Becoming a Tobacco Free Workplace

November 21, 2013 | General, Healthy Living, Heart Health

Follow the Trend: Why go tobacco free at the workplace?

Happy Great American Smokeout Day! The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. This also seems like the perfect day to focus on tobacco free workplaces.

Many hospitals, medical facilities, and other health campuses are going tobacco free. Typically the main goal of these organizations is to provide patient care and to improve the health of the community. So, it makes sense to set an example of good health by prohibiting the use of tobacco products by all staff, patients, and visitors. This simple act can help address the number one cause of preventable death: Tobacco!

A number of public organizations, including the Gallatin City-County Health Department, has implemented a tobacco free policy for all staff and clients. This policy prohibits the use of tobacco products by all staff, clients, visitors, students, volunteers, and anyone else who is on Health Department grounds.  Tobacco products that are prohibited include, but are not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, electronic cigarettes, marijuana, and smokeless tobacco. As an organization committed to protecting and improving the life, health, and safety of our community members, it is a responsibility of the Gallatin City-County Health Department to take a leadership role on this major public health issue.

Are you interested in your workplace becoming tobacco free? Read on to see how.

Benefits

Creating a tobacco free environment can result in numerous benefits, including:

  • Giving employees and clients more incentive to quit tobacco
  • Promoting healthier employees with fewer health-related absences
  • Potentially reducing direct health care costs and insurance premiums
  • Increasing work productivity
  • Eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke on the property
  • Eliminating tobacco litter on the premises
  • Taking a leadership role on a major public health issue, which community members will appreciate

How to Be Tobacco Free

Contact the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program to learn how to become a tobacco free organization. The Project Coordinator will work with you to help develop and implement a tobacco free policy. Individualized assistance includes free materials, signage, telephone support, and site visits. The Coordinator can also aid with policy formation, help create cessation options for employees, offer strategies to enhance compliance and support for the new policy, and conduct training for staff to enhance their skills to help people quit tobacco.

 

For more information about the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program, contact:

Clare Lemke, R.N., Project Coordinator

Montana Tobacco Free Medical Campus Project

Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program

Telephone: 406-823-6639

Email: clarelemke406@gmail.com

 

Jeremy Brokaw, Health Educator

Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program

Telephone: 406-444-5687

Email: jbrokaw@mt.gov

 

Also see the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program website here.

 

For more information about support in Gallatin County for quitting tobacco, click here.