasure, and social settings. Whatever your trigger, tobacco use in the workplace is a threat to everyone. Smoking tobacco is an environmental and health hazard that increases the chance of lung cancer for all exposed to secondhand smoke. Companies could tackle reduced productivity at work, anxiety and disturbed concentration among employees by implementing tobacco-free policies in the workplace. Say no to tobacco for a healthier and better tomorrow this 'World No Tobacco Day'.