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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Quit-Smoking ROI Data

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has a useful post on smoking cessation programs and ROI. Not much new here, but a nice roundup if you're setting up a program, or are thinking about it.

In particular, the post cites ROI figures, from the Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Northwest:
  • Smokers incur $1,600 per year more in health-care costs than non-smokers
  • By year five of an employer-funded quit-smoking program, benefits savings are nearly twice the program's cost.
And what techniques have been found effective? Quoting from the SHRM report, authored by Stephen Miller:
• Mandating a smoke-free workplace, and creating a "culture of quitting" with effective marketing and messaging.

• Encouraging employee health risk appraisals
and tobacco counseling from their physician.

• Providing access
to telephone "quit lines."

• Covering pharmacological therapy
on a first-dollar basis.

• Eliminating co-pays
for cessation-related expenses and, when feasible, providing other incentives.

The report includes details about the success that Quintiles Inc., a North Carolina firm, has had with its quit-smoking program--and some impressive stats showing its success. One incentive for participants: A certificate for successful quitters signed by the company's chief medical officer.

The SHRM report also includes some useful links for other resources on smoking cessation.

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