Tips for Supporting Employees Quitting Tobacco Use

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Encourage Stress Management

  • Encourage employees to take breaks without needing the excuse of “going out to have a smoke”. Breaks are beneficial for all employees and should be encouraged regularly on the basis of good self-care and healthy work habits.
  • Employees trying to quit have to find new ways to manage stress in place of tobacco use. Allow as much flexibility as you can if the employee has ideas to reduce stress, e.g. offering an area in the workplace to exercise, read, or relax.
  • Limit smoking areas in and around the workplace, making it more of a challenge to go out for a smoke. Consider becoming a tobacco-free campus.

Create a Supportive Community

  • Organize support groups for employees who are engaged in Tobacco Cessation programs or trying to quit tobacco use on their own. Make space available after work hours or during break times for employees to meet.
  • Encourage the formation of quitter teams for cooperative/collaborative quitting. Consider offering team incentives.
  • Discourage employees who continue to use tobacco from irritating/harassing those who decide to quit.
  • Provide posters, digital or email announcements, “Did You Know?” teasers in newsletters. These all help your employees – both tobacco users and non-tobacco users alike – to keep in mind the importance of supporting a tobacco-free environment.

Focus on Overall Wellness

  • Support additional onsite wellness initiatives e.g. fitness, nutrition, weight management, blood pressure monitoring.
  • Promote the use of PAS’ wide array of EAP services such as Weight and Nutrition Consultation, counseling, and other Life Management services to help employees manage life stressors.
  • Coordinate workplace exercise times to encourage employee fitness and manage weight while quitting.
  • Provide a recreation area with games, balls, weights, etc., for sedentary employees to have some active and social time.

It’s not easy to quit. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.

  • Provide encouraging words to employees as they work toward quitting.
  • Keep mints, straws, lollipops, gum, and cut-up veggies on hand for quitters.
  • Refrain from judging, nagging, preaching, teasing and giving advice.
  • Remember that quitters can be grumpy at times. Don’t take it personally. Be understanding. It won’t last forever and usually gets better within 2 weeks of quitting.
  • Remember that slips are common during the quit process and don’t have to lead to a full relapse. Help the employee remember why quitting is so important to that employee.
  • Celebrate with employees along the way!

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