• Smoking reduces life span by an average of 12-14 years.
• Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United
States and is responsible for one in every five American deaths.
• Tobacco kills more Americans each year than alcohol, cocaine,
crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire and AIDS
• More than 50 diseases have been linked to smoking including
cancers, heart disease and lung disease.
• Each year, primarily because of exposure to secondhand smoke, an
estimated 3,000 nonsmoking Americans die of lung cancer, and
more than 35,000 die of heart disease.
• The total excess costs to employers per smoker per year are an
average of $5,606, broken down as follows:
– smoking breaks: $1,882
– mortality-related lost productivity: $1,760
– excess medical expenditures: $1,623
– missed work days due to sickness: $341
• Although there is evidence that smoking cessation programs can
reduce costs and improve health, only 24% of employers cover
Companies that provide smoking cessation programs
have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
• Nicotine is the drug in tobacco that causes addiction.
• Nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
• Each year only about three to five percent of smokers quit for a year,
for longer or for good.
Benefits of Quitting
• People who stop smoking before age 35 avoid 90% of
the health risks attributable to tobacco. Even those who
quit at age 65 can add years to their life.
• People who quit smoking before age 50 have half the
risk of dying in the next 15 years compared with
• Quitting smoking decreases the risk of lung cancer, other
cancers, heart attack, stroke and chronic lung disease.
• Women who stop smoking before pregnancy or during
the first three to four months of pregnancy reduce their
risk of serious complications.
More than 70% of current smokers
report that they want to quit smoking.
Opportunity for Employers
“There are few preventive
health interventions that are
more cost-effective than
-- Warner, K., et. al. cited in Business & Health, Vol. 15, #8, Supplement A,
Elements of Successful Cessation Programs
• Supportive counseling – emphasizing problem solving, behavior
change and social support
• Nicotine replacement and medication – affordable, easy to obtain
• Communication – inform employees of available resources
• Incentives – may be provided in terms of reduced premium
differentials, cash to a flexible spending account, even small
rewards or recognition for quitting tobacco use
Elements of Successful Programs (cont.)
• Integrated approach – integrate disease management and
wellness programs, company policies, health plans and other
workplace programs with available supportive counseling
• No stigmatization of smokers – support employees in their efforts
to become tobacco-free
• Ability to access interventions repeatedly – repeated
interventions are often necessary; policies and programs should
support this process
• A variety of resources – provide resources for individuals who are
in various stages of readiness to quit
• Influence tobacco users who have no desire to quit
so that they consider the benefits of quitting
• Provide support and assistance to those tobacco
users who want to quit
• Support former tobacco users in their efforts to
• Enlist support of senior leadership to ensure visibility and attention
• Establish multi-functional workgroup
• Design program
• Craft and implement policy
• Assemble support for tobacco cessation
• Review employee benefits
• Communicate and promote prevention through a series of materials,
in print and/or online
Why Partner With the EAP?
The ValueOptions EAP is uniquely positioned to partner in
the implementation of tobacco cessation programs
because of its:
• prevention focus
• assessment and referral capabilities
• education focus
• training capabilities
Service Options Offered by ValueOptions
• Standard EAP: Evaluation and screening, short-term
brief counseling and motivational coaching, information
and education, telephonic support, referral to
public/community resources, follow-up
• Enhanced services: Telephone-based sessions with
tobacco treatment specialists; Quit Kit of materials;
access to nicotine-replacement products or medications
Possible Measurements of Program Success
• Number of people recruited or actively participating in
the tobacco cessation initiative
• Six-month and one-year quit rates
• Absenteeism rates
• Health costs
• Decreased health care costs associated with tobacco use
• Increased referral rate to the EAP
• Enhanced productivity
• Reduced absenteeism due to tobacco-related illness
• Improved employee perception of employer commitment
• Benefits of program exceed costs within two years of
• Obtain approval to proceed with evaluating options
• Form multifunctional workgroup to study benefits,
policies, supportive programming
• Establish timetable for reporting recommendations to
• Obtain final approval to implement recommended plan
• Implement plan
American Cancer Society
American Journal of Public Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Free & Clear, Inc.
National Business Group on Health
National Cancer Institute
The New York State Smokers’ Quitsite