More so than in other professions, smoking is sometimes part of the workplace environment in restaurants. Working in a kitchen is fast-paced and hectic, and people have often turne...
Help Employees End Cigarette Breaks: Improving their Health and Your ROI
More so than in other professions, smoking is sometimes part of the workplace environment in restaurants. Working in a kitchen is fast-paced and hectic, and people have often turned to cigarettes as a way to relax. In some types of restaurants, the clientele view smoking as part of their restaurant experience. And many people can take up smoking in order to “fit in.”
So it’s no surprise that, accounting to the 2000 U.S. census, 40 percent of people in the food and beverage industry smoke. This is nearly twice the national average. And hospitality workers’ risk of getting lung cancer is three-times greater than the average, and 50 percent higher than any other industry. However, a 2002 study of restaurant workers in Boston indicated they understood the risks and were interested in quitting.
How can you help employees stop smoking without breaking the bank?
A Smoking Cessation Program that Works for Employees and You UnitedHealthcare’s QuitPower® program is designed to achieve higher quit rates than standard approaches. A two-year study indicates that 65 percent of the people who finish the program are tobacco free, and 39 percent had quit by their final coaching call. As a result, QuitPower routinely pays for itself in the first year, and then delivers a 2:1 return on investment (ROI) within the first two years, and a 3:1 ROI in year three.
Customization is the Key
The program is based on a personal approach. Employees are identified as candidates for Quit Power in five ways: online health assessments, on-site biometric screenings, medical insurance claims analysis, employees requesting it, and program referrals. After a screening that determines an employee is healthy enough for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), the employee’s doctor prescribes this and it is sent to the person’s home. But it’s not enough to provide NRT patches or gum. QuitPower offers one-to-one coaching throughout the program — with the same trained wellness coach. This professional schedules eight coaching calls with an employee over a six-month period. Just as important, the employee can make an unlimited number of calls to his or her coach to answer questions and get support.
UnitedHealthcare’s research indicates that those who have a higher number of coaching calls are more likely to quit successfully. In addition, the coach and the employee use detailed online monitoring and reporting programs to track progress, including specific behavior and lifestyle change metrics. And when the person quits, you will also save an average of $1,688 in health care expenses per year.
Take Action Now
QuitPower is an effective money- and life-saving program for you and your employees who wish to quit smoking. For more complete information on wellness and how you can help your employees improve their wellbeing, call 800-293-0105.