Tobacco remains a major cause of ill-health and premature death in the UK, causing skills and productivity losses among the workforce. Employers can help improve this health record by promoting tobacco awareness and supporting employees to quit.
Why smoking remains an important workplace issue
Tobacco remains the major preventable cause of ill health and premature death in England, accounting for more than 86,500 smoking-related deaths each year. Each smoker takes on average 25 minutes in smoking breaks per day. 86% of smokers who wish to give up say it is for health reasons
Smokers cost the NHS £5bn a year. They cost employers more than £2bn a year in absence and lost working time and they also tend to take more time off work than their non-smoking counterparts.
How employers can help
- Publicise smoking cessation interventions as outlined in the NICE guidance document
- Allow staff to attend smoking cessation services during working hours
- Develop a smoking cessation policy in collaboration with staff and their representatives part an overall smoke free workplace
- Employees who wish to stop smoking should contact their local Pharmacy or GP for information on how to quit