Bupa Wellness has launched a product designed to help employers support staff who wish to quit smoking.
The programme, which runs for a 12-month period, includes workshops, health fairs, and†support emails and text messages. It also enables staff to access information about the effects of smoking, such as details about what cigarettes contain.
Using strategies from cognitive behavioural therapy and social psychology, the scheme will also take employees through five behavioural steps of pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance.
Dr Peter Mace, assistant medical director at Bupa Wellness, said: “We educate participants on why they smoke alongside the health implications and effects. This new programme looks at what’s in cigarettes and what happens when someone gives up.”
Helping employees to quit smoking has a number of business benefits for employers such as reduced absenteeism and increased productivity.
A rapid review of: the cost-effectiveness of workplace policies for smoking cessation in England published by the York Health Economics Consortium (Nice) in November 2006, for example,†found that smokers in the workplace cost employers £1,326 annually in lost productivity, absenteeism, medical care and early mortality (discounted lost earnings).