City of Stuart Adopts a Comprehensive Tobacco-Free Workplace Policy
September 16, 2014

In the spring of 2014, the City of Stuart adopted a comprehensive tobacco-free workplace policy, supporting their employees efforts to quit smoking and enhancing their current wellness policies.

The tobacco-free policy includes all City of Stuart properties, City vehicles, and includes a comprehensive no-hire policy for tobacco users.  Current employees are screened for nicotine use, and receive a discount on their health insurance plan if they are nicotine free.  They are also able to take free cessation classes through the Three Ways to Quit program to qualify for the health insurance discount and enjoy the benefits of a tobacco-free lifestyle.

City of Stuart

The free Three Ways to Quit Program allows employees to call, go online, or even attend face-to-face cessation classes at their place of employment, in order to support tobacco cessation efforts.  The City of Stuart also provides cessation benefits through their workplace health insurance plans.

City of Stuart
Wayne Duffy accepts a 2014 Community Partner Award on behalf of the City of Stuart
for their new Comprehensive Tobacco Free Workplace Policy.

One of the primary reasons an employer chooses to adopt a tobacco free workplace is the high cost associated with tobacco use at work.  Pack-a-day smokers are estimated to have 75% more lost productive time during the work day than their non-smoking co-workers, and healthcare costs are an average of 34% higher than those who do not use tobacco.  In Florida, the average loss in productivity annually for a tobacco user at the workplace is $4,056.  The average extra medical expense for tobacco users is $2,056.

Tobacco Free Ground policies also help to support employees attempting to quit, helping them to change their habits and avoid temptations to smoke.

The City of Stuart saw the rewards of their new tobacco free workplace policy almost immediately.  At their summer health fair, dozens of employees expressed how excited they were to have quit tobacco, thanks to the support of their workplace.  Many had teamed up with coworkers to support each other through the cessation process, increasing their chances for a successful quit attempt.

For more information on creating a comprehensive tobacco-free workplace policy, contact Kim Waser, Martin County's Tobacco Prevention Specialist, at kwaser@quitdoc.com.