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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More Proof Smoke-Free Workplaces Pay Off

If we needed any more proof of the importance of smoking cessation programs, we got it last week with a powerful new study published by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

A smoking ban in Pueblo, Colorado, led to a significant drop in heart attack hospitalizations within three years. The results of the ban reinforce the danger of secondhand smoke, according to researchers.

“We know that exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on people′s cardiovascular systems, and that prolonged exposure to it can cause heart disease in nonsmoking adults,” said Janet Collins, Ph.D., director of CDC′s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in a CDC press release.
“This study adds to existing evidence that smoke-free policies can dramatically reduce illness and death from heart disease.”
Long-term exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with a 25 percent to 30 percent increased risk of heart disease in adult nonsmokers, according to the CDC. Secondhand smoke exposure causes an estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths each year among U.S. nonsmokers.
How can Wellness Professionals implement smoke-free workplace policies most effectively?
The first step is to do a complete evaluation of your current workplace smoking policy. Begin with these questions, and download the Center's complete "Making Your Workplace Smokefree—A Decision Maker's Guide."
  • Who is covered by the policy?
  • When was the policy established, and why?
  • What are the employees’ attitudes about the current policy?
  • Do employees comply with the policy?
More Information
US News and World report resources, including “Secrets of Successful Quitters.
Wellness Council of America reports, including "Employers’ Smoking Cessation Guide: Practical Approaches to a Costly Workplace Problem."

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