Introductory one-hour sessions were held in all 14 sites at various times of the day to accommodate different shifts. To encourage participation, staff were given time off to attend and family members were also invited to participate. Group cessation programs are run once a week for four weeks, and again these continue to take place at different times and in different locations to allow as many staff members as possible to attend.
Quit medications are supplied free of charge, but to ensure participation in the program, they are given out at each weekly session.
5 Steps to Quit Smoking | American Heart Association
Once they complete a program, participants receive ongoing support through follow-up letters, posters, newsletters, and e-mail messages, and they are always welcome to rejoin a group session. Evaluations revealed that the programs were well received and have made a difference. After six months, 31 percent of the approximately employees who participated were not using any tobacco, and 42 percent had cut down.
The health authority has expanded its programs and now offers them to the public, including workplaces. The programs are advertised in the community and between three and seven are run every month in different locations, depending on demand. Initial success has been attributed to the fact that there is one central contact point for the public, a menu of programs are offered, and tobacco use is viewed as a health issue, not a moral issue.
Services on Demand
Another important component that creates the supportive environment needed for employees who want to quit smoking is that only workplaces that are percent smoke-free, or are working towards this ideal, are eligible to participate. In Calgary, the health region was busy trying to convince the city to think about implementing a smoke-free bylaw.
But at the same time, they were receiving complaints from the public who had to walk through clouds of smoke to enter health facilities. Wanting to be a leader and role model to other health regions, Calgary Health Region decided to implement a smoke-free property policy that applied to all staff, patients and visitors, and was extended to home visit situations. The policy was phased in over two years, and as it became stronger the cessation supports offered to employees were expanded. Calgary Health Region put in place several measures to help its employees quit smoking.
Employees are allowed to participate in programs as often as they need. Cessation resources have been communicated through newsletters, pay stub attachments, cafeteria tent cards and staff recruitment packages. Selfhelp information, a smoker's help line, community resources and counselling program contacts are also available for employees. A baseline staff survey showed that the smoking rates before the policy and increased cessation supports were put in place were already low at 8 percent.
A follow-up survey two years later revealed a slight decrease in smoking rates, but it also showed that employees that still smoked were smoking much less on work days than on their days off. The reduction in tobacco use at Calgary Health Region can be attributed to the comprehensive programming and smoke-free property policy, cessation supports that allow multiple quit attempts, and how the issue was framed to employees. Those who smoked were not told to stop smoking, but instead were asked not to smoke on health region property, and it was communicated that resources and support were available for those who wanted to quit.
Understand the Process of Quitting Smoking. Adopt Positive Values. Cessation activities that are built on the following values can be more effective and more attractive to all employees: Open communications. Keep employees informed at all times. Let them know in advance if any policies or activities are being introduced or changed.
Also, explain why and how policies are changing. Be respectful of employees' concerns and ideas. Include employees in the decisions and the discussions.
Tobacco, Nicotine, and E-Cigarettes
Keep them informed and encourage them to participate. Encourage both smokers and non-smokers to voice their opinions. Use an approach that does not label or stigmatize smokers, and does not make non-smokers feel left out. Privacy and confidentiality. Respect the privacy and confidentiality of smokers who want to take advantage of any cessation supports offered in the workplace. Most people go through five stages in the quitting process:.
This is the stage where a slip is most likely to occur. During this final stage people are better able to avoid returning to smoking and they also know that a slip at this point is not a failure, but a mistake they will learn from and get past. Refer to Section VI: Handouts for Employees for a handout that helps people identify which stage of the quitting process they are at. Draft Goals and Objectives.
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Make an Inventory of Available Resources. Conduct a Needs Assessment. Decide Who Should be Involved. Choose Your Activities. Choosing your activities will depend on a variety of factors, including: How motivated employees are to quit smoking. If many employees are not that interested in quitting smoking, more work may need to be done around information and education before group programs and quit medications are introduced.
The information gathered at the needs assessment stage, including the support employees have identified. Available resources. Make sure you have the people, time and budget to do what you want to do. Remember that many activities can be done for little cost. Refer to Section IV: Resources for agencies and organizations that may be able to help.
Large workplaces will have more options, but even small workplaces can take advantage of different means of communication, including: word-of-mouth; managers; staff meetings; posters; written materials in staff and lunch rooms; e-mail; employee newsletters; workplace intranets. There are a number of good reasons to evaluate cessation activities: to assess the effectiveness of the activities; to identify ways to improve the activities; to justify future activities. When the non-smoking bylaw went into effect in Ottawa in , it was met with mixed reviews from the hospitality industry.
Eugene Haslam, owner of Zaphod Beeblebrox, a popular live music venue and dance club in downtown Ottawa, came out publicly in favour of the bylaw.
He discussed the issue first with his staff members. Then the message communicated from him and his staff to their customers was that the club was going to comply with the bylaw percent because it was the right thing to do. The acceptance projected by Eugene and his workers set the tone and now not smoking is the new norm at the club. The policy also gave several staff members the final nudge they needed to quit smoking. And although this means they may not take advantage of the cessation activities and benefits that are offered in the workplace, they can still be supported to start thinking about making changes in their smoking habits.
Non-smoking policies in the workplace help people cut down by providing fewer opportunities to smoke. Having information readily available can also help get people thinking about quitting. Cessation information, including contests and self-help material that is readily available can encourage people to start thinking about quitting smoking.
Refer to Section IV: Resources for organizations that distribute self-help and other materials. Peer support. Watching other employees as they quit smoking with the help of peer support can be encouraging to smokers. The Dofasco slogan is catchy and clever: "Our product is steel. Our strength is people. Dofasco, located in Hamilton, Ontario, is a very successful company.
In terms of financial success, it is one the most profitable steel producers in North America. Named one of the world's most sustainable companies by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for five consecutive years, it continues to win industry awards year after year. This partly sums up the "product" part of the slogan. On the people side, things are looking good as well. Dofasco has been named one of the 50 best employers in Canada three years running by Report on Business magazine, as well as one of Canada's top employers by Maclean's magazine, and it received a Healthy Workplace Award from the National Quality Institute.
The company was not always so healthy. In the late s the steel market began to change and by the early s the company was losing money and was in debt. Dofasco put a new emphasis on employee engagement and developed a core set of values that included health and safety and stressed that "nothing is more important than the health and safety of our people. With an end goal in mind of setting up a lifestyle program, the company decided to first undertake a health audit.