Local Employers Benefit from Adoption of Tobacco Free Workplace Policies
August 18, 2017

STUART, Fla. – Several local workplaces are making big strides in supporting the health and well-being of their employees by adopting tobacco free workplaces.

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 receive a discount on their health insurance plan if they are nicotine free.  They are also able to take free cessation classes through the Quit Your Way program offered by Tobacco Free Florida to qualify for the health insurance discount and enjoy the benefits of a tobacco free lifestyle.

Pat Szczesny and Jolynn Whitten proudly display their new tobacco free signs
at Sandhill Cove Retirement Living, which adopted a 100% tobacco free
grounds policy this year.

Sandhill Cove Retirement Living went tobacco free at the start of 2017 after providing free cessation resources to their employees and residents.  They’ve provided on-site classes for their employees, many of whom have successfully quit smoking.

House of Hope has opened their new Golden Gate Enrichment Center on Dixie Highway in Stuart as a tobacco free campus.  In addition to their commitment to a tobacco free workplace for employees and visitors, they are offering free cessation classes through the Quit Your Way program at the enrichment center, helping empower local residents with the tools to quit.  To sign up for classes, visit goldengatecentermc.org.

Orange Theory Fitness, with locations in Stuart and Jensen Beach, recently adopted a tobacco free workplace, reinforcing their commitment to health and wellness and retaining tobacco free gym environments, both inside and outside.

The free Quit Your Way program allows employees to call, go online, or even attend face-to-face cessation classes, many of which have been hosted at their places of employment in order to support tobacco cessation efforts.

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 Grounds policies also support employees in their attempts to quit, helping them to change their habits and avoid temptations to smoke.

For more information about adopting a tobacco free workplace, visit www-tfp-martin.org or contact knash@quitdoc.com.  To learn more about the Quit Your Way program, visit TobaccoFreeFlorida.com/QuitYourWay.

* Berman M., Crane R., Seiber E., & Munur M. (2013). Estimating the cost of a smoking employee. Tobacco Control. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050888